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February 2, 2005, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 1,068.
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Senate Judiciary Committee to Mark Up Class Action Fairness Act

2/1. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), and 25 other Senators from both parties, introduced S 5, the "Class Action Fairness Act" on January 4. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is now scheduled to mark up the bill on February 4, 2005.

This bill would amend Title 28 of the U.S. Code by adding a new Chapter 114 pertaining to class actions, by adding a new Section 1332 that creates federal jurisdiction over certain class action litigation, and by adding a new Section 1453 regarding the removal of certain class actions to federal court.

A key provision of the bill creates jurisdiction in U.S. District Courts over class actions in which the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5 Million and any member of a plaintiff class is a citizen of a different state from any defendant.

The bill recites in its findings that "Abuses in class actions undermine the national judicial system, the free flow of interstate commerce, and the concept of diversity jurisdiction as intended by the framers of the United States Constitution, in that State and local courts are -- (A) keeping cases of national importance out of Federal court; (B) sometimes acting in ways that demonstrate bias against out-of-State defendants; and (C) making judgments that impose their view of the law on other States and bind the rights of the residents of those States."

The bill also addresses abuse of coupon settlements. For example, it provides that "If a proposed settlement in a class action provides for a recovery of coupons to a class member, the portion of any attorney's fee award to class counsel that is attributable to the award of the coupons shall be based on the value to class members of the coupons that are redeemed."

Sen. Charles GrassleySen. Grassley (at right) stated in a release on January 24 that "In the 109th Congress we once again have the opportunity to stop class action lawyers from being able to snag millions of dollars while class action members receive a worthless coupon or even nothing".

He added that "Many class actions are just frivolous lawsuits filed by crafty lawyers who want to make a quick buck, and do little or nothing for the consumers these cases are allegedly supposed to help. We need to put an end to the frivolous litigation tax that everyone ends up paying."

The bill also protects against discrimination based on geographic location. It provides that "The court may not approve a proposed settlement that provides for the payment of greater sums to some class members than to others solely on the basis that the class members to whom the greater sums are to be paid are located in closer geographic proximity to the court."

The bill also provides for notice of proposed settlements to certain state and federal officials, such as attorneys general.

The bill is a reintroduction of similar legislation from the 108th Congress. S 5 (109th Congress) is almost identical to S 2062 (108th Congress).

In the last Congress, the Senate version of the bill came close to approval, but was blocked by Democratic filibusters. On July 8, 2004, the Senate failed to approve a motion to invoke cloture on S 2062, the "Class Action Fairness Act of 2004", on a vote of 44-43. See, Roll Call No. 154. Cloture motions require a three fifths majority. See, Senate Rule No. 22.

Also, on October 22, 2003, the Senate rejected a motion to invoke cloture on an earlier version, S 1751, the "Class Action Fairness Act of 2003", by a vote of 59-39. See, Roll Call No. 403. See also, story titled "Senate Rejects Class Action Fairness Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 764, October 23, 2003.

In the last Congress, the House approved its version of the bill on June 12, 2003. The House approved HR 1115, also titled the "Class Action Fairness Act", by a vote of 253-170. See, Roll Call No. 272. See also, stories titled "House Passes Class Action Fairness Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 680, June 13, 2003, and "Reps. Goodlatte and Boucher Re-Introduce Class Action Fairness Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 619, March 10, 2003.

In addition to Sen. Grassley, the other Republican original cosponsors are Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL), Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV).

And then, Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) joined in cosponsoring the bill on January 31.

The Democratic original cosponsors are Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Charles Dodd (D-CT), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT).

Eight out of eighteen members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were sponsors of the bill as of January 31.

President Bush has also frequently spoken in support of these bills.

These bills are also backed by groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. See, January 4, 2005 release and January 6 release.

8th Circuit Affirms Approval of Settlement in Nextel Billing Dispute

2/1. The U.S. Court of Appeals (8thCir) issued its opinion [21 pages in PDF] in In Re: Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, appeals from the District Court's approval of a settlement of class action multidistrict litigation involving billing disputes with Nextel Communications.

The underlying dispute involves Nextel's line item in its bills for "Tax, Fees, and Assessments", which plaintiffs assert were actually for "Federal Programs Cost Recovery", such as fees used to pay for E911, wireless local number portability, and telephone number pooling capabilities. Class action lawyers then filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of phone customers.

