Tech Law Journal Daily E-Mail Alert
June 4, 2003, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 673.
Home Page | Calendar | Subscribe | Back Issues | Reference
Eighth Circuit Holds Ban on Sales of Violent Video Games to Minors Violates First Amendment

6/3. The U.S. Court of Appeals (8thCir) issued its opinion [9 pages in PDF] in Interactive Digital Software Association v. St. Louis County, a constitutional challenge to a local ordinance banning the sale of violent interactive video games to minors. The District Court upheld the ordinance. The Appeals Court reversed. It held that the ordinance is an impermissible prior restraint of protected speech.

St. Louis County passed an ordinance that makes it unlawful for any person knowingly to sell, rent, or make available graphically violent video games to minors, or to "permit the free play of" graphically violent video games by minors, without a parent or guardian’s consent.

The Interactive Digital Software Association and others filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (EDMo) against St. Louis County seeking declaratory judgment that the ordinance is unconstitutional under the free speech clause of the First Amendment. The District Court upheld the ordinance and dismissed the case. See, Interactive Digital Software Ass'n v. St. Louis County, 200 F. Supp. 2d 1126 (E.D. Mo. 2002). It concluded that video games are not a protected form of speech.

The Court of Appeals reversed. It first concluded that violent video games are speech. It wrote that "If the first amendment is versatile enough to ``shield [the] painting of Jackson Pollock, music of Arnold Schoenberg, or Jabberwocky verse of Lewis Carroll,´´ Hurley, 515 U.S. at 569, we see no reason why the pictures, graphic design, concept art, sounds, music, stories, and narrative present in video games are not entitled to a similar protection. The mere fact that they appear in a novel medium is of no legal consequence. Our review of the record convinces us that these ``violent´´ video games contain stories, imagery, ``ageold themes of literature,´´ and messages, ``even an ‘ideology,’ just as books and movies do.´´ See American Amusement Mach. Ass'n v. Kendrick, 244 F.3d 572, 577-78 (7th Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 994 (2001). Indeed, we find it telling that the County seeks to restrict access to these video games precisely because their content purportedly affects the thought or behavior of those who play them."

The Court added that "The fact that modern technology has increased viewer control does not render movies unprotected by the first amendment ..."

Next, the Court reasoned that since the ordinance affects video games on the basis of whether or not they are violent, it is a content based regulation, and therefore, must be subjected to the strict scrutiny test. That is, to be permissible, it must be shown that ordinance is "necessary to serve a compelling state interest and that it is narrowly tailored to achieve that end."

The County argued that protecting children from psychological harm is a compelling state interest. The Court rejected this argument. It wrote that while "We do not question that the County's interest in safeguarding the psychological well-being of minors is compelling in the abstract", it must "demonstrate that the recited harms are real, not merely conjectural, and that the regulation will in fact alleviate these harms in a direct and material way." The Court cited Turner Broadcasting v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622 (1994) on this point.

While the County had presented studies and expert testimony in the District Court in support of its arguments, the Appeals Court characterized this evidence as "conjecture", "vague generality", and "conclusory comments". The Appeals Court added that it requires "empirical support for its belief that ``violent´´ video games cause psychological harm to minors."

9th Circuit Rules That An Accrued Cause of Action for Copyright Infringement May Be Assigned

6/3. The U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) issued its opinion [9 pages in PDF] in Silvers v. Sony Pictures, a copyright infringement case. The Appeals Court affirmed a District Court ruling that an accrued cause of action for copyright infringement may be assigned to a third party, thereby granting the assignee the right to sue for the infringement violation.

Nancey Silvers authored a script for a TV movie. She did this as a work for hire for Frank and Bob Films II, Von Zerneck/Sertner Films, which owns the copyright to the movie.

