|Tax Bill Signed, Without Broadband
Expensing Provision or IP Deductions Limitation
5/28. The House passed the conference report on
HR 2, the
Jobs and Growth Reconciliation Tax Act of 2003,
by a vote of 231-200 on May 22, 2003. See,
Call No. 225. The Senate passed the conference
report on HR 2 by a vote of 50-50 on May 22. See,
Roll Call No. 196. President Bush signed the bill on May 28. See,
statement by Bush at signing ceremony.
The conference report deleted two technology related provisions that had
been in the version of the bill passed by the Senate on May 15, 2003. (These
three provisions were not in President Bush's proposal, or in the version of the
bill passed by the House on May 9.)
First, the conference report leaves out a provision for the expensing of
certain broadband expenditures. The provision, which was offered as an amendment
by Sen. Conrad Burns
(R-MT), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
and others, would have amended the
Internal Revenue Code to allow the expensing of certain broadband internet
access expenditures. It was very similar to the stand alone bill,
introduced on January 14, 2003, by Sen. Burns and others.
See, story titled "Sen. Burns and Sen. Baucus Introduce Broadband
Expensing Bill" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 587, January 21, 2003. See also, story titled
"Senate Passes Tax Bill With Broadband
Expensing Amendment" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 664, May 19, 2003.
Second, the conference report leaves out Section 364
of the Senate bill titled "Limitation of Deduction for Charitable Contributions of Patents and
Similar Property". This section would have limited the amount of deductions for charitable
contributions of patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and other
It would amended Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code, which is codified at
26 U.S.C. § 170.
This section provides for the deduction of charitable contributions made within
the tax year. Subsection 170(e) provides for the
deduction of certain contributions of ordinary income and capital gain property.
See, story titled "Senate Passes Tax Bill with Limitation of
Deduction for Charitable Contributions of Intellectual Property" in TLJ Daily
E-Mail Alert No. 664, May 19, 2003.
However, the conference report includes a section that revises the property
subject to IRC Section 179 expensing to include certain software. It includes a
Section 202, titled "Increased Expensing for Small Business". It amends
Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code, which is codified at
§ 179, and titled "Election to expense certain
depreciable business assets". The bill adds to the definition of "Section 179
property" several items, including certain off the shelf software.
Specifically, it adds "computer software (as defined in section
197(e)(3)(B)) which is described in section 197(e)(3)(A)(i), to which section
167 applies, and which is placed in service in a taxable year beginning after
2002 and before 2006". (Parentheses in original.)
|Media Security and Reliability Council
5/28. The Media Security and Reliability
Council (MSRC) held a meeting at which it considered
Best Practices Recommendations [5 pages in MS Word] to ensure effective
delivery of emergency information to the public during terrorist attacks,
natural disasters, and other emergencies. The MSRC's Advisory Committee is
scheduled to complete voting on these recommendations by June 18, 2003.
The MSRC provides recommendations to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and
FitzSimons, P/CEO of the Tribune Company,
is its Chairman. It met at the FCC's headquarters building in Washington DC.
The lead recommendation is that "All media companies should reassess their
vulnerabilities considering the possibility of deliberate attacks in addition to
natural disasters and equipment failures and take appropriate measures to
prevent loss of service and to expedite rapid recovery."
recommendation is that "Government should coordinate development of a Media
Common Alert Protocol (MCAP). This protocol should be designed to deliver
emergency messages via digital networks. It should flow over all methods of
digital transport and be received by all digital receivers. This protocol
should be optimized for point-to-multi-point networks and devices only."
These recommendations deal primarily with existing broadcast radio and TV, cable and
DBS technologies. However, the recommendations also state that "Research into
development of alternative, redundant and/or supplemental means of communicating
emergency information to the public should be accelerated." In particular, "An
expanded government partnership with the media, consumer electronics and
computer industries should harness free market innovation, foster competition,
and enhance interoperability to meet changing national warning needs."
The FCC issued a
[3 pages in PDF] summarizing the meeting, and listing some best practices
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,
stated in his
remarks at the meeting that "We need to protect those means by which we
communicate timely and accurate information to the public during periods of
Ridge also stated that "You should know that, during the top-off exercise
that you-all covered and
commented upon last week, where we had the radiological device detonated in
Seattle and the biological challenge in, the plague, in Chicago, that for the
purposes of the exercise, we engaged Frank Sesno to set up a VNN network so that
we could work through the entire five days through the media, because we
understand that communication during times of crisis is a critical part of what
we do, so literally, every day."
