|Sen. Daschle Addresses Tech
|1/4. Sen. Tom Daschle
(D-SD), the Senate Majority Leader, gave a speech
on the economy in which he addressed several technology
related issues. He advocated passage of legislation that would
create tax credits for broadband service, grant the President
trade promotion authority, make the R&D tax credit
permanent, and double civilian R&D funding. He stated that
"By embracing fiscal discipline, investing in people and
technology, and opening up new markets abroad, we helped lay a
foundation for a new growth economy."
Broadband Tax Credits. Sen. Daschle stated that
"High speed, broadband Internet access has become an
indispensable tool for businesses, schools, libraries, and
hospitals. And access to this service is fast becoming the
line between the haves and have nots in the information age.
We should create tax credits, grants, and loans to make
broadband service as universal tomorrow as telephone access is
today." He did not reference any specific bills. However,
Sen. Daschle is a sponsor of S 88,
the Broadband Internet Access Act of 2001. This bill, which
was introduced by Sen.
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) on January 22, 2001, is sponsored
by 66 Senators.
Trade Promotion Authority. Sen. Daschle stated that he
supports trade promotion authority, which is also called TPA
and fast track. TPA gives the President authority to negotiate
trade agreements which can only be voted up or down, but not
amended, by the Congress. TPA strengthens the bargaining
position of the President, and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR),
in trade negotiations with other nations.
Sen. Daschle stated that "we must open new markets and
help workers who are hurt by trade. No country is better
situated to thrive in this global information economy than the
United States of America. That is why I support fast track and
intend to bring it up for a vote in the full Senate early this
year. In the Finance Committee, we passed a bill that
addresses critical labor and environmental issues."
The House passed its version of the TPA bill, HR 3005,
the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2001, by a
roll call vote of 215 to 214 on December 6, 2001. See, TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 323.
However, Sen. Daschle added that "we need to recognize
that not everyone benefits. Some workers are displaced. ...
That is why, as part of our consideration of fast track,
Senate Democrats are proposing to expand Trade Adjustment
Assistance. We believe that we should expand assistance to all
workers who are hurt by global production shifts."
R&D Tax Credit. He stated that "we should act
to make the research and development tax credit permanent --
the sooner, the better." For decades, the Congress has
passed a series of short term extensions of this tax credit.
Sen. Daschle added that "the R&D tax credit is one of
the most effective mechanisms to encourage innovation,
increase business investment and keep the economy
R&D Funding. Sen. Daschle stated that "Over
the past century, federal investments in research have helped
split the atom, sequence the genome, invent the microchip, the
laser, and the Internet ... and helped create millions of
jobs. In this century, nanotechnology, robotics, advanced
energy technologies like fuel cells and solid state lighting,
and biotechnologies like gene therapy, have the potential to
do the same. We should double civilian R&D funding,
including funding for the National Science Foundation. And we
should fully fund the Advanced Technology Program -- to speed
these innovations to market." He also said that
"Expanded investments in areas such as physics, computer
science, mathematics, and electrical engineering -- are
essential to maintaining America's economic and technological
leadership in the 21st century."
|USTR Zoellick Praises
Daschle Statements on TPA
|1/7. The U.S. Trade
Representative (USTR), Robert Zoellick, who is pushing the
Congress to grant the President trade promotion authority,
praised Sen. Tom Daschle's
(D-SD) January 4 speech.
Daschle said "I support fast track and intend to bring it
up for a vote in the full Senate early this year."
Zoellick stated in a release
that "I'm pleased to see that Senate Majority Leader
Daschle has established a high priority for prompt Senate
approval of Trade Promotion Authority."
Zoellick continued that "Majority Leader Daschle has
called for inclusion of measures such as Trade Adjustment
Assistance. The Administration recognizes that effective
adjustment assistance must be a key component of America's
trade strategy. I look forward to working constructively with
the Senate Leadership on Trade Promotion Authority to ensure a
vote on the Senate floor early in the new session."
|Supreme Court Denies Cert
in Surveillance Camera Case
|1/7. The Supreme
Court denied certiorari in Consolidated
Freightways v. Cramer, thereby letting stand an
Appeals Court opinion which reversed a District Court
dismissal of a privacy action. See, January 7 Order
Freightways (CF), a trucking company, installed hidden
cameras and microphones in employee bathrooms, in violation of
the California criminal code.
Trial Court. Employees and others filed two complaints
in California Superior Court alleging violation of privacy
based upon state law. CF removed both cases to the U.S.
District Court (CDCal), where they were consolidated. CF
argued that § 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act
(LMRA) preempted the state law action because the plaintiffs
were subject to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The
trial court dismissed as to all plaintiffs, except those who
were not employees of CF.
Appeals Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(9thCir) issued an en banc opinion
[PDF] on June 15, 2001, reversing the District Court. It held
that since the CBA did not cover privacy claims, there could
be no preemption. However, the Court continued that "when
an employer's surreptitious surveillance constitutes a per se
violation of established state privacy laws, the employees
affected thereby may bring an action for invasion of privacy
regardless of the terms of the collective bargaining agreement
governing their employment."
|Supreme Court Denies Cert
in Reciprocal Compensation Case
|1/7. The Supreme
Court denied certiorari in Global
Naps v. FCC, a case regarding reciprocal
compensation for ISP bound traffic. See, January 7 Order
List [PDF] at page 3.