CBS made a movie based upon the script. Sony Pictures Entertainment later made a movie which Silvers asserts infringed the copyright. The copyright holder then executed an "Assignment of Claims and Causes of Action" selling, transferring and assigning to Silvers "all right, title and interest in and to any claims and causes of action against Sony ..."

Silvers filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (CDCal) against Sony alleging copyright infringement. Sony moved to dismiss on the grounds that Silvers lacked standing to bring the action. The District Court denied the motion. Sony then brought this interlocutory appeal.

The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Court reviewed the Copyright Act (which does not provide for or preclude this assignment), the scant judicial precedent, and Nimmer on Copyright (which support Silvers). It held that an accrued cause of action for copyright infringement may be assigned to a third party, without any other copyright rights accompanying the assignment.

The opinion does not address assignment of unaccrued causes of action for copyright infringement.

The Court touched on public policy considerations, but only to note that there is no public policy reason for not allowing such assignments. The Court did not discuss why Silvers, or any other person, might seek such an assignment.

Authors may have interests in enforcing copyrights that are separate from the financial interests of the producers or publishers that own the copyright. Authors may seek to protect their reputations, as in the situation of plagiarism, or the quality or integrity of their work, as in the case of derivative works that degrade the original work of authorship.

Except for the limited Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) of 1990, the Congress has not implemented the moral rights of authors article of the Berne Convention. The present holding of the 9th Circuit contains nothing regarding Article 6 of the Berne Convention. However, this opinion affirms the availability of a procedure that, in a small way, may assist some authors in protecting some of the interests that Article 6 also seeks to protect.

4th Circuit Addresses Jurisdiction and Applicable Law in Cyber Squatting Case Involving Foreign Trademarks

6/2. The U.S. Court of Appeals (4thCir) issued its opinion [18 pages in PDF]  in, Inc. v. Barcelona, a case brought under the reverse hijacking provision of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, involving the domain name The Appeals Court analyzed the jurisdiction of the U.S. Courts and whether the applicable trademark law is that of the U.S. or Spain. The City of Barcelona prevailed before the UDRP panel, and in the District Court. The Appeals Court reversed the District Court, and remanded, in part, on the basis that the District Court had applied Spanish law.

Background. The Excelentisimo Ayuntamiento de Barcelona (City of Barcelona), which is located in Spain, owns about 150 trademarks that include the word Barcelona. It does not, however, own a trademark in the word Barcelona.

In 1996, Joan Nogueras Cobo (Nogueras), a Spanish citizen, registered the domain name in the name of his wife, also a Spanish citizen, with the domain registrar, Network Solutions. Network Solutions is located in Herndon, in the state of Virginia, which lies in the federal judiciary's Eastern District of Virginia. Nogeras and another person later formed a corporation,, Inc., in the state of Delaware.

Nogeras made little use of the domain name. He subsequently offered to sell the domain name to the City of Barcelona. In 2000, the City of Barcelona demanded that Nogeras transfer the domain name to the City. Nogeras did not. Rather, he transferred the domain name from his wife to his corporation,, Inc.

UDRP Proceeding. The City filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) authorized dispute resolution provider, invoking the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) promulgated by the ICANN.

In this UDRP proceeding, the City relied on Spanish law in asserting that, Inc. had no rights to the domain name while the City had numerous Spanish trademarks that contained the word Barcelona.

The WIPO panel concluded in its August 4, 2000, decision that the domain name was confusingly similar to the City's Spanish trademarks, that the corporation had no legitimate interest in the domain name, and that the corporation's registration and use of the domain name was in bad faith. The WIPO panel ordered the transfer of the domain name to the City.

District Court., Inc. then filed a complaint in U.S. District Court (EDVa) against the City of Barcelona seeking declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, pursuant to Section 1114(2)(D)(v) of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) that its use of the domain name does not infringe any trademark of the City of Barcelona. (There were other claims, but these were voluntarily dismissed, and are not at issue on appeal.)

