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September 29, 2005, 9:00 AM ET, Alert No. 1,224.
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GAO Reports on Real Estate Brokers and Use of the Internet

9/28. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [pages in PDF] titled "Real Estate Brokerage: That May Affect Price Competition".

This report comes three weeks after the filing of a civil complaint in the U.S. District Court (NDIll) by the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division against the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The DOJ alleges violation of federal antitrust laws in connection with the NAR's obstruction of real estate brokers who use internet tools to offer services to consumers.

The GAO report states that "The Internet has increased consumers' access to information about properties for sale and facilitated new approaches to real estate transactions. Many brokers post on Web sites information -- in varying degrees of detail -- about properties they have contracted to sell (``listings创), enabling consumers to obtain such information without consulting a real estate broker. The Internet also has fostered the creation or expansion of a number of Internet-oriented real estate brokerage and related firms, including some discount brokers and services that refer clients to brokers."

However, the GAO report adds that "several potential obstacles to further expansion of the Internet's role in real estate brokerage exist, including the extent to which listing information is made available for brokers to post online. For example, NAR has considered allowing listing brokers to decide which other brokers may display their MLS listings online. Some brokers' refusal to allow their listings to be posted on certain brokers' Web sites could constrain potential buyers' Internet searches for properties for sale, potentially limiting the business of Internet-oriented brokers. Internet-oriented discount brokers may also face resistance from traditional brokers and may be affected by the state laws that prohibit or restrict commission rebates to consumers."

But, the GAO adds that "other factors, such as the lack of a uniform sales contract for residential real estate and of a uniform technology to facilitate related processes -- such as inspection, appraisal, financing, title search, and settlement -- may inhibit the use of the Internet for accomplishing the full range of activities needed for real estate transactions."

The DOJ complaint seeks to enjoin the NAR "from maintaining or enforcing a policy that restrains competition from brokers who use the Internet to more efficiently and cost effectively serve home sellers and buyers, and from adopting other related anticompetitive rules".

It alleges that "The brokers against whom the policy discriminates operate secure, password-protected Internet sites that enable the brokers' customers to search for and receive real estate listings over the Internet. These websites thus replace or augment the traditional practice by which the broker conducts a search of properties for sale and then provides information to the customer by hand, mail, fax, or e-mail. Since these websites were first developed in the late 1990s, brokers' use of the Internet in connection with their delivery of brokerage services has become an important competitive alternative to traditional ``brick-and-mortar创 business models."

It further alleges that "Defendant's members include traditional brokers who are concerned about competition from Internet-savvy brokers". It continues: "In response to such concerns, defendant, through its members, adopted a policy (the ``VOW Policy创) limiting this new competition. The VOW Policy significantly alters the rules governing multiple listing services (``MLS创). MLSs collect detailed information about nearly all properties for sale through brokers and are indispensable tools for brokers serving buyers and sellers in each MLS's market area. Defendant's local Realtor associations (``member boards创) control a majority of the MLSs in the United States."

The complaint adds that this "VOW Policy permits brokers to selectively or generally withhold their clients' listings from VOW operators by means of an ``opt-out创 right. In essence, the VOW Policy allows traditional brokers to block the customers of targeted competitors from using the Internet to review the same set of MLS listings that the traditional brokers provide to their customers."

The DOJ complaint concludes that this scheme "restricts the manner in which brokers with efficient, Internet-based business models may provide listings to their customers, and imposes additional restrictions on brokers operating VOWs that do not apply to their traditional competitors. Defendant thus denies brokers using new technologies and business models the same benefits of MLS membership available to their competitor brokers, and it suppresses technological innovation, discourages competition on price and quality, and raises barriers to entry. Defendant -- an association of competitors -- has agreed to a policy that suppresses new competition and harms consumers."

See also, story titled "DOJ Sues National Association of Realtors for Obstructing Internet Based Brokers" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,210, September 9, 2005.