Several plaintiff classes object to the settlement reached by the name plaintiffs and Nextel, and filed the present appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's approval of the settlement.

This case is In Re: Wireless Telephone Federal Cost Recovery Fees Litigation, Blando, et al. v. Nextel, et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, App. Ct. Nos. 04-2276, 2285, 2295, 2298, 2303, and 2313, appeals from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

FTC Releases Data on Consumer Complaints Regarding Fraud and Identity Theft in 2004

2/1. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its fifth annual report [71 pages in PDF] on consumer complaints to the FTC. It states that "Internet-related complaints accounted for 53% of all reported fraud complaints". See also, FTC release.

The report is titled "National and State Trends in Fraud & Identity Theft January - December 2004". The report states that in 2004 the FTC received over 635,000 consumer fraud and identity theft complaints from consumers in the U.S. Of these, 61% were for fraud, and 39% were identity theft complaints.

The report provides that of the complaints about fraud, "Internet Auctions was the leading complaint category with 16% of the overall complaints, followed by Shop-at-Home/Catalog Sales (8%), Internet Services and Computer Complaints (6%), Foreign Money Offers (6%), Prizes/Sweepstakes and Lotteries (5%), Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection (3%), Business Opportunities and Work-at-Home Plans (2%), and Telephone Services (2%)."

The report also provides that of the identity theft complaints, "Credit card fraud (28%) was the most common form of reported identity theft followed by phone or utilities fraud (19%), bank fraud (18%), and employment fraud (13%). Other significant categories of identity theft reported by victims were government documents/benefits fraud and loan fraud."

PFF Announces Digital Age Communications Act Project

2/1. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) hosted an event in Washington DC to announce the formation of a project titled the "Digital Age Communications Act", or DACA. Its purpose is to review, issue reports on, and make legislative recommendations regarding, the legislative and regulatory framework affecting the communications and information technology sectors. It plans to issue a series of reports, starting in April, and then release a draft bill in the fall of 2005.

The DACA project has not yet released any reports or legislative proposals. However, when it does produce reports and recommendations, they are likely to entail less regulation, wider property rights regimes, more reliance upon markets, and changes to the policy making process. This project is just one of many diverse efforts to advise or influence the legislative and regulatory process on telecommunications reform.

The PFF announced the membership of the DACA project's advisory committee, and the subject matter and membership of each of five working groups. These groups are named "Regulatory Framework", "Spectrum Policy", "Institutional Reform", "Universal Service/Social Policy", and "Federal/State Framework".

The PFF also released a collection of essays that outline the topics that the DACA project will address. The essays were written by the PFF's Kyle Dixon, Raymond Gifford, Thomas Lenard, Randolph May, and Adam Peters.

Several persons involved in the DACA project spoke at the February 1 event. Ray Gifford, the President of the PFF, stated that "the communications laws need reform for the 21st Century digital age".

Nancy Victory, a partner at the law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding, outlined some of the areas where statutes or regulations need to be reformed, including universal service, intercarrier compensation, and state and local authority to regulate national and competitive industries. She also said that the current statutory regime is based upon buckets or stovepipes, and "is due for an extreme makeover".

David McIntosh, a former Member of Congress, and at Mayer, Brown, Rowe and Maw, discussed the Communications Act. "It is time to rewrite it," said McIntosh, and "Congress knows that". He said that the DACA project will be helpful to the Congress.

The membership of the advisory committee include more Republicans that Democrats. However, Larry Irving, a former staff assistant to Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), and head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the Clinton administration, is a member of the advisory committee. He stated at the DACA launch event that "telecommunications has never been particularly partisan", or "ideological".

Irving continued that the current regulatory regime is based upon assumptions of scarcity, monopoly and the criticality of time and distance. But, he said, times have changed.

Boyden Gray, a partner in the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, spoke about the need for institutional reform, both in regulatory agencies, and in the Congress. For example, he said that the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), both of which review and set guidelines for mergers and acquisitions and competition related conduct involving communications and technology companies, cannot communicate with personnel in the White House about these activities. Gray, who was White House Counsel to the first President Bush, argued that this should be changed.