Ridge added that "You all own or control critical pieces of infrastructure
-- communication. We
need you during times of crisis, and I suspect that some of your best practices
will involve how you can actually protect your assets, your physical and your
|Bill Would Facilitate Internet Sale of
Replacement Contact Lenses
5/22. Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC),
Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-LA),
Rep. James Sensenbrenner
(R-WI), and Rep. Jim Matheson
the "Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act". The bill does not
reference the internet or electronic commerce. However, if passed, it would
remove some barriers to the sale of replacement contact lenses over the
Rep. Burr (at
right) is a member of the House
Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill. Rep. Tauzin, a
cosponsor, is the Chairman of the Committee.
The bill provides, in part, that "Upon completion of a contact lens
fitting, a prescriber --
(1) whether or not requested by the patient, shall provide to the patient a copy
of the contact lens prescription; and
(2) shall, as directed by any person designated to act on behalf of the patient,
provide or verify the contact lens prescription by electronic or other means."
The bill also provides that "A prescriber may not --
(1) require purchase of contact lenses from the prescriber or from another
person as a condition of providing a copy of a prescription or verification of a
prescription under subsection (a);
(2) require payment in addition to the examination fee as a condition of
providing a copy of a prescription or verification of a prescription under
subsection (a); or
(3) require the patient to sign a waiver or release as a condition of verifying
or releasing a prescription."
The bill would also require the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) to "undertake a study to examine the strength
of competition in the sale of prescription contact lenses."
The House Commerce Committee and the FTC have previously examined this issue.
On September 26, 2002, the Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and
Consumer Protection held a hearing that addressed several issues, including
contact lenses. See, TLJ
story titled "House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on State Impediments to
E-Commerce", September 26, 2002.
Joe Zeidner of 1-800- CONTACTS argued the case against state regulation of
the sale of contact lenses over the Internet. See,
prepared statement. Ed Cruz, Director of the Federal Trade
Commission's (FTC) Office of Policy Planning, also testified. He presented
prepared statement, which reviewed the FTC's March 27, 2002,
comment submitted to the State of
Connecticut regarding the sale of disposable replacement contact lenses over the
internet. The FTC wrote that "requiring stand alone sellers of replacement
contact lenses to obtain Connecticut optician and optical establishment licenses
would likely increase consumer costs while producing no offsetting health
benefits" and "serve as a barrier to the expansion of Internet commerce". See
also, story titled "FTC Backs Internet Sales of Contact Lenses" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 399, March 29, 2002.
In addition the FTC held a three day workshop on October 8-10, 2002, that
types of regulatory barriers to e-commerce, including those pertaining to
contact lenses. See,
John Tennis, Assistant Attorney General for the state of Maryland, wrote in
prepared statement that "The Attorneys General of the 31 States that
prosecuted the contact lens
antitrust litigation believe that some lens manufacturers and some eye care
professionals (``ECPs´´) are making an effort to restrict the sale of disposable
contact lenses through all forms of discount sales, including the Internet, mail
order, pharmacies and mass merchandisers." (See, In re Disposable Contact Lens
Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1030 (M.D. Fla.).)
He continued that "The Attorneys General brought their lawsuit, in 1996,
because of specific and
overwhelming evidence that lens manufacturers entered into agreements with
organized optometry to prevent discount sellers from selling replacement lenses
to consumers. We found that the actions to exclude the discount sellers and
reserve sales of replacement lenses exclusively to ECPs resulted in fewer
choices for consumers of where to buy lenses, in higher prices to consumers to
purchase lenses and a risk that high ECP prices were discouraging lens wearers
from purchasing new lenses as frequently as recommended."
See also, other prepared statements submitted at the FTC's
Food and Drug Admistration (FDA),
Jonathan Coon (1-800 CONTACTS),
Pat Cummings (American Optometric Association),
Paul Halpern (National Association of Optometrists and Opticians),
Morris Kleiner (University of Minnesota), and
Gerald Ostrov (Johnson & Johnson).
|Rep. Forbes Introduces Bill to Provide Grants for Digital
and Wireless Technology for MSIs
5/21. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
introduced HR 2183,
the "Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity
Act of 2003". This is the companion bill to
S 196, which
the Senate passed on April 30, 2003.