State Department Official Addresses IPR Protection in Ukraine

9/27. Anthony Wayne gave a speech in which he discussed protection of intellectual property rights in Ukraine.

He stated that "I have been particularly impressed by the ability of the Ukrainian government to keep working toward President Yushchenko's economic goals, even after the cabinet dismissal of September 8. In the last twenty days, we have seen significant progress on our bilateral trade agenda, including constructive discussions on Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organization and on enforcement of intellectual property rights."

Anthony WayneWayne (at right) is Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State. He spoke at an event in Washington DC titled "Ukraine Mature Statehood Forum".

He continued that "Protection of intellectual property has been a key issue for the United States in our economic relations with Ukraine for several years now. We were very glad to see the enactment on August 2 of amendments to Ukraine's law on Laser-Readable Discs. We had been urging their passage for several years. With the passage of these amendments, the U.S. government was very pleased on August 30 to restore normal tariff levels on a range of Ukrainian products, lifting sanctions that we had put in place in 2002."

On August 31, 2005 the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced in a release the "lifting of 100% tariff sanctions that since 2002 had been imposed on $75 million worth of Ukrainian exports to the United States." It also announced that it will conduct a Special 301 out of cycle review. See, story titled "USTR Lifts Trade Sanctions on Ukraine and Announces Special 301 Out of Cycle Review" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.1,205, September 1, 2005.

Friday, October 14, 2005 is the deadline to submit comments to the USTR regarding its out of cycle reviews of Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 8, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 173, at Pages 53410 - 53412, and notice in the Federal Register, September 14, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 177, at Pages 54436 - 54437.

Wayne also stated, "But effective protection of intellectual property does not end with passage of legislation. You need strong enforcement; you need vigilance and commitment. The U.S. government is in the midst of a three-month review of Ukraine's efforts to strengthen its IPR enforcement through effective prosecution and penalties against piracy and counterfeiting, border controls, and other means. Among the important outcomes of the review will be a decision on whether to move Ukraine off the Priority Foreign Country designation and an assessment of its eligibility for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP. We have received some encouraging reports on the work of the Ukrainian government in IPR enforcement, and we very much hope that the government can document these good results and clarify some of the outstanding questions that we have."

House Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on Trade with Japan

9/28. The House Ways and Means Committee (HWMC) held a hearing titled "United States Japan Economic and Trade Relations". The main focus of the hearing was Japan's exclusion of beef produced in the U.S.

For example, Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS), who represents a beef producing district in the state of Kansas, wrote in his prepared testimony that "Losing our annual 1.7 billion dollar export market to Japan is having a large and negative impact on our entire beef industry and it also puts at risk our well-established bilateral trade relationship."

While there is nothing technology related about trade in beef products, unresolved disputes involving agriculture can impact trade relations in other areas. Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), the Chairman of the Committee, wrote in his opening statement that "self-protectionism and isolationism threaten the current WTO negotiations and poison the atmosphere for free trade".

Wendy Cutler, the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Affairs, praised Japan at length in her prepared testimony for its handling of trade related issues involving technology, e-commerce and communications.

She wrote that "In recent years, Japan has significantly lowered retail rates for calling mobile networks, and by reducing monopoly control over networks and equipment, Japan has created conditions for one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world."

She continued that Japan "has significantly strengthened its intellectual property rights regime by, for example, extending the term of copyright protection for cinematographic works from 50 to 70 years. And it has bolstered the independence and staffing of its antitrust watchdog, the Japan Fair Trade Commission or JFTC, so that it can better promote a competitive environment in the Japanese market for domestic and foreign companies alike."

She also said that "In the telecommunications sector, Japan is poised to make substantial blocks of spectrum available primarily for new wireless entrants, helping break a longstanding oligopoly and thereby creating opportunities not only for U.S. telecommunications companies wanting to expand into the wireless business in Japan, but also equipment suppliers to those companies."

