|What Happened to the New
Reserve Board Governor Laurence
Meyer gave a long speech
in New York City titled "What Happened to the New
Economy?" He identified the "new economy" as
"the dramatic acceleration in productivity tied, to an
important degree, to innovations in information
technology." He stated that there is a "sharp
slowdown under way ... . I refer here to the correction in
equity prices and the retrenchment of investment, both of
which are centered on the high-tech area." He addressed
the role of monetary policy in recent growth, and the
slowdown. He also stated that "we are still in the new
economy ... . The shape of the slowdown has the new economy
written all over it, just as the shape of the earlier
expansion did." He also concluded that "Recent
developments have taught or re-taught us a number of such
lessons. Equity prices can go down as well as up. Firms need
profits to survive. Business cycles happen." He spoke to
the New York Association for Business Economics and The
|PSLRA Pleading Standard
|6/6. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
[PDF] in Ronconi
v. Larkin, a case regarding pleading standards
in securities class action suits under the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA). The District Court dismissed
for failure to state a claim. The Appeals Court applied the
PSLRA, as previously interpreted by the Ninth Circuit in Janas v.
McCracken (In re Silicon Graphics Sec. Litig.), 183 F.3d
970 (1999), to affirm the dismissal.
|Computer and Internet Crime
|6/6. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (5thCir) issued its opinion
in USA v. James Rhodes, an appeal in a criminal
case. Defendant plead guilty to and was convicted of one count
of traveling interstate with the intent to engage in a sexual
act with a juvenile, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b). He
had been communicating via the Internet with an undercover
police officer. He appealed the District Court's refusal to
withdraw his guilty plea, and his sentence. The Appeals Court
6/6. Richard Morris was charged by Information
[PDF] with one count of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1343 and one count of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1341. Morris also plead guilty to both charges in U.S.
District Court (NDCal). Morris
auctioned non- existent merchandise on Internet auction sites,
including e-Bay and Yahoo. Assistant U.S. Attorney
Jonathan Howden prosecuted the case. See, USAO
in Ronconi v. Larkin re pleading standards in securities class
action suits, 6/6 (PDF, USCA).
against RIAA and SDMI re constitutionality of anti
circumvention provisions of the CDMA, 6/6 (HTML, EFF).
re economic analysis of downturn of the economy, 6/6 (HTML,
|Prof. Felton Challenges
Constitutionality of DMCA Anti Circumvention
Felton and others filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (DNJ) against the
RIAA, SDMI Foundation, and others, seeking a declaration that
the anti circumvention provision of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act is unconstitutional as a
violation of free speech.
On April 9, Matthew Oppenheim, Secretary of the SDMI
Foundation, wrote a letter to
Felton, an associate professor in the Department of Computer
Science at Princeton
University, and others, warning them that public release
of information concerning the Secure Digital Music Initiative
(SDMI) "could subject you and your research team to
actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ..."
At the time, Felton had been scheduled to participate in the
4th International Information Hiding Workshop on April 25-29
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Secure Digital Music Initiative
(SDMI) is a music industry group that is attempting to develop
a watermark based system to prevent music piracy. Watermarking
embeds copyright information in digital music files to enable
devices like MP3 players and recorders to refuse to make
copies of copyrighted music. Last year the SDMI issued a
"Public Challenge" to help choose among four
proposed watermarking technologies. It invited researchers to
attempt to remove the copyright watermarks. Felton responded,
and successfully defeated all four technologies. The SDMI
sought to prevent Felton from presenting or publishing his
had this reaction: "Professor Felten's decision to sue
the RIAA and the SDMI Foundation is inexplicable. We have
unequivocally and repeatedly stated that we have no intention
of bringing a lawsuit against Professor Felten or his
colleagues. It seems that the professor, or the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, would have preferred that we sue in order
to keep their publicity machine running. Since we've said we
have no issue with the publication of the Felten paper, they
now resort to suing us to keep this issue alive." See, RIAA release.
|Crater v. Lucent
|6/6. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Crater
v. Lucent. Plaintiff holds U.S.
Patent No. 5,286,129 pertaining to an underwater coupling
device for fiber optic cable. It filed suit in U.S. District
against Lucent and AT&T alleging patent
infringement and breach of contract and misappropriation
of trade secrets under state law. Federal jurisdiction was
based on the patent claim; there was not diversity of
citizenship. Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim, on the
grounds that since their use of the invention was pursuant to
contracts with the federal government (U.S. Navy), 18
U.S.C. § 1498(a) provides that the only action available
to the plaintiff is against the government in the U.S. Court
of Federal Claims. The District Court agreed, and dismissed.
In addition, the government asserted the military and state
secrets privilege to prevent plaintiff from obtaining
information about infringing use. It intervened in the
District Court proceeding to prevent most discovery in that
action. The Appeals Court affirmed the finding that Section
1498 bars the patent infringement action, but reversed the
holding as to lack of jurisdiction. The Appeals Court held
that there was jurisdiction over the patent claim, and hence,
supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims.
|Thursday, June 7
|10:00 AM. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and
Investigations will hold a hearing on imported
pharmaceuticals, including Internet sales. Location: Room 2123
or 2322, Rayburn Building.
12:00 NOON. The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory
Committee will host a luncheon and panel discussion on issues
raised in the Tauzin Dingell and Cannon Conyers bills. RSVP to
telephone Danielle at 202-638-4370. Location: Room HC-5, U.S.
2:00 PM. The House
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Internet and
Intellectual Property will hold an oversight hearing on titled
The Operations of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
Including Review of Agency Funding. Location: Room 2141,
|Friday, June 8
|Deadline to submit comments to the NTIA
regarding its investigation of current and future use of radio
frequency spectrum in the U.S. by providers of energy, water
and railroad services, and how current and emerging technology
trends affect use of the radio spectrum. The CJSJ
appropriations bill for FY 2002 requires that the NTIA conduct
this study. See, notice
in Federal Register, April 9, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 68, at Pages
18448 - 18449. See also, copy
of notice in NTIA web site.
|Lans v. DEC
|6/4. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Lans v.
DEC, a patent infringement case. Hakan Lans, who was
Patent No. 4,303,986, sued DEC and other computer
equipment manufacturers alleging infringement of this patent.
The District Court granted summary judgment to defendants on
the grounds that Lans lacked standing, since he had assigned
the patent to a entity not a party to the suit. The Appeals
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