He also discussed the institutional problems associated with the Congressional committee system. He said that too many committees had jurisdiction in this area. The House Commerce Committee and Senate Commerce Committee have jurisdiction over telecommunications, while the House Judiciary Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee generally have jurisdiction over antitrust matters involving telecommunications, and the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee generally have jurisdiction over trade agreements, including those with provisions regarding telecommunications.

James Miller, the Chairman of CapAnalysis, an economic, financial, and regulation and litigation consulting firm, said that new legislation is needed. He argued that the FCC should be defining property rights, letting competition take place, and writing itself out of business.

He also discussed the agency process. He said that the Sunshine Act keeps people at agencies like the FCC from reasoning together, and that this is "not conducive to good outcomes". He also stated that the FCC needs to be reformed, but did not offer details.

DACA Advisory Committee. The DACA project is broader than the persons affiliated with the PFF, a Washington DC based think tank. The project has an advisory committee with twenty-three members, including many former high ranking government regulators. It includes two former FCC Commissioners (Anne Jones and Richard Wiley), two former heads of the NTIA (Larry Irving and Nancy Victory), two former FTC Chairmen (Timothy Muris and James Miller), and three former state public utilities commissioners (Mitchell Wilk, Paul Vasington, and Allan Thoms).

The advisory committee also includes two former Members of Congress (David McIntosh and Jack Fields), one former Solicitor General and Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (Ken Starr), and several other former federal officials.

Many of the advisory committee members have backgrounds that involve communications regulation. Many are now practicing lawyers. In contrast, few have backgrounds in technology or intellectual property. One notable exception is Esther Dyson.

DACA Working Groups. Much of the work of the DACA project will be conducted by five working groups. These working groups consist of seven to ten members, and include many law professors, economists, and think tank scholars, both at the PFF, and at other entities.

These groups include some former top economists at the FCC, including Howard Shelanski (now at UC Berkeley) Gerald Faulhaber (University of Pennsylvania), Tom Hazlett (Manhattan Institute), Michael Riordan (Columbia University), and Gregory Rosston (Stanford), as well as other economists. Other former FCC employees are not well represented. The PFF's Kyle Dixon, a former top aide to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, is on two panels.

There are also many law professors in the DACA working groups. The backgrounds of the law professors and economists, like the backgrounds of the members of the advisory committee, tend to be in telecommunications and antitrust. There is less depth in information technology and intellectual property law.

However, Douglas Sicker (University of Colorado at Boulder), a computer science professor, is a member of one working group.

Also, John Duffy a University of Chicago trained professor at George Washington University who specializes in patent law, is on two panels. He has published widely on patent law, and written a few articles that deal with telecommunications. See, "The FCC and the Patent System: Progressive Ambitions, Jacksonian Realism, and the Technology of Regulation", 71 University of Colorado Law Review 1072 (2000); and "Technological Change and Doctrinal Persistence: Telecommunications Reform in Congress and the Court", 97 Columbia Law Review 976-1015 (1997).

Duffy spoke at the DACA launch event. He commented on the institutional reform working group that he will co-chair. "Institutions are important." He said that the major focus of this group will be the institutional structure of the FCC. "That was created three quarters of a century ago, based on what was then a very daring and new theory that if legislatures, particularly the Congress, could simply delegate massive amounts of power to neutral expert commissions, good government would result."

"No one really believes in that anymore," said Duffy, "and yet the Commission's structure has remained unchanged in three quarters of a century."

Zoellick Discusses IPR and WTO Accession with Russian Trade Rep

1/31. U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick and Russian Federation Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref held a joint news conference in Zurich, Switzerland in which they discussed their lengthy meeting regarding Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Robert ZoellickZoellick said that "We also reviewed the need to have effective enforcement in the intellectual property rights area." However, Zoellick was not more specific. See, transcript.

He added that "To keep progress moving quickly, our teams will be meeting in Geneva [on WTO] in mid-February to try to follow up on some of these items. Of course our Presidents are scheduled to see each other, I think on February 23. And so we will both report to our Presidents. And we’ve agreed to try to set up another Ministerial meeting in late March or early April to keep an intense focus on this effort." (Brackets in original.)

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Wednesday, February 2

The Supreme Court is in recess until February 22, 2005.

8:45 PM. President Bush will deliver his State of the Union Address to a joint session of the House and Senate.

The Senate will meet at 9:15 AM. It will continue its consideration of Alberto Gonzales to be Attorney General.

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It will consider several non-technology related items. See, Republican Whip Notice.

