|RIM Wins Patent
|7/9. The U.S. District Court (NDCal)
granted summary judgment to Research in Motion
(RIM), maker of the Blackberry wireless e-mail devices, in Glenayre's action for
infringement of U.S.
Patent No. 5,631,503. The Court found that RIM's products
did not infringe the patent in suit, which discloses a battery
based power generation technique for use in wireless
communication devices. Glenayre stated that it will seek
reconsideration by the District Court. See, Glenayre
|DrKoop Settles Securities
announced that it has reached a tentative agreement to settle
the consolidated securities class action lawsuit filed against
it and several former and current officers and directors in
the U.S. District Court (WDTex). It
stated that it will pay $4.25 Million. See, drkoop
|Bush Names New NSTAC
|7/9. President Bush announced his intent to appoint six
people to the President's National Security
Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC): Daniel
Burnham (Raytheon Company), Joseph Nacchio (Qwest), Van
Honeycutt (Computer Sciences Corporation), Clay Jones
(Rockwell Collins), and David Cote (TRW). Duane Ackerman
(BellSouth). In addition, Burnham will become Chairman, and
Nacchio will become Vice Chairman. The NSTAC was created by
President Reagan by Executive
Order 12382 in September of 1982. It provides information
and advice to the President from the perspective of the
telecommunications industry regarding the telecommunications
aspects of national security. See, release.
|Dot Kids Domain Bill
|6/28. Rep. John
Shimkus (R-IL) and Rep.
Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced HR
2417, the "Dot Kids Domain Name Act of 2001."
The bill would the Secretary of Commerce to enter into
agreements with the ICANN for the addition of a new top-level
Internet domain to the root system as a location of any
material that is harmful to minors.
|Another Broadband Bill
|6/28. Rep. John
McHugh (R-NY) introduced HR
2401, the "Rural America Digital Accessibility
Act". The bill provides for grants and loan guarantees to
bring broadband telecommunications services to underserved
Authoritative Root for the DNS, 7/9 (HTML, ICANN).
in Cody v. Weber re prisoners right to use of PCs, 7/9 (PDF,
in Columbia v. Krypton re copyright infringement, 7/9 (PDF,
2417, the Dot Kids Domain Name Act of 2001, 6/28 (HTML,
2401, the Rural America Digital Accessibility Act, 6/28
brief in NCTA v. Gulf Power Company, 7/6 (PDF, NCTA).
re elimination of continued prosecution application practice
as to utility and plant patent applications, 7/9 (HTML, FedReg).
|8th Circuit Rules on
Prisoner's Use of Computer
|7/9. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (8thCir) issued its opinion
v. Weber, a case regarding a prisoner's
constitutional right of access to the courts in the context of
his use of a personal computer and electronic storage media,
and searches of his electronic records by prison officials.
The Appeals Court held that the prisoner was not entitled to
keep his computer.
Background. William Cody has been serving a life
sentence for murder in the South Dakota State Penitentiary
since 1978. He is now a jailhouse lawyer who occupies his time
by filing lawsuits against prison officials, and others. He
first acquired a PC in 1982. He has around one hundred
computer disks on which he has stored personal and legal data,
including communications with real attorneys. In 1996 the
prison changed its policy, and required Cody to dispose of his
PC. It allowed him to print out files. Cody filed a complaint
in U.S. District Court (DSD) against
prison officials alleging numerous claims. Cody appealed the
District Court's summary judgment on three claims: his right
to retain his computer; reading of his electronic records by
prison officials; and retaliation by prison officials for
Prisoner's Use of PC. The District Court granted
defendants' motion for summary judgment on the claim regarding
use of a computer. It held that he was not entitled to
continued use of his computer. The Appeals Court affirmed. The
issue was not whether a prisoner has a right to use a
computer. Rather, Cody argued that since his notes were in
electronic format, it would be a denial of his right of access
to the courts to deny him access to a computer to access his
notes. The Appeals Court, noting that the prison allowed him
to print out any files, rejected his argument. It concluded
that he suffered no injury, which is a required element of
claim for denial of access to the courts.
Search of Electronic Records. The District Court
granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on the claim
regarding unauthorized reading of his computer records on the
grounds that there was no actual injury. The Appeals Court
reversed, holding that Cody had raised genuine issues of
material fact as to whether his records had been searched, and
whether he had been injured -- by being disadvantaged in
The Court of Appeals also reversed the District Court on the
retaliation claim. The opinion was split. Judge Gibson wrote
the opinion of the Court; Judge McMillian joined. Judge Beam
would have upheld the District Court in full.
|9th Circuit Affirms
Copyright Infringement Judgment
|7/9. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion
[PDF] in Columbia
v. Krypton, a copyright infringement case.
