|Supreme Court Grants Cert
|6/18. The Supreme
Court of the U.S. granted certiorari in Festo v. Shoketsu
Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki (aka SMC Corp). See, Order
List [PDF], at page 2. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir)
issued its divided en banc opinion
on November 29, 2000, narrowing the doctrine of equivalents,
which prevents an accused infringer from avoiding liability
for infringement by changing only minor or insubstantial
details of a claimed invention while retaining the invention's
essential identity. (Supreme Court Docket No. 00-1543.)
|Group One v. Hallmark
|6/15. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Group
One v. Hallmark Cards, a patent infringement
and trade secrets case. On summary judgment, the District
Court ruled the patent in suit was invalid pursuant to the on
sale bar, 35 U.S.C. § 102(b). The Appeals Court
affirmed on the state law trade secrets claim, but reversed as
to the on sale bar. (Federal Circuit opinions are available
from its web site.)
|6/18. The Recording Industry
Association of America (RIAA) and IFPI announced that they will
issue a Request For Information (RFI) inviting the owners of
audio fingerprinting technologies to make them known and
available for evaluation. Audio fingerprinting technology can
identify music based on its content, and hence, assist in the
protection of copyrighted music on the Internet. The two
groups further stated that submissions of information
regarding these technologies will be due by July 13, 2001 and
the initial evaluation may be completed by the end of
September. See, RIAA release.
|6/18. Timothy Muris had his public ceremonial
swearing in as Chairman of the FTC.
6/18. Breton Bocchieri joined the Los Angeles office of
the law firm of Perkins
Coie as a partner. He was previously a partner at Arter Hadden. He
focuses on intellectual property litigation. See release.
re new round of trade negotiations and granting the President
trade promotion authority, 6/18 (HTML, Grassley).
in FTC v. Rhinopoint, 6/1 (HTML, FTC).
to Congress re ORBIT Act, 6/15 (PDF, FCC).
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|Trade Promotion Authority
|6/18. Sen. Charles
Grassley (D-IA) gave a speech
in Washington DC to the Global Business Dialogue Conference on
the World Trade Organization.
He advocated launching a new round of multilateral trade
negotiations: "A new round will also allow the world to
deal with many new issues which have emerged over the last
decade on a global scale." He also said that Congress
should grant the President trade promotion authority, formerly
known as "fast track" authority. He stated that
"The U.S. Constitution gives authority over international
trade to the U.S. Congress. Trade Promotion Authority is a way
for Congress to assert Constitutional authority over the trade
agenda. It lays out specific negotiating objectives that the
executive branch must meet in order to bring the agreement
back under expedited procedures. Trade Promotion Authority
requires intense consultation and notification procedures. It
provides a legislative check on the President's ability to
negotiate. It provides greater certainty to our executive
branch negotiators. It provides greater certainty to Congress
that its intent is being followed. And, it provides greater
certainty to our trading partners that any agreement reached
will get timely consideration and will not be ripped apart by
the U.S. Congress."
|ORBIT Act Report
|6/15. The FCC sent its
[PDF] to Congress on progress made in achieving the goals of
the Open-market Reorganization for the Betterment of
International Telecommunications (ORBIT) Act. The Act seeks
"to promote a fully competitive global market for
satellite communication services for the benefit of consumers
and providers of satellite services and equipment by fully
privatizing the intergovernmental satellite organizations,
INTELSAT and Inmarsat". The report concludes that
"policy goals regarding the promotion of a fully
competitive global market for satellite communications
services are being met ... ."
|FTC Obtains Preliminary
Injunction Against Rhinopoint.com
|6/1. The Federal Trade
Commission filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (NDIll)
against New Millennium Concepts, dba rhinopoint.com alleging
deceptive acts or practices in violation of § 5(a) of the
Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 45(a).
The complaint alleges that defendant falsely represented that
consumers who signed up as members of rhinopoint.com, by
paying an initial setup fee and disclosing personal
information on the member profile form, would receive monthly
marketing surveys and would be reimbursed for their monthly
Internet access charges after completing the monthly surveys.
The complaint further alleged that the defendant collected
about $500,000 in set-up fees and obtained consumers' personal
information, but did not follow up with marketing surveys or
pay Internet access fees for most of the consumers. In
addition, the Court entered a stipulated preliminary
injunction order that prohibits misrepresentations, freezes
the defendants' assets, and bars the use of the consumer data,
pending trial. See also, FTC
|EU Data Directive
|6/18. The European Commission stated that it "has
adopted a Decision setting out standard contractual clauses to
ensure adequate safeguards for personal data transferred from
the European Union to countries outside the EU." See, EU
|Tuesday, June 19
|The House will meet at 12:30 PM for morning hour and 2:00 PM
for legislative business. No recorded votes are expected
before 6:00 PM. No tech bills are on the agenda.
7:30 AM - 3:30 PM. The USTA
will host a conference on the FCC's Universal Service Rural
Task Force Order. Location: Washington Dulles Airport
Marriott Dulles, VA. See, USTA
9:30 AM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on local phone
competition. The scheduled witnesses are Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA),
Michael Armstrong (AT&T), Margaret Greene (BellSouth),
Royce Holland, (Allegiance Telecom), Clark McLeod (McLeod
USA), David Rolka (Rhoads & Sinon), Dave Sullivan (State
Senator, Illinois), and Gene Kimmelman (Consumers Union).
Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
12:00 NOON. The Congressional
Internet Caucus Advisory Committee will host a lunch panel
discussion titled "Wireless Privacy and the Mobile
Internet". The panelists will be Robert Petit (Wiley Rein
& Fielding), James Dempsey (CDT), John Collins (Mobility
Technologies), Marci Weisler (Vindigo), Becky Richards (TRUSTe),
and Jonas Niehardt (Qualcomm). RSVP to Danielle at RSVP@netcaucus.org
202-638-4370. Location: Room 2168 (Gold Room), Rayburn
|Wednesday, June 20
|9:30 AM. The FCC will hold a meeting. The agenda includes
two items. The FCC will consider a Notice of Inquiry seeking
information and comment for the Eighth Annual Report to
Congress on the status of competition in the market for the
delivery of video programming. The FCC will also consider a
Sixth Report concerning the status of competition in the
commercial mobile wireless industry. Location: FCC, Portals
II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting
Room), Washington DC.
9:30 AM. The Senate
Finance Committee will hold the first of two days of
hearings on granting the President trade promotion
authority. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.
Location Change. 10:00 AM.
The House Commerce
Committee's Telecom Subcommittee will hold a hearing on campaign
finance reform proposals impacting broadcasters, cable
operators and satellite providers. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.
10:00 AM. The USITC
will hold a public forum on issues relating to electronic
filing and maintenance of documents. Location: Room 101, 500 E
Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. See, notice.
10:30 AM. The House
Education and Workforce Committee's Subcommittee on 21st
Century Competitiveness will hold a hearing on HR
1992, the Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001.
Location: Room 2175, Rayburn Office Building . The scheduled
witnesses are Stanley Ikenberry (American Council on
Education), Joseph DiGregorio (Georgia Tech), Richard Gowen
(South Dakota School of Mines and Technology), and Omer
Waddles (ITT Educational Services).
12:00 NOON. FTC Commissioner Sheila Anthony will speak
at the American Council of Life Insurers e-Business
Conference. Location: J.W. Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW, Washington DC.
12:00 NOON. The Internet
Freedom Rally will host a press conference. Location:
Zenger Room, National Press
Club, Washington DC.
Deadline to submit comments to the FCC in response to its Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding Reform of Access
Charges Imposed by Competitive Local Exchange Carriers.