|CIIP Subcommittee Approves
USPTO Authorization Act
|6/14. The House
Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Internet and
Intellectual Property approved HR
2047, the "Patent and Trademark Office Authorization
Act of 2002," with one amendment, by a unanimous voice
vote. The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Howard Coble
(R-NC), Rep. Howard
Berman (D-CA), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and Rep. Johnny
Isakson (R-GA), would reauthorize appropriations for the USPTO.
HR 2047 provides that there is "authorized to be
appropriated to the United States Patent and Trademark Office
for salaries and necessary expenses for fiscal year 2002 an
amount equal to the fees collected in fiscal year 2002."
Hence, it seeks to end the diverson of USPTO user fees
to fund other government programs. HR 2047 would also require
the USPTO to develop a strategic plan that sets forth
goals and methods regarding enhancing patent and trademark
quality, reducing patent and trademark pendancy, and
developing computer systems. Also, HR 2047 would authorize $50
Million for FY 2002 to develop an electronic system for
the filing and processing of patent and trademark
applications. The amendment adopted by the Subcommittee
provides that this $50 Million authorization is for FY 2002
|House Policy Committee
Backs Trade Promotion Authority
|6/14. House Policy
Committee, a Republican group chaired by Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA),
issued a statement
in support of granting trade promotion authority the
President. The report states that "Trade Promotion
Authority does not mean that Congress gives carte blanche to
the President and the Executive Branch. However, because our
trading partners cannot negotiate separately with 535 Members
of Congress, it is an essential prerequisite to winning
meaningful international trade agreements. Just as labor
contracts are negotiated between designated representatives,
rather than among all union members and all members of the
corporate board, so too the United States must speak with one
voice in trade negotiations."
|6/14. The GAO
released a report
[PDF] titled "Export Controls: State and Commerce
Department License Review Times Are Similar." The report
concluded that "In fiscal year 2000, the average State
Department license application review took 46 days while the
average Commerce Department review took 50 days."
Pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act, the State Department
controls the export and import of defense articles and
services. However, the Export Administration Act and Executive
Order 12981 give the Department of Commerce authority to
review and issue licenses for the export of dual use
commodities. This is items having both commercial and military
applications, and includes many software and computer hardware
products. The report was prepared at the request of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
and Sen. Daniel Akaka
(D-HI), of the Senate Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee
on Readiness and Management Support.
|Lamar Smith Introduces
Broadband Loans Bill
|6/12. Rep. Lamar
Smith (R-TX) introduced HR
2139, the Rural America Broadband Deployment Act, a bill
to create a program at the Department of Agriculture to
provide loans to entities that deploy broadband services in
rural areas. The bill would authorize the appropriate of $100
Million for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2004. The bill
defines "broadband" as at least 200 Kbps downstream.
The bill was referred the Agriculture Committee and the
2135, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, 6/12 (HTML,
2136, the Confidential Information Protection Act, 6/12
2139, Rural America Broadband Deployment Act, 6/12 (HTML,
in Breed v. Hughes Aircraft re appellate jurisdiction in
patent cases, 6/14 (PDF, USCA).
in Aquilar v. Atlantic Richfield re standards for summary
judgment in antitrust actions, 6/14 (PDF, SCCal).
comparing average times to complete reviews of applications
for export licenses at the State and Commerce Departments,
6/14 (PDF, GAO).
statement re trade promotion authority, 6/14 (HTML, HPC).
|Armey Asks Ashcroft to
Consider Constitutionality of Carnivore
|6/14. House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) wrote a letter
to Attorney General John Ashcroft regarding the Justice
Department's e-mail surveillance system know as Carnivore.
Rep. Armey asked AG Ashcroft to consider whether the FBI's use
of Carnivore constitutes an unwarranted search in violation of
the 4th Amendment, in light of the Supreme Court's June 11 opinion
[PDF] in Kyllo v. U.S.
Armey stated that "The Court ruled that thermal imaging
devices allowed 'police technology to erode the privacy
guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.' " Armey quoted from
Kyllo: "Where... the Government uses a device that is not
in general public use, to explore details of a private home
that would previously have been unknowable without physical
intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment
"search," and is presumptively unreasonable without
a warrant." He then suggested that "It is
reasonable, then, to ask whether the Internet surveillance
system formerly known as "Carnivore" similarly
undermines the minimum expectation that individuals have that
their personal electronic communications will not be examined
by law enforcement devices unless a specific court warrant has
|Inslee Addresses Unions and
High Tech Companies
|6/13. Rep. Jay Inslee
(D-WA) spoke in the House about unions and high tech
companies. He stated that "a lot of folks have thought in
the new economy where we have high tech jobs and software and
biotech that the importance of collective bargaining or
organized labor would fade away. I just want to say today that
from the perspective of the high tech economy represented by
my district, the importance of collective bargaining to people
remains just as large and fundamental as it always has been in
this country." He then went on to discuss events at a
hospital and at the University of Washington. Rep. Inslee
represents a Seattle area district that includes Redmond, home
|Appellate Jurisdiction in
|6/14. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
[PDF] in Breed
v. Hughes Aircraft. The Appeals Court
transferred the appeal to the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for lack of
jurisdiction. Ben Breed is an inventor who consulted for
Hughes Aircraft until the dispute which led to this
litigation. He asserts that Hughes failed to honor an oral
agreement regarding the development of technology, by failing
to give him work after the DARPA
awarded Hughes a contract involving magnetics. Breed filed a
complaint in U.S. District Court against Hughes Aircraft
alleging 13 state law claims relating to breach of contract
and misappropriation of trade secrets, and one claim for
correction of named inventor under the patent statute, 35 U.S.C.