Forbes (at right) stated in a
that "Full access to technology has become a standard,
not a bonus, in how we communicate and do our jobs every day ... Minority Serving Institutions
lack even the standard information and digital
technology infrastructure, placing students at a disadvantage to compete and
qualify for America’s best paying jobs."
HR 2183 was referred to the House
Science Committee and the House Education
and Workforce Committee.
The bill would create a new office at the
National Science Foundation (NSF) named the Office of Digital and Wireless
Network Technology (ODWNT). The bill would also authorize the appropriation of
$250,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2004 through 2008 for grants to be
administered by this new office.
The institutions eligible for grants would include "a historically Black
college or university", "a Hispanic-serving institution", and "a tribally
controlled college or university".
Grants could be used "to acquire the equipment, instrumentation, networking
capability, hardware and software, digital network technology, wireless
technology, and infrastructure". Grants could also be used "to develop and
provide educational services, including faculty development, to prepare students
or faculty ...". Grants could also be used to provide teacher training, and to
"implement joint projects and consortia to provide education regarding
See, story titled "Sen. Allen Introduces Bill to Create Technology Grant
Program for MSIs" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 586, January 20, 2003; story titled "Senate Committee Approves
Technology Grant Program for Minority Serving Institutions" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 623, March 14, 2003; and story titled "Senate Passes Technology Grant Bill"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 655, May 5, 2003.
|Microsoft Licenses Technology at Issue in
Caldera v. IBM
5/19. Caldera Systems, dba SCO Group,
announced in a
release that SCO "has licensed its UNIX technology including a patent and
source code licenses
to Microsoft Corporation. The licensing deal ensures Microsoft's intellectual
property compliance across all Microsoft solutions and will better enable
Microsoft to ensure compatibility with UNIX and UNIX services."
On March 6, 2003, Caldera filed a
state court in Utah against IBM alleging
misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition and
breach of contract in connection with IBM's alleged use of Caldera's proprietary UNIX
The complaint alleges that "UNIX is a computer operating system program and
related software originally developed by AT&T Bell Laboratories (``AT&T´´). SCO/UNIX
is a modification of UNIX and related software developed by SCO and its
predecessors. UNIX and SCO/UNIX are widely used in the corporate, or
``enterprise,´´ computing environment."
It continues that "As a result of its acquisition of the rights to UNIX from
AT&T and its own development of UNIX and SCO/UNIX, SCO is the present owner of
both UNIX and SCO/UNIX software. UNIX and SCO/UNIX are valuable software
programs and SCO and its predecessors have invested hundreds of millions of
dollars in their development and enhancement. SCO (which, as used herein,
includes its predecessor) has licensed UNIX and SCO/UNIX both to software
vendors such as IBM and computer end-users such as McDonald's. The UNIX and SCO/UNIX
licenses granted to software vendors and end-users are limited licenses, which
impose restrictions and obligations on the licensees designed to protect the
economic value of UNIX and SCO/UNIX." (Parentheses in original.)
Caldera also states in its complaint that "UNIX and SCO/UNIX compete with
other proprietary programs and with “open
source” software, which is software dedicated to the public. There are
advantages of proprietary programs to end-users (including their proprietary
functions in which their developers have invested large amounts of time and
money). There are also advantages to open source programs to end-users
(including that they do not have to pay for the program itself) and to software
vendors (whom market the additional products and services that end-users who use
open source programs ordinarily require). This case is not about the debate
about the relative merits of proprietary versus open source software. Nor is
this case about IBM’s right to develop and promote open source software if it
decides to do so in furtherance of its independent business objectives, so long
as it does so without SCO’s proprietary information. This case is, and is only,
about the right of SCO not to have its proprietary software misappropriated and
misused in violation of its written agreements and well-settled law."
(Parentheses in original.)
The complaint concludes that "... IBM has breached its own obligations to
SCO, induced and encouraged others
to breach their obligations to SCO, interfered with SCO’s business, and engaged
in unfair competition with SCO, including by
a) misusing and misappropriating SCO’s proprietary software;
b) inducing, encouraging, and enabling others to misuse and misappropriate SCO’s
proprietary software; and
c) incorporating (and inducing, encouraging, and enabling others to incorporate)
SCO’s proprietary software into open source software offerings." (Parentheses in
IBM filed its
answer [17 page PDF scan] on April 30, 2003. It asserted that "contrary to
Caldera's allegations, by its lawsuit, Caldera seeks to hold up the open source
community (and development of Linux in particular) by improperly seeking to
assert proprietary rights over important, widely used technology and impeding
the use of that technology by the open source community." (Parentheses in
IBM added that it "has not engaged in any wrongdoing. Contrary to Caldera's unsupported
assertions, IBM has not misappropriated any trade secrets; it has not engaged in
unfair competition; it has not interfered with Caldera's contracts; and it has
not breached contractual obligations to Caldera. In any event, IBM has the
irrevocable, fully paid-up, and perpetual rights to use the ``proprietary
software´´ that it is alleged to have misappropriated or misused."