And, she said that "Japan is also removing numerous regulatory impediments to e-commerce, further strengthening copyright protection, cooperating closely with the private sector to combat spam, improving government network security, ensuring effective and transparent implementation of its new Privacy Law, and improving foreign firms' access to bidding on government IT systems."

She concluded that "we have and will continue to make good progress in our efforts to further open markets in Japan in key sectors such as telecommunications, information technologies," and other sectors.

Michael Mussallem, CEO of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, wrote in his prepared testimony that the makers of medical devices, diagnostic products and medical information systems face problems with government regulators around the world. He wrote that "This is the situation we are facing in Japan, and it is getting more difficult every year. Japan抯 system for approving use of new medical technologies is the slowest and most costly in the developed world."

See also, HWMC page with hyperlinks to written testimony of all witnesses.

FTC Takes Action Against Mortgage Lender for Failure to Protect Customer Data

9/27. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an administrative complaint [4 pages in PDF] against Superior Mortgage Corp. alleging violation of the confidentiality provisions of the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA), and the FTC's rules thereunder, in connection with its failure to implement reasonable safeguards to protect the security of the personal information of its customers. The FTC and Superior simultaneously entered into an Agreement Containing Consent Order [PDF].

The complaint alleges that "Through its offices and websites, respondent has collected sensitive customer information in connection with the mortgage application process, including customer names, Social Security numbers, credit histories, and bank and credit card account numbers. Since the Rule抯 effective date until at least May 2005, respondent failed to implement reasonable policies and procedures to protect the security and confidentiality of the information it collects."

For example, the FTC alleges that Superior failed to implement appropriate password policies to limit access to company systems and documents containing sensitive customer information, and that it failed to encrypt or otherwise protect sensitive customer information before sending it by e-mail.

The FTC alleged that this violates Title V of the GLBA, which is codified at 15 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., and the FTC's Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information Rule, which is codified at 16 C.F.R. Part 31. See also, FTC release.

People and Appointments

9/28. President Bush nominated Virginia Kendall to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Kendall is a federal prosecutor. Chicago is in this district. See, White House release.

9/28. President Bush nominated Timothy Batten to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Batten is a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Schreeder Wheeler & Flint. This district includes Atlanta. See, White House release.

9/28. President Bush nominated Kristi DuBose to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. See, White House release.

9/28. President Bush nominated Thomas Johnston to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. See, White House release.

9/28. President Bush nominated Keith Watkins to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. See, White House release.

9/28. President Bush nominated Carol Dinkins and Alan Charles Raul to be the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. See, White House release. Bush announced his intent to make these nominations back on June 10, 2005. See, story titled "Bush Names Members of Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,151, June 10, 2005.

9/28. Robert Bonner retired as Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). See, statement by Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

More News

9/28. The House approved HR 3402, the "Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2009", by a vote of 415-4. See, Roll Call No. 501.

9/28. The Senate Judiciary Committee's (SJC) Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights postponed its hearing titled "Video Competition in 2005 -- More Consolidation, or New Choices for Consumers?", which had been scheduled for September 28.

9/28. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a letter and presentation slides [41 pages in PDF] titled "Agency Telework Methodologies: Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, the Small Business Administration, and the Securities and Exchange Commission". The letter states that the agencies studied, including the Department of Commerce (DOC) and Department of Justice (DOJ), "could report the actual number of employees who telework and how often they do so". The GAO sent the letter to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies.

9/28. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [56 page in PDF] titled "Defense Trade: Enhancements to the Implementation of Exon-Florio Could Strengthen the Law's Effectiveness". This report states that the manner in which the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) "implements Exon-Florio may limit its effectiveness. For example, Treasury, in its role as Chair, and some others narrowly define what constitutes a threat to national security -- that is, they have limited the definition to export-controlled technologies or items and classified contracts, or specific derogatory intelligence on the foreign company. Other members have argued that this definition is not sufficiently flexible to provide for safeguards in areas such as protection of critical infrastructure, security of defense supply, and preservation of technological superiority in the defense arena."