The City raised, as an affirmative defense, that the District Court "lacks jurisdiction over Defendant regarding any cause of action other than Plaintiff’s challenge to the arbitrator's Order issued in the UDRP domain name arbitration proceeding." The City filed no counterclaim.

The District Court denied Inc.'s request for declaratory judgment, and ordered it to transfer the domain name to the City. In determining the City's trademark rights, the District Court applied Spanish, not U.S., law. See, February 22, 2002, Order and Memorandum Opinion [18 pages in PDF] of the District Court., Inc. then filed this appeal.

Statute. 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(v) is the "reverse hijacking" provision of the ACPA. It provides that "A domain name registrant whose domain name has been suspended, disabled, or transferred under a policy described under clause (ii)(II) may, upon notice to the mark owner, file a civil action to establish that the registration or use of the domain name by such registrant is not unlawful under this chapter. The court may grant injunctive relief to the domain name registrant, including the reactivation of the domain name or transfer of the domain name to the domain name registrant."

Appeals Court. The Court of Appeals reversed. In so doing, it addressed four issues. First, it examined whether the U.S. Courts have jurisdiction. In a lengthy analysis, it concluded that there is jurisdiction. Second, it addressed which law is applicable in determining the City's trademark rights, Spanish or U.S. It concluded that U.S. laws governs. Third, it applied U.S. law to the case, and concluded that the domain name registration was not unlawful. Fourth, the Court addressed whether the City had properly plead for the relief that it obtained from the District Court. Technically, the City did not file a counterclaim, so the Appeals Court vacated the relief provided to the City.

Jurisdiction. The Court addressed jurisdiction at length. The Court wrote that there is subject matter jurisdiction because the case was brought under the Lanham Act, thereby creating federal question jurisdiction. The Court also wrote that there is personal jurisdiction over the City because when the City filed its UDRP complaint if signed a stipulation that "the City Council agreed to be subject to the jurisdiction of ‘the Courts of Virginia (United States), only with respect to any challenge that may be made by the Respondent to a decision by the Administrative Panel to transfer or cancel the domain names that are [the] subject of this complaint.’"

The City of Barcelona also argued that the U.S. Court lack jurisdiction over the City "regarding any cause of action other than Plaintiff’s challenge to the arbitrator's Order issued in the UDRP domain name arbitration proceeding." The Appeals Court concluded that there is no jurisdictional issue here.

It reasoned that "domain names are issued pursuant to contractual arrangements under which the registrant agrees to a dispute resolution process, the UDRP, which is designed to resolve a large number of disputes involving domain names, but this process is not intended to interfere with or modify any "independent resolution" by a court of competent jurisdiction. Moreover, the UDRP makes no effort at unifying the law of trademarks among the nations served by the Internet. Rather, it forms part of a contractual policy developed by ICANN for use by registrars in administering the issuance and transfer of domain names. Indeed, it explicitly anticipates that judicial proceedings will continue under various nations’ laws applicable to the parties."

The Court continued that "The ACPA recognizes the UDRP only insofar as it constitutes a part of a policy followed by registrars in administering domain names, and the UDRP is relevant to actions brought under the ACPA in two contexts. First, the ACPA limits the liability of a registrar in respect to registering, transferring, disabling, or cancelling a domain name if it is done in the ``implementation of a reasonable policy>´´(including the UDRP) that prohibits registration of a domain name ``identical to, confusingly similar to, or dilutive of another’s mark.´´ 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(ii)(II) (emphasis added). Second, the ACPA authorizes a suit by a domain name registrant whose domain name has been suspended, disabled or transferred under that reasonable policy (including the UDRP) to seek a declaration that the registrant’s registration and use of the domain name involves no violation of the Lanham Act as well as an injunction returning the domain name."

Hence, the Court concluded that "while a decision by an ICANN-recognized panel might be a condition of, indeed the reason for, bringing an action under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(v), its recognition vel non is not jurisdictional. Jurisdiction to hear trademark matters is conferred on federal courts by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338, and a claim brought under the ACPA, which amended the Lanham Act, is a trademark matter over which federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction."