Microsoft's licensing of UNIX technology may be noteworthy. On the one hand, Microsoft's
licensing of Caldera's UNIX technology lends credibility to Caldera's claims in
its lawsuit against IBM. Moreover, Microsoft and Caldera have a history of
adversity. For example, Caldera sued Microsoft alleging violation of federal
antitrust laws. See, for example,
Complaint. Also, Caldera is represented by the law firms of
Boies Schiller & Flexner and Hatch
James & Dodge. David Boies was lead trial counsel for the Department of Justice
in the trial of its antitrust case against Microsoft. Brent Hatch is the son of
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the Chairman of
the Senate Judiciary Committee,
and Microsoft's leading critic in the Senate.
On the other hand, Microsoft now competes with IBM in the server software
market. Microsoft's licensing of Caldera technology could harm IBM's Linux strategy.
IBM is represented by Cravath Swain, and locally, by Snell & Wilmer. The
case is pending in the Third Judicial District of Salt Lake County, State of Utah.
It is Civil No. 2:03cv0294. Judge Dale Kimball is presiding.
|Sen. Breaux Criticizes Award of Government
Contract to MCI WorldCom
5/23. Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) spoke
in the Senate about MCI WorldCom. He stated that "MCI committed fraud on a scale
that is offensive. It deceived everyone -- its employees and retirees, its
shareholders and State and Federal officials. The SEC took a step in the right
direction by punishing this company with the largest fine in corporate history."
"But I fear the rest of the Federal Government may not be following the lead
of the SEC. For example, I understand that MCI has been given a contract, valued
between $23 to $35 million, to build advanced wireless networks in Iraq. The
Federal Government should not be rewarding bad actors with precious government
contracts", said Sen. Breaux.
He concluded that "Other press reports indicate MCI is also using the Tax
Code to reap benefits
that should not be available to companies that have committed such egregious
fraud. I urge the Senate Finance Committee to investigate these allegations as
soon as possible." See, Congressional Record, May 23, 2003, at page
5/27. The Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative (USTR) announced that the U.S. and Chile will sign the U.S.
Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Friday, June 6, 2003, in Miami, Florida.
See, USTR release.
On April 3, 2003, the USTR released a draft
text of the U.S.
Chile FTA. It is a large document. Several chapters pertain specifically to
technology and communications. See especially,
Chapter 15 [3
pages in PDF] pertaining to electronic commerce,
Chapter 17 [32
pages in PDF] regarding intellectual property rights, and
Chapter 13 [16
pages in PDF] regarding telecommunications. See also, story titled "USTR Releases US
Chile FTA" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 637, April 4, 2003.
5/23. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA)
and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) sent a
[2 pages in PDF] to Secretary of State Colin Powell regarding the Free Trade
Area of the Americas ministerial in November 2003 in Miami, Florida. They noted
that a General Accounting Office (GAO) report
found "that the Department of State was providing
only limited assistance to the USTR as it prepares for the ministerial." The two
Senators continued that "While we fully understand that USTR is the lead agency
responsible for preparations, the Department of State is one of the few agencies
with the expertise and resources required to organize and coordinate a
multinational meeting of this magnitude." The urged the State Department to "do
everything it can over the next several months to work with USTR and provide the
resources necessary to help ensure that the FTAA ministerial is a success."
|The Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert was not
published on Monday, May 26, Tuesday, May 27, or Wednesday, May
28, for a Memorial Day break.
|FCC to Consider Media Ownership Rules on
5/23. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) announced the
[PDF] for its June 2, 2003 meeting. It lists only one
item -- media ownership rules. It states that "The Commission will consider a
Report and Order concerning its broadcast multiple ownership rules."
This Report and Order will be issued in several proceedings:
Review of the Commission's Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted
Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (MB Docket No.