§ 256. Breed asserted jurisdiction in the District Court
based on both diversity and patent jurisdiction. The District
Court granted summary judgment in favor of Hughes, and Breed
appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The Appeals Court dismissed,
without reaching the merits or the appeal, because the
District Court's jurisdiction was based in part on 28
U.S.C. § 1338. It held that the Federal Circuit has
exclusive jurisdiction over of any appeal from a final
decision of the District Court if the jurisdiction of that
court was based, in whole or in part, on § 1338.
|Cross Border Fraud Hearings
|6/14. The Senate
Government Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on
Investigations held the first of two hearings on cross border
fraud, focusing on U.S. Canadian law enforcement cooperation.
The hearing continues on June 15 at 10:00 AM in Room 342 of
the Dirksen Building.
|6/14. The Supreme Court of California issued an opinion
[PDF] in Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield, an antitrust
case. The Court's opinion addresses standards for ruling on
motions for summary judgment in antitrust actions for
6/14. The USTR released a statement
regarding US - PRC discussions regarding the PRC's accession
to the WTO.
6/13. Rep. Rush Holt
(D-NJ) introduced HR 2148, a bill to reestablish the Office of
Technology Assessment. It was referred to the House Science Committee.
6/14. The Senate passed S 1, the Better Education for Students
and Teachers (BEST) Act, by a vote of 91 to 8. The House
previously passed a different version of the education bill.
6/13. The House
Science Committee approved HR
100, the National Science Education Act, sponsored
by Rep. Vern Ehlers
(R-MI), and HR
1858, the National Mathematics and Science Partnerships
Act, sponsored by Rep.
Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY). See, release.
|6/14. The FTC announced a new
round of enforcement actions against the fraudulent marketing
of supplements and other health products on the Internet. See,
|Friday, June 15
|9:30 AM. 9:30 AM. The Senate Government
Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Investigations will
hold the second of two hearings on cross border fraud,
focusing on U.S. Canadian law enforcement cooperation. The
witnesses will include Hugh Stevenson, Associate Director for
the FTC's Policy Planning Division. Location: Room 342,
Dirksen Senate Office Building.
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM. The FCC's Office of Engineering and
Technology will provide a tutorial on voice over the
Internet. The presentation will cover next generation
networks based on VoIP, including soft switches, media
gateways, media servers, VoIP standardization status, and
market drivers of VoIP technologies. See, FCC
notice. Location: FCC, 445 12th St. S.W., Room TW-C305,
Deadline for the FCC to submit its annual report to various
Congressional committees regarding the progress being made
under the ORBIT
Act in promoting competition in satellite
communications services, and in privatizing INTELSAT and
Inmarsat. See, FCC
|Monday, June 18
|6:30 PM. Intel Chairman Andy Grove will deliver a speech
titled "Building the Internet Economy" at a dinner
event hosted by the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and the
Intel Corporation. The event is open to the media and free of
charge. RSVP to Katharine Lister at 202- 547-0001. See, PPI
release. Location: The Mayflower Hotel, State Room, 1127
Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington DC.
Deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Copyright Office
in response to its Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding proposed
amendments to its regulation governing notices of termination
of transfers and licenses covering the extended renewal term.
The current regulation is limited to notices of terminations
made under section 304(c) of the copyright law. The Sonny
Bono Copyright Term Extension Act created a separate
termination right under section 304(d). Under the proposed
regulation, procedures governing notices of termination of the
extended renewal term would cover notices made under either
section 304(c) or 304(d). See, Federal Register, May 3, 2001,
Vol. 66, No. 86, at Pages 22139 - 22140. See also, PDF
copy in CO web site.
|FCC's ECFS System is Down
|6/13. The FCC stated that "the Electronic Comment
Filing System (ECFS) experienced major hardware failure, which
has rendered the system unavailable for receiving and viewing
of submissions in docketed and rulemaking proceedings. We are
currently working to resolve the technical problems. However,
due to the serious nature of the technical problems, ECFS will
not be available until Monday, June 18, 2001." See, FCC
Commissioner Paul Carey died. See, SEC release.
6/14. The Senate confirmed Charles James to be an
Assistant Attorney General. He will be responsible for the Antitrust Division of the
Department of Justice.
6/14. The National Cable and Telecommunications Association
elected new directors at its annual convention in Chicago,
Illinois. Michael Willner, President of Insight
Communications, was elected Chairman of the Board. See, NCTA
6/14. Verizon named David
Valdez to run its privacy efforts. He was previously
employed at the NTIA.
He replaces Shelley Harms. See, release.
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