It added that "In sum, we conclude that we have jurisdiction over this dispute brought under the ACPA and the Lanham Act. Moreover, we give the decision of the WIPO panelist no deference in deciding this action under § 1114(2)(D)(v)."

Applicable Law. The Appeals Court next held that U.S. trademark law controls in this case. The Court began by reviewing the elements of Inc.'s claim for reverse hijacking under the ACPA. It noted that one of the elements, which is in dispute, is whether "the registration or use of the domain name by such registrant is not unlawful under this chapter." Whether or not the registration of the domain name was unlawful requires the District Court to apply the trademark law of some nation to determine whether it is unlawful.

The Appeals Court concluded that the District Court had applied Spanish trademark law, when it should have applied U.S. trademark law. It wrote that "It requires little discussion to demonstrate that this use of Spanish law by the district court was erroneous under the plain terms of the statute. The text of the ACPA explicitly requires application of the Lanham Act, not foreign law, to resolve an action brought under 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(v). Specifically, it authorizes an aggrieved domain name registrant to ``file a civil action to establish that the registration or use of the domain name by such registrant is not unlawful under this chapter.´´ 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(v) (emphasis added)."

Geographical Designations and the Lanham Act. Moreover, the Appeals Court did not stop at ruling on which law is applicable. It went on to apply U.S. trademark law to the facts of this case. It concluded that under U.S. law, Inc.'s registration of the domain name was not unlawful, because, under the Lanham Act, "the City Council could not obtain a trademark interest in a purely descriptive geographical designation that refers only to the City of Barcelona".

Phantom Counterclaim. Finally, the Appeals Court addressed the matter of pleading formalities. The District Court granted relief to the City for which it had not formally plead by way of counterclaim. The District Court referred to the City's "counterclaim in its Memorandum Opinion. However, the Appeals Court wrote that the City "never filed a counterclaim. The issues presented by the district court’s rulings on this ``counterclaim´´ are not before us on appeal because they were not properly before the district court ab initio. Accordingly, we vacate the district court’s rulings on all issues arising out of this phantom counterclaim."

The law firm of Oblon Spivak represents the City of Barcelona.

People and Appointments

6/3. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Daniel Bryant to be Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Policy. If confirmed by the Senate, he will replace Viet Dinh. Bryant is currently Counsel and Senior Advisor to Attorney General John Ashcroft. Before that, he was as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs. From July 1999 to February 2001, he was Majority Chief Counsel of the House Judiciary Committee's Crime Subcommittee. See, White House release.

More News

6/3. The Association for Communications Enterprises (ASCENT) and the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel) announced that they have "voted to explore the possibility of merging the two associations". See, CompTel release.

6/3. The House Financial Services Committee's Capital Markets Subcommittee held a hearing titled "Accounting Treatment of Employee Stock Options". See, HR 1372, the "Broad-Based Stock Option Plan Transparency Act", and the prepared testimony [PDF] of Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) and prepared testimony [PDF] of Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the sponsors of the bill. See also, prepared testimony in PDF of other witnesses: Deborah Nightingale (Sun Microsystems), Robert Herz (Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board), Paul Volcker (former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board), Craig Barrett (CEO of Intel), Roderick Hills (former Chairman of the SEC), and James Glassman (American Enterprise Institute).

Court Hears Arguments on Bar Associations' Challenges to FTC's Financial Privacy Rules

6/2. The U.S. District Court (DC) heard oral argument in both New York State Bar Association v. FTC and ABA v. FTC. These suits challenge to the application of the financial privacy provisions of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act to practicing attorneys. The hearing was on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) motions to dismiss the complaints. The Court took the matter under advisement, but only after asking numerous questions to counsel for the government that reflect a skepticism about the merits of the government's case.