02-277); Cross-Ownership of Broadcast Stations and Newspapers (MM Docket No.
01-235); Rules and Policies Concerning Multiple Ownership of Radio Broadcast
Stations in Local Markets (MM Docket No. 01-317); and Definition of Radio
Markets (MM Docket No. 00-244).
The meeting will be at 9:30 AM in the FCC's Commission Meeting Room. The
meeting will be webcast.
|DHS and NIST to Collaborate
5/22. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)
Science and Technology Directorate and the Department of Commerce's (DOC)
Technology Administration (TA), which
includes the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST), entered into a
Understanding (MOU) [2 pages in MS Word] which states that "the Directorate
and TA seek to collaborate on research and planning activities, and share where
appropriate facilities, personnel, and
MOU was signed by Phil Bond
(at right), the Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, and
the head of the DHS's Science and Technology Directorate. Bond stated in a
DHS release that
"this MOU allows the Department to play a significant and useful research and
technology development role in supporting the DHS mission".
This DHS release also states that "The MOU develops a formal working
relationship with the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and the TA's
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST is also working to
develop ``interoperability´´ standards for first responders and is doing work on
The DHS published a copy of this short MOU in its web site in MS Word format.
Moreover, the DHS published a version, which, when displayed in the "markup
view", reveals additions and deletions to the text of the document. Hence, the
DHS published to the public earlier drafts of this MOU.
An earlier draft, which was significantly longer, provided details on the
specific areas where the TA and DHS would collaborate. The final draft removed
all of these specifics, and left only the broad principle that the two entities
One paragraph that was in an earlier draft, but deleted from the final draft,
pertained to collaboration on cyber security.
This deleted paragraph provided that "The Directorate has an interest in the
evaluation of measurement methods used in security technologies. Through a
linkage with NIST, the Directorate can deliver physical standards to its
customers that improve assurance of security system performance. In addition,
NIST has a long history of providing information technology (IT) best practices
and guidelines. NIST also has a legislative mandate to provide Federal
Information Processing Standards (FIPS) for the Federal government, many of
which are adopted by private industry and focused on cybersecurity. Through a
linkage with the Directorate, NIST can improve its understanding of homeland
security requirements for measurement science and standards support while
augmenting the science and engineering infrastructure of its own laboratories.
Indeed, closer integration of reinforcing activities is entirely consistent with
the missions and long-range goals of both agencies."
When the Bush administration originally proposed creating the new DHS in the
summer of 2002, it proposed moving the NIST's
Computer Security Division (CSD)
to the new DHS. See,
(107th Congress), as introduced on June 24, 2002, at Section 202, paragraph (4).
Some technology companies, groups that represent them, and
technophiles in Congress, objected to moving the CSD. They argued that the DHS
would have a law enforcement and national security focus that is inconsistent with the standards
setting process. For example, the CSD deals with encryption standards, and law
enforcement authorities and national security agencies have a history of opposing
widespread use of strong encryption products by the private sector.
Moreover, the draft MOU specifically provided for "technical collaboration,
technical review of each others work" in the area of "encryption standards".
The draft MOU provided that "The following list
describes a few areas of technical interest to the Directorate where NIST has
significant expertise. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Accordingly, it is likely that additional areas will be appropriate for future
interactions. The Directorate and NIST may carry out these and other shared
objectives through joint technical collaboration, technical review of each
other’s work, joint publications, and such other mechanisms as may be mutually
agreeable. ... Cybersecurity such as encryption standards and cryptography."
In the summer of 2002, the administration lost on this issue, and the CSD remained at the
See, story titled "Rep. Goodlatte and Clark Debate Moving CSD to DHS" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 472, July 18, 2002. See also, July 17, 2002,
from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA),
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), and other
Representatives, to former Speaker Dick Armey (R-TX) opposing moving the CSD to
the DHS. See also, stories titled "Key Provisions of the Select Committee
Version of the Homeland Security Act" and "House Select Committee Approves
Homeland Security Act" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 474, July 22, 2002.
|Thursday, May 29
The House and Senate will be in recess for the Memorial Day District Work
Period from May 26 through May 30.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Cable Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch.
The speaker will be Ken Ferree, Bureau Chief of the Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) Media
Bureau. RSVP to Wendy Parish at
email@example.com. Location: National Cable &
Telecommunications Association (NCTA), 1724 Massachusetts Ave., NW, 2nd
Floor Conference Room.