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, September 29

The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. See, Republican Whip notice.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM. It will resume consideration of the nomination of Judge John Roberts to be the Chief Justice of the United States.

9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The Antitrust Modernization Commission (AMC) will hold a hearing on the state action doctrine and exclusionary conduct. See, notice in the Federal Register, September 8, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 173, at Page 53331. Location: Federal Trade Commission, Main Building, Room 432, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Government Reform Committee (HGRC) will hold a hearing titled "The Last Frontier: Bringing the IT Revolution to Health Care". The witnesses will be David Brailer (Department of Health and Human Services), Robert Kolodner (Veterans Health Administration), David Powner ( Government Accountability Office), Carol Diamond ( Markle Foundation), Janet Marchibroda ( eHealth Initiative and Foundation), Diane Carr (Healthcare Information Systems), Larry Blue (Symbol Technologies). Press contact: Drew Crockett at 202 225-5074. Location: Room 2154, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "Public Safety Communications from 9/11 to Katrina: Critical Public Policy Lessons". The hearing will be webcast by the HCC. See, notice. Press contact: Larry Neal at 202 225-5735. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection and Cybersecurity will hold a hearing titled "SCADA and the Terrorist Threat: Protecting the Nation's Critical Control Systems". The witnesses will include Andy Purdy, acting Director of the National Cyber Division. Location: Room 311, Cannon Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearings titled "Communications in Disaster". The witnesses will be Kenneth Moran (FCC), David Boyd (DHS), Willis Carter (Shreveport Fire Department), and Dereck Orr (NIST). See, notice. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) 202 224-8456 or Melanie_Alvord at commerce dot senate dot gov, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546 or Andy_Davis at commerce dot senate dot gov. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will meet to consider pending nominations, including those of David McCormick (to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration), Darryl Jackson (to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce), and Franklin Lavin (to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade). The agenda also includes consideration of Emil Henry to be Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the Department of the Treasury), and the nomination of Patrick O払rien to be Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing at the Department of the Treasury. See, notice. See also, story titled "Bush Nominates McCormick and Jackson for Export Control Office" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,165, June 30, 2005. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

10:30 AM. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing titled "Implementation of the United States Bahrain Free Trade Agreement". See, notice. Location: Room 1100, Longworth Building.

1:00 PM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "Public Safety Communications from 9/11 to Katrina: Critical Public Policy Lessons". Press contact: Terry Lane (Barton) at 202 225-5735 or Sean Bonyun (Upton) at 202 225-3761. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

1:00 PM. The House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology will hold a hearing titled "Incident Command, Control, and Communications during Catastrophic Events". Location: Room 311, Cannon Building.

TIME CHANGE. 1:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold a hearing on pending judicial nominations. The agenda includes consideration of the nominations of Margaret Sweeney (to be a Judge of the Court of Federal Claims), Thomas Wheeler (Court of Federal Claims), John Smoak (U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida), Brian Sandoval (USDC, District of Nevada), and Harry Mattice (USDC, Eastern District of Tennessee). See, notice. The SJC frequently cancels of postpones hearings without notice. Press contact: Blain Rethmeier (Specter) at 202 224-5225, David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242 or Tracy Schmaler (Leahy) at 202 224-2154. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of States' (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet to prepare for ITU-T Advisory Group. See, notice in the Federal Register, July 13, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 133, at Page 40414. Location: undisclosed. The DOS states that "Access to these meetings may be arranged by contacting Julian Minard at minardje at state dot gov.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearings titled "Communications in Disaster". The witnesses will be Gary Grube (Motorola), John Vaughan (M/A-COM Wireless Systems), Alex Good (Mobile Satellite Ventures), Carmen Lloyd (Ch/CEO of Iridium Satellite). See, notice. The hearing will be webcast by the SCC. Press contact: Melanie Alvord (Stevens) 202 224-8456 or Melanie_Alvord at commerce dot senate dot gov, or Andy Davis (Inouye) at 202 224-4546 or Andy_Davis at commerce dot senate dot gov. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs will hold a hearing on U.S. Japan relations. The witnesses will include Christopher Hill (Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs), Amelia Porges (Sidley Austin Brown & Wood), Stephen MacMillan (P/CEO of Stryker Corporation), and Gerald Curtis (Columbia University). Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will preside. See, notice. Location: Room 419, Dirksen Building.