The Congress passed the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, Pub. L. No. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338 (1999), which is better known as the Gramm Leach Bliley Act or GLB, to enable financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies, to associate. In addition, since this process provides financial institutions with increased access to the personal financial information of customers, the Congress included provisions intended to protect financial privacy.

The GLB Act's privacy provisions apply only to "financial institutions". The definition does not reference law firms or lawyers. The entire legislative history is almost devoid of reference to lawyers. The Act also delegated authority to the FTC, and other government agencies, to promulgate implementing regulations.

The FTC wrote rules that extend the privacy provisions of the act to lawyers. Many lawyers, and legal associations, are displeased.

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) filed a complaint [34 page PDF scan] in U.S. District Court (DC) challenging the FTC's rules to the extent that they extend the GLB Act's privacy provisions to lawyers, on the grounds that the statute does not authorize the FTC to write such rules. The NYSBA also asserted that the relevant portions of the rules are unconstitutional under the Constitution's Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment. Many other state bar associations have filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the NYSBA.

In addition, the American Bar Association (ABA) filed its own complaint in the U.S. District Court (DC) against the FTC. It mirrors the NYSBA's complaint on the statutory arguments, but contains no constitutional challenges. The two suits have not been consolidated.

Photo of Judge WaltonBoth cases have been assigned to Judge Reggie Walton. The FTC has moved to dismiss both complaints for failure to state a claim. Judge Walton (at right) held a joint hearing on both motions to dismiss on Monday, June 2, 2003. It lasted nearly two hours.

Warren Dennis of the law firm of Proskauer Rose argued the case for the NYSBA. David Roll of the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson argued the case for the ABA. To underscore the importance of this issue to the ABA, A.P. Carlton, President of the ABA, sat at counsel's table.

Michael Bergman of the FTC, argued the case for the FTC. Brian Sonfield, of the U.S. Attorneys Office, also argued for the FTC.

Bergman lead off. He had barely begun when Judge Walton interrupted, "the statute doesn't specifically identity lawyers". Bergman continued. Judge Walton interjected that lawyers have historically been subject to rules the protect the confidentiality of information obtained from clients.

Walton repeatedly asked where in the legislative history of the GLB Act is there anything that indicates that the Congress intended the statute to apply to lawyers. The FTC conceded that nothing in the legislative history reveals such an intent.

Judge Walton was concerned about the definition of "financial services". He asked "in what respect do you believe lawyers provide financial services?"

During argument on the Commerce Clause issue, the government argued that the authority for the GLB Act, and its regulation of financial privacy, is the Commerce Clause. Warren Dennis argued for the NYSBA that the Commerce Clause does not authorize regulation of privacy practices of lawyers. The government argued that the practice of law impacts interstate commerce, and cited Supreme Court cases in which the application of other statutes to lawyers was upheld.

Judge Walton questioned whether there is a "realistic impact", as opposed to a "theoretical impact" on interstate commerce. He reasoned that since lawyers are already subject to confidentiality rules, and face disbarment for violating them, they are not going to be engaging in activity prohibited by the FTC rule.

Dennis Roll also advanced the argument that in the cases cited by the government, the statutes at issue covered all "persons", while the GLB Act privacy provisions only cover "financial institutions".

Judge Walton frequently came back to what he saw as a conflict between the notice requirements of the FTC rules, and the fact that lawyers are already covered by confidentiality rules. For example, he asked the FTC's Bergman, "doesn't it trouble the FTC, given the historical nature of the attorney client relationship, that lawyers would be sending a notice to the client asking if he wants to opt out of that relationship."

He asked, "could a lawyer ask a client to opt out?" Judge Walton suggested that "it is problematic in and of itself."

Walton also asked that, given that the attorney client privilege "would categorically prohibit" a lawyer from disseminating information, why would the Congress pass a law requiring lawyers to send a notice to clients about this.