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee (YLC) will host a brown bag
lunch. The topics will be "YLC Year in Review, Planning Meeting 2003, and
Elections". For more info contact Yaron Dori at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Ryan Wallach at
Willkie Farr & Gallagher, 1875 K St.,
Deadline to submit to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the 2003 Award Applications
for the Malcolm Baldrige awards.
Application Form [MS Word].
|Friday, May 30
10:00 AM. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) will a public hearing its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)
to amend its regulations to implement the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act of
2002 (MPIA). See,
notice in the Federal Register, March 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 60, at Pages
15119 - 15138. Location: USPTO, Patent Theater, 2121 Crystal Drive, Room 200,
10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC) Office
of Engineering and Technology (OET) will host a tutorial titled "Radio
Noise Measurement and Related Standards". The speaker will be Akira Sugiura, a
professor at Tohoku University. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room
(TW-C305), 445 12th Street, SW.
10:30 AM. The U.S. District Court (DC) will hold a status hearing in FTC
v. Capital City Mortgage, D.C. No. 1:1998cv0237. Location: Courtroom 19.
12:00 NOON. Howard Beales, Director of the
Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of
Consumer Protection, will speak on "Marketing and the Law" at an event titled
"2003 American Marketing Association Forum -- Emerging Issues and Challenges
in Public Policy. Location: Marriott at Metro Center Hotel, 775 12th Street,
Deadline to submit comments to the Small
Business Administration (SBA) in response to its proposal to grant a
waiver of the Nonmanufacturer Rule for "overhead fiber optic groundwire and
ancillary hardware components". The Nonmanufacturer Rule is found at
13 CFR 121.406(b). The notice states that the reason for the proposed
waiver is that "there are no small business manufacturers or processors in the
Federal market". See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 102, at Pages
|Monday, June 2
9:30 AM. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) will hold a meeting. It is scheduled to take action in its
review of media ownership rules. See,
notice [PDF]. The event will be webcast. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St., SW.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
will host a program titled "Competition in the Postal Industry".
This is the third event of an AEI series examining the potential of modern
communications technology, a more open and competitive market environment, and
other topics. This event will focus on antitrust issues.
The speakers will be
Rick Geddes (Cornell University), Bill Kovacic (Federal
Trade Commission), David Sappington (University of Florida), and
Gregory Sidak (AEI).
AEI notice. Location: 1150 17th Street, NW.
Deadline to submit comments to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding its proposal
to withdraw seventeen Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). The
list of FIPS publications proposed for withdrawal includes FIPS 73, Guidelines
for Security of Computer Applications; FIPS 83, Guideline on User
Authentication Techniques for Computer Network Access Control; FIPS 102,
Guideline for Computer Security Certification and Accreditation; FIPS 112,
Password Usage; and FIPS 127-2, Database Language SQL (ANSI X3.135-1992). See,
notice in the Federal Register, March 4, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 42, at Pages
Deadline to submit comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding its slamming rules. Slamming is the
unauthorized changing of subscriber's
selection of a provider of telephone exchange service or telephone toll service.
The FCC adopted this NPRM on February 28, 2003, and released it on March
Third Order on Reconsideration and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
[63 pages in PDF]. This is FCC Docket No. 94-129. See also,
release [PDF]. For more information, contact Kelli Farmer at 202 418-7057.
Deadline to submit
comments to the Copyright Office
(CO) in response to its request for public comments on "proposed regulations
that set rates and terms for the use of sound recordings in eligible
nonsubscription transmissions for the 2003 and 2004 statutory licensing
period, and for the use of sound recordings in transmissions made by new
subscription services from 1998 through December 31, 2004, in addition to the
making of ephemeral recordings necessary for the facilitation of such
notice in the Federal Register, May 1, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 84, at Pages 23241 - 23249.
notice in the Federal Register, which also sets June 19, 2003, as the
deadline for public comments.
5:00 PM. Deadline to submit nominations to the Department of Commerce's
Technology Administration for appointment
to the Joint High Level Advisory Panel of the United States Israel Science and
Technology Commission. See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 2, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 85, at Pages
23443 - 23444.
|Wednesday, June 4
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The U.S. Chamber
of Commerce, Price
Waterhouse Coopers, and
Evolutionary Technologies International will host a workshop titled "Public-Private
IT Security Information Sharing: Addressing Next-Generation Challenges".