On February 20, 2001, the U.S. Court of Appeals (DC
Cir) issued its opinion
upholding a Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) Memorandum
Opinion and Order (FCC 99-381) regarding reciprocal
compensation for Internet Service Provider (ISP) bound
traffic. Global Naps
is a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) that provides
phone service in Massachusetts. Bell Atlantic (now Verizon)
filed a complaint with the FCC alleging illegal tariffs by
Global Naps. The FCC released its order on Dec. 2, 1999, which
ruled the tariff to be illegal. Global Naps then filed a
Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals. The Appeals
Court denied the petition and upheld the order. The Supreme
Court's denial of certiorari lets stand the Appeals Court's
ruling, and the FCC Order.
|SEC Shuts Down 17 Year
Old's Internet Stock Fraud Operation
|1/7. The Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) filed its original
civil complaint in U.S. District Court (SDNY) against
Invest Better 2001 and John Does 1 through 10 on December 13,
2001, alleging the unregistered and fraudulent sale of
securities over the Internet. At that time, the SEC did not
know the identity of the principals behind the operation. See,
13 release. On January 7, the SEC identified Cole
Bartiromo, a 17 year old resident of Mission Viejo,
California, as a principal in Invest Better 2001 (IB2001).
The SEC filed an amended complaint naming Bartiromo. Also, the
District Court issued a partial final judgment and order, on
consent, which permanently enjoins Bartiromo and IB2001,
directs the return of funds obtained from investors, freezes
Bartiromo's and IB2001's assets, directs Bartiromo and IB2001
to provide an accounting, and grants other relief. See, January 7
Bartiromo used a web site and MSN bulletin board to offer
securities at guaranteed exorbitant returns on short term
investments. The SEC announced that it has located $900,000 in
ill gotten gains. The Director of the SEC's Enforcement
Division, Stephen Cutler, stated in a release that "just
about anyone -- even a 17 year old high school student -- can
mastermind a securities fraud over the Internet."
|Fed Circuit Vacates
Sanctions Order in Patent Infringement Action
|1/7. The U.S.
Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its opinion in Antonious
and Finnegan Henderson v. Spalding, reversing a
District Court award of sanctions against the law firm of Finnegan
FH is a large law firm specializing in intellectual property
law. It was the attorney for Anthony Antonious in a patent
infringement action. Antonious filed a complaint (prepared by
FH) in U.S. District Court (DMd) against Spalding alleging
infringement of a patent pertaining to golf club design. The
District Court granted defendants' motions for summary
judgment. Spalding also sought sanctions under FRCP 11(c)
against both Antonious and FH for failure to conduct a
reasonable prefiling factual investigation. The District Court
awarded sanctions. The Appeals Court vacated the sanctions
|Court Denies Microsoft's
Request for Trial Delay
|1/7. The U.S.
District Court (DC), Judge Colleen Kotelly presiding,
denied Microsoft' motion
to amend the scheduling order (to delay the trial date) in the
government antitrust lawsuit. Nine of the state plaintiffs
have not joined in the settlement agreement negotiated by
Microsoft, the Department of Justice, and the other state
|Tuesday, Jan 8
Court will hear oral argument in Festo Corporation v.
Shoketsu Kinzoku Koygo Kabushiki, No. 00-1543, a case
regarding the doctrine of equivalents in patent law.
7:00 AM - 5:15 PM. Day two of the Future
of Music Coalition conference. Location: Gaston Hall,
Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets, NW.
9:00 - 9:30 AM. Rep.
John Conyers (D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary
Committee, will deliver a keynote address at the Future of
Music Coalition conference.
|Wednesday, Jan 9
|10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Fantasy
Sports v. Sportsline.com, No. 01-1217, an appeal from the
U.S. District Court (EDVa). This is a patent infringement case
Patent 4,918,603, titled "Computerized Statistical
Football Game". (D.C. No. 99 CV 2131103; opinion at F.
Supp. 2d 886 (E.D.Va. 2000).) Location: Courtroom 402, 717
Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of
Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in ManTech
Telecommunications v. US, No. 01-5090. Location: Courtroom
402, 717 Madison Place, NW.
12:15 PM. The FCBA's
Telecom Competition Issues Committee will host a brown bag
lunch. Michael Katz, a Deputy Assistant Attorney
General for the DOJ's Antitrust
Division, and former Chief Economist of the FCC, will
speak about his observations on the similarities and
differences that characterize the two agencies' approach to
competition issues. Location: CTIA, 1250 Connecticut Ave., NW,
8th floor conference room.
12:15 PM. The FCBA's
Online Communications Committee will host a brown bag lunch. Bruce
Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology
Policy, will give a talk titled "Broadband, When? A View
from the Administration." RSVP to Scott Harris.
Location: Lampert & O'Connor, 5th floor, 1750 K St., NW.
|People and Appointments
|1/7. Mary Jo White stepped down as the U.S. Attorney
for the Southern District of New York. The incoming USA, James
Comey, was sworn in as her replacement. However, he has
yet to be confirmed by the Senate.
1/7. Bob Biersack was named Deputy Press Officer at the
Federal Election Commission
(FEC). He replaces Sharon Snyder, who retired. Biersack has
been in the Data Systems Development Division (DSDD) at the
FEC since 1983, specializing in analysis and web posting of
campaign finance data. He has also worked on the design and
implementation of the FEC's electronic filing program and
Internet accessible database. See, FEC
1/7. BT Group announced the appointment of three new directors
to its board: John Nelson (retiring chairman of Credit Suisse
First Boston (Europe) Ltd), Carl Symon (former senior
executive with the IBM), and Margaret Jay. Helen Alexander,
June de Moller, John Weston, and Neville Isdell will retire
from the board. See, BT
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