Judge Walton did not issue any rulings from the bench. However, he stated that he intended to rule by the end of the month of June.

A.P. Carlton spoke with reporters afterwards. He stated that "a lot of lawyers are complaining about this" and that it is one of the issues that he hears about most from practicing lawyers. He added that "it is very costly" and "you can't tell who it applies to".

He concluded, "we have got a good case here".

Moreover, if the bar associations loose this challenge, there is legislation pending in the Congress to exempt lawyers from the privacy provisions of the GLB Act. On February 13, 2003, Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and others introduced HR 781, the "Privacy Protection Clarification Act". See, story titled "Representatives Introduce Bill to Exempt Lawyers from GLB Privacy Provisions" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 606, February 18, 2003.

GAO Report Finds That Computer Weaknesses At IRS Put Taxpayer Data At Risk

6/2. The General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report [40 pages in PDF] titled "Information Security: Progress Made, but Weaknesses at the Internal Revenue Service Continue to Pose Risks".

The report found that at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) "computer control weaknesses continued to threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive systems and taxpayer data. IRS's inconsistent implementation of logical access controls at its facilities did not effectively prevent, limit, or detect access to computing resources. In addition, weaknesses in other information system controls (including physical security, segregation of duties, software change controls, and service continuity) reduced IRS's effectiveness in protecting and controlling physical access to assets, minimizing the risk of errors or fraud, mitigating the risk of unauthorized or inappropriate software programs, and ensuring the continuity of data processing operations when unexpected interruptions occur. Further, access to key computer applications was not always limited to authorized persons for authorized purposes. These weaknesses increased the vulnerability of data processed by IRS's information systems and continued to expose IRS's tax processing operations to disruption." (Parentheses in original.)

The report further found that an underlying cause is that the "IRS had not yet fully implemented certain elements of its agency wide information security program. As a result, the agency was not adequately (1) identifying and assessing risks to determine needed security measures; (2) establishing and implementing policies and controls to meet those needs; (3) promoting awareness and providing security related training so that employees understand the risks and the policies and controls that mitigate them; or (4) monitoring and evaluating established policies and controls, and mitigating known security vulnerabilities."

It concludes that "Until IRS can fully implement an effective program and adequately mitigate these weaknesses, it will remain at heightened risk of access to critical hardware and software by unauthorized individuals, who could intentionally or inadvertently add, alter, or delete sensitive data or computer programs. Such individuals could possibly obtain personal taxpayer information and use it to commit financial crimes in the taxpayer’s name (identity fraud), such as establishing credit and incurring debt."

The report was prepared for Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL) and Rep. William Clay (D-MO), the Chairman and ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations, and the Census.

The GAO has previously reported on security weaknesses at the IRS. For example, on March 31, 2001, the GAO released a report report [31 pages in PDF] titled "Information Security: IRS Electronic Filing Systems" which found that that "During last year's 2000 tax filing season, IRS did not implement adequate computer controls to ensure the security of its electronic filing systems and electronically transmitted taxpayer data." See, story titled "IRS Data Vulnerable" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 145, March 16, 2001.

See also, story titled "IRS Loses More Computers, Jeopardizes Taxpayer Info" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 493, August 16, 2002. See also, letter of January 7, 2002, from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) to Mitch Daniels, and story titled "Sen. Grassley Condemns IRS for 2,300 Missing Computers" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 342, January 9, 2002.

Wednesday, June 4

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for morning hour. It will consider several items under suspension of the rules. See, Republican Whip Notice.

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". See, notice. For more information, contact Scott Algeier at or 202 463-5845. Location: 1615 H Street, NW.

9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing regarding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) June 2 announcement regarding media ownership rules, and "issues related to the FCC's reauthorization". The five FCC Commissioners will testify. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

9:30 AM. The Intellectual Property Owner's Association (IPO) will hold a press conference regarding the "National Inventor of the Year". For more information, contact Emily Atkinson at 466-2396. Location: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

RESCHEDULED. 10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in InTouch Group v., 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. See, notice. 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.