For more information, contact Scott Algeier at
email@example.com or 202
463-5845. Location: 1615 H Street, NW.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in InTouch Group v. Amazon.com,
No. 02-1631. This is an appeal from the
U.S. District Court (NDCal) in a
patent infringement case (D.C. No. C-00-1156-DLJ) involving internet audio
technology. Intouch alleged that
Amazon's, and others', method of
interactive delivery of portions of recorded music infringe its business
method patent. See,
U.S. Patent No. 5,237,157, titled "Kiosk apparatus and method for point of
preview and for compilation of market data", and
U.S. Patent No. 5,963,916 titled "Network apparatus and method for preview
of music products and compilation of market data". Location: Courtroom 203,
717 Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM. The House Commerce
Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold
a hearing titled "Wireless E-911 Implementation: Progress and Remaining
Hurdles". The hearing will be webcast. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.
The Intellectual Property Owners Association
(IPO) will hold a Board of Directors Meeting. For more information, call 202 466-2396.
Location: Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.
The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) will
host an event titled "Inventor of the Year".
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) is
scheduled to speak. For more information, call 202
466-2396. Location: Caucus Room, Cannon Building.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold a
one day workshop on the role of technology in helping businesses protect the privacy
of personal information, including the steps taken to keep their information secure.
See, FTC release and
notice in the Federal Register, February 26, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 38, at
Pages 8904 - 8906. Location: FTC, 601 New Jersey Ave., NW.
|People and Appointments
5/27. Fredrick Wentland was named Associate Administrator for Spectrum
Management at the Department of Commerce's
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). He has
worked for the NTIA for 22 years. He replaces William Hatch, who retired
5/23. Mike Meece was named Special Assistant to the President and
Deputy Director of the Office of Public Liaison. He was previously Deputy Chief
of Staff for Secretary of Commerce
5/23. Mike Gallagher was named Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and
Counselor to Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans. He was previously Deputy
Assistant Secretary for the National Telecommunications and Information
5/23. Darren Grubb was named Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at
the Department of Commerce. He was previously Deputy Associate Director of
Global Communications at the White House.
5/27. The Supreme Court denied
certiorari, without opinion, in Texas Digital Systems v. Telegenix,
S.C. No. 02-1484. See,
List [9 pages in PDF] at page 3. This is a patent infringement case involves
controlling the color of pixels in a LED display. See, story titled "Fed Circuit
Rules in Patent Case Involving LED Display" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 531, October 21, 2003.
5/27. The Supreme Court issued
several non tech related opinions. It also announced that it "will take a recess
from today until Monday, June 2, 2003." See,
List [9 pages in PDF] at page 11.
5/27. A trial jury of the U.S.
District Court (EDVa) returned its verdict in MercExchange
v. Ebay, a patent infringement case. The case involves
U.S. Patent No. 5,845,265, titled "Consignment nodes", and other patents
pertaining to online sales. The jury found willful infringement, and awarded
$35 Million in damages.
5/28. The Small Business Administration
(SBA) published a
notice in the Federal Register announcing that it proposes to grant a waiver
of the Nonmanufacturer Rule for "overhead fiber optic groundwire and ancillary
hardware components". The Nonmanufacturer Rule is found at
13 CFR 121.406(b). The notice also requests public comments, by May 30,
2003. The notice states that the reason for the proposed waiver is that "there
are no small business manufacturers or processors in the Federal market".
However, the notice does not explain why the SBA proposes to take action with
only two days notice, during a holiday week. See, Federal Register, May 28,
2003, Vol. 68, No. 102, at Pages 31641-31642.
5/27. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) announced that it will delay Auction 53, regarding
licenses in the Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service (MVDDS), which
had been scheduled to start on June 25, 2003. See,
notice in Federal Register, May 27, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 101, at pages 28825 -
5/27. The Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) published its semi annual
Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. See, Federal
Register, May 27, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 101, at pages 31310 - 31359.
5/27. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
published its semi annual
Unified Regulatory Agenda. See, Federal Register, May 27, 2003, Vol. 68, No.
101, at pages 31398 - 31404.
5/27. The Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) published its semi annual
Unified Regulatory Agenda, See, Federal Register, May 27, 2003, Vol. 68, No.
101, at pages 30280 - 30388.
5/27. The Department of Justice (DOJ)
published its semi annual
Unified Regulatory Agenda, See, Federal Register, May 27, 2003, Vol. 68, No.
101, at pages 30498 - 30547.
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