4:00 - 5:30 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) and other groups will host a panel discussion titled "Making Effective Presentations before Congress and the FCC". The speakers will be Johanna Shelton (Minority Counsel, House Commerce Committee), Lauren Belvin (Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy), and Anita Wallgren (Sidley Austin Brown & Wood). The price to attend ranges from $0-15. For more information, and to RSVP, contact Anita Wallgren at 202 736-8468 or awallgren at sidley dot com. Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street NW.

The Public Knowledge will host an awards ceremony and reception. For more information, contact Art Brodsky at 202 518-0020 x103. See, PK release. Location: Sewall-Belmont House, 144 Constitution Ave., NE (next to the Hart Building on Capitol Hill).

Friday, September 30

POSTPONED TO OCTOBER 28. 12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Legislative Practice and Wireless Telecommunications Practice Committees will host a lunch titled "DTV Transition". The price to attend is $15. Registrations and cancellations are due by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, September 27, 2005. See, registration form [PDF]. Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street, NW., 6th Floor.

Deadline for applications to be received by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory (EEEL) Grants. The EEEL covers semiconductors, electronic instrumentation, radio frequency (RF) technology, optoelectronics, magnetics, video, electronic commerce as applied to electronic products and devices, the transmission and distribution of electrical power, national electrical standards, and law enforcement standards. See, notice in the Federal Register, January 5, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 3, at Pages 781 - 789.

Deadline to submit comments to the Antitrust Modernization Commission regarding criminal remedies. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 10, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 153, at Page 46474.

Saturday, October 1

Extended deadline for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association's (NCTA) and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) to file their first round of status reports with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding progress in talks regarding the feasibility of a downloadable security solution for integrating navigation and security functionalities in cable set top boxes. See, FCC's Second Report and Order [37 pages in PDF] adopted and released on March 18, 2005. This order is FCC 05-76 in CS Docket No. 97-80. See also, FCC release [PDF] summarizing this order, and story titled "FCC Again Delays Deadline for Integrating Navigation and Security Functionalities in Cable Set Top Boxes" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,099, March 21, 2005. See also, notice of extensions (DA 05-1930) [2 pages in PDF].

Sunday, October 2

Deadline to submit comments to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) regarding its task force report on the WHOIS database and privacy.

Monday, October 3

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a lunch. The topic will be the future of the radio marketplace. The speakers will be Mark Mays (P/CEO of Clear Channel Communications), Blair Levin (Legg Mason), Paul Gallant (Stanford Washington Research Group), and Christopher Stern (Medley Global Advisers). See, notice and online registration page. Location: Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Gallery Room, 1330 Maryland Ave., SW.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) IP-Based Communications Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled "Network Neutrality -- What is it, Who Benefits, and Is Regulation Necessary?". The speakers will be Jim Kohlenberger (VON Coalition), Brent Olson (SBC), and Jim Casserly (Willkie Farr & Gallagher). Location: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, 2300 N St., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding its expansion of the US VISIT program to include the utilization of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 4, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 149, at Pages 44934 - 44938.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to the Public Notice [27 pages in PDF] of August 17, 2005, regarding four proposals (which are attached to the Public Notice) submitted to the FCC by members and staff of the FCC's Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service regarding universal service subsidies for rural carriers. One of these proposals also proposes expanding the services that are taxed to support universal service subsidies. (See, Public Notice, at page 18.)