Thursday, June 5

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for morning hour. It will consider several items under suspension of the rules. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Department of Justice (DOJ). Attorney General John Ashcroft will testify. The hearing will be webcast. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an executive business meeting. Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:30 AM. The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on several pending Department of Homeland Security nominations, including Joe Whitley to be General Counsel. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON. The Congressional Internet Caucus will host a panel discussion titled "Internet Tax Simplification: Is It Really That Simple?" The discussion will focus on the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), the existing internet tax moratorium, and the Business Activity Tax (BAT). The scheduled speakers include former Virginia Governor James Gilmore, Illinois State Senator Rauschenberger, Jean Cantrell (Circuit City), Paul Misener (Amazon), and Bartlett Cleland (Institute for Policy Innovation). RSVP to or 202 638-4370. Location: Room HC-5, U.S. Capitol Building.

Friday, June 6

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Akamai Technology v. Cable & Wireless, No. 03-1007. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Custom Computer v. Paychex Properties, No. 03-1148. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Wireless Telecommunications Practice Committee will host a luncheon. The topic will be "State Issues in Wireless Regulation". The speakers will include Dane Snowden (FCC), Steve Berry (CTIA), Jeff Kramer (AARP), and Jessica Zufola (NARUC). The price to attend is $15. RSVP to Wendy Parish at by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, June 4. Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street, NW.

Tuesday, June 10

8:00 AM - 5:30 PM. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a conference titled "Promoting Creativity: Copyright in the Internet Age". The speakers will include Brad Brown (George Mason University Tech Center), James Burger (Dow Lohnes & Albertson), Richard Epstein (University of Chicago), Mike Godwin (Public Knowledge), Scott Kieff (Washington University), Edmund Kitch (University of Virginia), Stanley Liebowitz (University of Texas at Dallas), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), James Delong (PFF), Michael Abramowicz (GMU School of Law), Greg Aharonian (Patent News), Michael Einhorn, Bruce Kobayashi (GMU School of Law), Katherine Lawrence (University of Michigan Business School), Adam Mossoff (Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit), Harold Furchgott-Roth, Solveig Singleton (CEI), and William Adkinson (PFF). RSVP to Brooke Emmerick at 202 289-8928 or Location: J.W. Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will meet. The agenda includes a discussion of the status of the work of its workforce education and information
technology manufacturing competitiveness subcommittees, a discussion of draft report from the subcommittee on the science and technology of combating terrorism, and a discussion of its review of the federal National Nanotechnology Initiative. See, notice in the Federal Register, May 29, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 103, at pages 32037 - 32038. Location: Washington Room (roof level), Hotel Washington, 15th Street & Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

1:00 PM. The House Ways and Means Committee's Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled "Implementation of U.S. Bilateral Free Trade Agreements with Chile and Singapore". Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

Wednesday, June 11

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "The Spectrum Needs of Our Nation's First Responders". The hearing will be webcast. Press contact: Ken Johnson or Jon Tripp at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123 Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a program titled "Taxing the Internet: Questions for Governors and Legislators". Lunch will follow the program. Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado, will speak. See, Cato notice. Location: 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

About Tech Law Journal
Tech Law Journal publishes a free access web site and subscription e-mail alert. The basic rate for a subscription to the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert is $250 per year. However, there are discounts for subscribers with multiple recipients. Free one month trial subscriptions are available. Also, free subscriptions are available for journalists, federal elected officials, and employees of the Congress, courts, and executive branch. The TLJ web site is free access. However, copies of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert are not published in the web site until one month after writing. See, subscription information page.

Contact: 202-364-8882; E-mail.
P.O. Box 4851, Washington DC, 20008.
Privacy Policy
Notices & Disclaimers
Copyright 1998 - 2003 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.