9:30 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Department of State's International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare for the International Telecommunications Union's ITU-T Study Group 2 (Service Definitions, Numbering, Routing, and Global Mobility) meeting. See, the ITU's calendar of meetings. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 30, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 250, at Pages 78515-78516. For more information, including the location, contact Location: undisclosed.

10:00 AM. The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a hearing on the nomination of Michael Chertoff to be Secretary of Homeland Security. See, notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

10:30 AM. The House Ways and Means Committee will meet to adopt Committee rules, approve the Committee budget, approve the Committee oversight plan, and make subcommittee assignments. See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

10:45 AM. The House Education and Workforce Committee will meet to adopt the committee's rules and oversight plan. Location: Room 2175, Rayburn Building.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare for the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) meeting. See, the ITU's calendar of meetings. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 20, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 243, at Page 76027. For more information, including the location, contact Julian Minard at Location: undisclosed.

2:30 PM. The House Financial Services Committee will hold its organizational meeting for the 109th Congress. See, notice. Location: Room 2128, Rayburn Building.

Deadline to register for the Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) February 8 continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Communications Law 101". See, registration form [PDF].

Thursday, February 3

9:30 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a business meeting to consider S 5, the "Class Action Fairness Act". See, notice. Press contact: Blain Rethmeier (Specter) at 202 224-5225 or Tracy Schmaler (Leahy) at 202 224-2154. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

TIME? The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs will hold a business meeting to consider the nomination of Michael Chertoff to be Secretary of Homeland Security. Location: undisclosed.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section will host a brown bag lunch titled "What's Hot and What's Not on Capitol Hill?". The topic is the prospects in the 109th Congress for intellectual property bills, such as the the Family Movie Act, Art Act, PIRATE Act, CREATE Act, Inducing Infringement of Copyright Act, Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act, Piracy Deterrence & Education Act, and Stop Counterfeiting in Manufactured Goods Act. The scheduled speakers are Paul Martino (Majority Counsel for Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications), David Strickland (Senior Counsel for Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Competition & Consumer Affairs), Jonathan Meyer (Counsel to Sen. Joe Biden), Robert Brauneis (George Washington University Law School), and Barbara Berschler. See, notice. Prices vary from $10 to $30. For more information, call 202 626-3463. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

1:30 - 3:30 PM. The WRC-07 Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 2: Satellite Services and HAPS will meet. See, FCC notice [PDF]. Location: Leventhal Senter & Lerman, 7th Floor Conference Room, 2000 K St. NW.

2:00 PM. The Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) failed information technology modernization program, Trilogy. Location: Room 192, Dirksen Building.

TIME? The Judicial Conference of the United States (JC) will hold a public hearing on its proposed amendment to Bankruptcy Rule 5005 regarding electronic filings. The JC has proposed amendments to Civil Rule 5, Appellate Rule 25, and Bankruptcy Rule 5005. Each of these proposed amendments would permit the applicable court, by local rules, to "permit or require papers to be filed, signed, or verified by electronic means" (or similar language). Current rules provide that the applicable court may "permit" filing by electronic means. See, JC notice [PDF] and notice in the Federal Register, Federal Register, December 2, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 231, at Page 70156. Location: undisclosed.

Friday, February 4

9:30 AM - 1:30 PM. The WRC-07 Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 4: Broadcasting and Amateur Issues will meet. See, FCC notice [PDF]. Location: Shaw Pittman, 2300 N St., NW, Room 1B.

Monday, February 7

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DC) will hear oral argument in National Science and Technology Network, Inc. v. FCC, No. 03-1376. Judges Ginsburg, Henderson and Randolph will preside. This is an appeal of the FCC's cancellation of nine licenses to operate private land mobile radio stations in the Los Angeles, California area. See, FCC's brief [25 pages in PDF]. Oral argument is limited to 10 minutes per side. Location: Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON. The Cato Institute and the Discovery Institute will host a luncheon and panel discussion titled "The Telecom Act Nine Years Later: Why Reform Can't Wait". The speakers will be George Gilder (Discovery), Adam Thierer (Cato), John Wohlstetter (Discovery), and John Drescher (Discovery). Gilder is the author of Telecosm: The World After Bandwidth Abundance [Amazon]. Lunch will be served. The event is free. See, notice and registration page. Location: Room B-338, Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Science Foundation (NSF) regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding amending the NSF patents regulation to require grantees to use an electronic reporting and management system for inventions made with NSF assistance. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 9, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 236, at Pages 71395 - 71396.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding its draft of SP 800-76. This is Special Publication 800-76, Biometric Data Specification for Personal Identity Verification [PDF]. Send comments and questions to

Tuesday, February 8

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Bureau will host an event titled "Low Power FM Forum". Press contact: Rebecca Fisher at 202 418-2359. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St., SW.