Tuesday, October 4

Rosh Hashanah.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in IPXL Holdings v. Amazon.com, No. 05-1009. This is an appeal from the U.S. District Court (EDVa) in a patent infringement case involving IPXL's U.S. Patent No. 6,149,055, titled "Electronic Fund Transfer or Transaction System". The District Court granted summary judgment to Amazon. See, opinion [PDF] of the District Court. Location: U.S. Court of Appeals, LaFayette Square, 717 Madison Place, Courtroom 402.

Deadline to submit comments to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) regarding its proposal to amend its rules regarding telecommunications, including its proposal to establish and codify provisions for RUS acceptance and technical acceptance of materials used in telecommunications systems. See, notice in the Federal Register, August 5, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 150, at Pages 45314 - 45322.

Wednesday, October 5

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Slocum Enterprises v. New Generation Devices, No. 05-1195. This is an appeal from the U.S. District Court (DOre) in patent infringement case. The issue on appeal is whether the District Court has personal jurisdiction over the out of state defendant. Location: U.S. Court of Appeals, LaFayette Square, 717 Madison Place, Courtroom 402.

Thursday, October 6

10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled "A Review of the CFIUS Process for Implementing the Exon-Florio Amendment". The secretive Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. (CFIUS) is the instrument by which the federal government blocks foreign investment in, and acquisition of, certain technology companies. See, notice. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

TIME? The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Common Carrier Committee will host a brown bag lunch.

2:00 PM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir), sitting en banc, will hear oral argument in Motion Systems Corporation v. George Bush, No. 04-1428. This case involves the authority of the Court of International Trade to review orders of the President. The sua sponte order [PDF] designating en banc hearing requests briefing on the following issues: "(1) Is the President an "officer" under the terms of 28 U.S.C. 1581(i) and is the President's action under 19 U.S.C. 2451 subject to judicial review in a suit against the President? See Franklin v. Massachusetts, 505 U.S. 788 (2000); Mississippi v. Johnson, 71 U.S. 475 (1866). (2) Is there any constitutional barrier that would preclude the Court of International Trade from issuing the requested injunctive relief against the President? See Franklin v. Massachusetts, 505 U.S. 788 (2000); Dalton v. Spector, 511 U.S. 462 (1994); Mississippi v. Johnson, 71 U.S. 475 (1866). (3) Should Corus Group PLC v. Int'l Trade Comm'n., 352 F.3d 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2003) be overruled en banc insofar as it holds that  1581(i) does not authorize relief against the President? (4) Under the terms of  1581(i) and  2451, is the relief requested against the United States Trade Representative available in this case?" Location: U.S. Court of Appeals, LaFayette Square, 717 Madison Place, Courtroom 201.

2:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold a hearing on pending judicial nominations. The SJC frequently cancels of postpones hearings without notice. Press contact: Blain Rethmeier (Specter) at 202 224-5225, David Carle (Leahy) at 202 224-4242 or Tracy Schmaler (Leahy) at 202 224-2154. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

7:00 PM. The National Press Club's (NPC) Photography Committee will host a panel discussion titled "Copyright and the Internet -- What You Can Use and How to Protect Your Work". The speakers will be Sherrese Smith (Washington Post attorney), Lorraine Woellert (Business Week journalist), Stephen Brown (photojournalist), and Joy Chambers (attorney). The event is free, but reservations are required. Phone 202 662-7501. For more information, contact Joy Chambers at 703 864-1945 or Marshall Cohen at 202 364-8332. Location: White Room, NPC, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor.

Day one of a two day conference titled "Identity Management: Creating A Trusted Identity" hosted by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA). See, notice. For more information, contact Jennifer Kerber at jkerber at itaa dot org. Location: Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, VA.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding off-axis equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) method for reviewing earth station applications in the fixed satellite service (FSS). See, notice in the Federal Register, June 8, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 109, at Pages 33426 - 33429. This NPRM is FCC 05-62 in IB Docket No. 00-248.

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