Krypton Broadcasting operated three TV stations that licensed
programs from Columbia Broadcasting. Elvin Feltner was its
principal. The stations failed to make timely licensing
payments. Columbia terminated the licensing agreements. The
stations continued to air the programs. Columbia filed a
complaint in U.S. District Court (CDCal)
against Krypton and Feltner alleging copyright infringement.
The District Court found Feltner vicariously and
contributorily liable for the copyright infringement committed
by the TV stations, and awarded $31.68 Million in statutory
damages. Feltner appealed. The Appeals Court affirmed.
|7/9. The USPTO published
of proposed rulemaking regarding elimination of continued
prosecution application (CPA) practice as to utility and plant
patent applications. See, Federal Register, July 9, 2001, Vol.
66, No. 131, at Pages 35763 - 35765. The notice stated that
the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 enacted
provisions for the continued examination of a utility or plant
application at the request of the applicant, and therefore,
"there no longer appears to be a need for continued
prosecution application (CPA) practice as to utility and plant
applications. Thus, the Office is proposing to eliminate CPA
practice as to utility and plant applications. An applicant
for a utility or plant patent may also continue to effectively
obtain further examination of the application by filing a
continuing application under section 1.53(b). Since RCE
practice does not apply to design applications, CPA practice
will remain in place for design applications." Written
comments must be received on or before September 7, 2001.
|Tuesday, July 10
|12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The Internet
Education Foundation (501(c)(3) affiliated with the
Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee) will host a
panel discussion on the Markle Foundation's study titled
"Toward a Framework for Internet Accountability."
Lunch will be served. RSVP to Danielle at RSVP@neted.org or 202-
638-4370. The speakers will be Zoe Baird (Markle Foundation), Stan
Quinlan & Rosner), Adam Thierer (Cato), Lawrence
Lessig (Stanford Law School), and Caitlin Halligan (NY
Attorney General's Office). Location: Reserve Officers Assoc.,
One Constitution Ave, NE, Washington DC.
2:00 PM. The House reconvenes following its July 4 recess. The
House will consider several non tech related measures under
suspension of the rules.
2:00 PM. The House
Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Trade will hold
a hearing on renewal of Normal Trade Relations with the
People's Republic of China. Location: Room B-318, Rayburn
|Wednesday, July 11
|9:30 AM. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will hold
a hearings on S 803, a bill to establish a Federal Chief
Information Officer within the Office of Management and
Budget. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.
9:30 AM. The Senate
Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Internet
privacy. The witnesses are Marc Rotenberg (EPIC), Fred
Cate (Indiana Law School), Paul Schwartz (Brooklyn Law
School), Paul Misener (Amazon), Hans Brondmo, Les Seagraves (Earthlink),
Ira Rubinstein (Microsoft), and Erik Olbetter (Schwab).
Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
10:30 AM. The House
Science Committee's Subcommittee on 21st Century
Competitiveness will meet to mark up HR 1992, the
"Internet Equity and Education Act of 2001."
Location: Room 2175, Rayburn Building.
12:00 NOON. The House
Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and
Consumer Protection will hold a hearing titled "The
Potential for Discrimination in Health Insurance Based on
Predictive Genetic Tests." Location: Room 2322, Rayburn
2:00 PM. The Hispanic Council on International Affairs, the
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Latin American
Management Association and the U.S. Mexican Chamber of
Commerce will hold a press conference to announce their
support for trade promotion authority (formerly known
as fast track) and the free trade area of the Americas. For
more info, contact Peter Hickman at 301-530-1210. Location: National Press Club, Holeman
Lounge, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC.
|7/9. Webvan, an online
grocer, ceased all operations. It stated that it intends to
file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.
7/9. Comcast made an
offer to acquire AT&T's broadband businesses for 1.0525
Billion shares of Comcast stock, which had a value of $44.5
Billion as of the closing price on Friday June 6. See, Comcast
release. AT&T responded that "We have no current
plans to sell our Broadband business." See, AT&T
7/6. The NCTA filed its reply
brief [PDF] with the Supreme Court in NCTA v. Gulf
Power Company, the pole attachments case.
7/9. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued an opinion in Hallco
v. Foster, a patent infringement action.
The Appeals Court vacated and remanded.
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