2:00 - 6:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Communications Law 101". Prices ranges from $125 to $275. See, registration form [PDF]. The deadline to register is February 2. Location: Wiley Rein & Fielding, 1776 K St., NW.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Advisory Committee for the Congressional Internet Caucus (ACCIC) will host a pre-conference reception. On February 9, the ACCIC will host an event titled "State of the Net Conference". Conference non-attendees RSVP to or 202 638-4370. Location: Thorton Room, Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

6:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Young Lawyers Committee will host an event titled "Happy Hour". Location: Porter's, 1207 19th St. NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) in response to the further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) portion of its Report and Order and FNPRM regarding the former ITFS, MDS, and MMDS, now named the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and the Educational Broadband Service (EBS), in the 2496-2690 MHz band. The FCC adopted this item at its June 10, 2004 meeting. The FCC released the text on July 29, 2004 (FCC 04-135), and then released a modified item on October 29, 2004 (FCC 04-258). This is WT Docket 03-66. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 10, 2004, Vol. 69, No. 237, at Pages 72019 - 72047. See also, story titled "FCC Adopts RO & NPRM Re ITFS/MDS Band" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 916, June 11, 2004.

Wednesday, February 9

7:30 AM - 4:30 PM. The Advisory Committee for the Congressional Internet Caucus will host an event titled "State of the Net Conference". The speakers will include Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), Derek Wyatt (member of the UK parliament), Alec French (House Judiciary Committee staff), David Cavicke (House Commerce Committee staff), and Lisa Anderson (Senate Judiciary Committee staff). Registration is required. Prices range from free to $350. For more information, contact Danielle Yates at or 202 638-4370. See, notice and brochure [PDF]. Location: Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a brown bag lunch titled "When Bad Things Happen To Good Computers". The topics will be security threats, both technology based and human, for law offices' computers, computer networks, PDAs and cell phones, and potential liabilities for failure to protect the confidential information. The speakers will be Don Philmlee (Potomac Consulting Group) and Todd Haley (Spriggs & Hollingsworth). See, notice. Prices vary from $15 to $25. For more information, call 202 626-3463. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

5:00 - 7:00 PM. The Advisory Committee for the Congressional Internet Caucus will host a technology fair and reception. Location: Room SDG-50, Dirksen Building.

New Bills

2/1. A bill numbered HR 107 has been introduced in the House. It pertains to life insurance. 107 is also the section number of the Copyright Act that addresses fair use. See, 17 U.S.C. § 107. In the 108th Congress, Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) introduced another HR 107, titled the "Digital Media Consumer Rights Act". See also, story titled "Reps. Boucher and Doolittle Introduce Digital Fair Use Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 582, January 14, 2003. Rep. Boucher has not yet reintroduced his fair use bill in the 109th Congress.

1/31. Rep. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and others, introduced S 211, a bill that would create a federal grant program to pay for 2-1-1 telephone service for information and referral on human services. The related bills that were introduced in the 108th Congress were S 1630 and HR 3111, sponsored by then Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC). He is now a member of the Senate, and a cosponsor of S 211.

People and Appointments

1/31. The Senate confirmed Sam Bodman to be Secretary of Energy. See, Congressional Record, January 31, 2005, at Page S680.

2/1. The House Science Committee announced subcommittee Chairmen. Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) is again the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, Technology, and Standards. Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) is the new Chairman of the Subcommittee on Research. He replaces former Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI), who retired. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) is again the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) is again the Chairman of the full Committee, and Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN) is the ranking Democrat.

2/1. Karen Cottle was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) for 2005. She is SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Adobe Systems. See, BSA release.

More News

2/1. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register that describes, recites, and sets the effective date (February 1, 2005) of its final rule that reduces the search fee and examination fee for certain Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications entering the national stage. See, February 1, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 20, at Pages 5053 - 5055.

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