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January 4, 2006, 8:00 AM ET, Alert No. 1,282.
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Bush and U.S. Attorneys Advocate Enactment of Conference Report on PATRIOT Act Extension

1/3. President Bush signed S 2167 on Friday, December 30, 2005. This is a short untitled bill that extends the sunset date of the 16 sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that were scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2005. The extended sunset date is February 3, 2006. See also, story titled "House and Senate Approve Five Week Extension of Sunsetted Sections of PATRIOT Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,279, December 23, 2005.

On Tuesday, January 3, 2006, President Bush held a meeting with U.S. Attorneys and other government officials at the White House regarding extending the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The White House press office released the text of a speech that he delivered.

He said that "We're talking about the Patriot Act and how useful the Patriot Act has been to safeguard America, and at the same time, safeguard liberties of Americans. And yet, the Patriot Act is going to expire in 30 days. And these good folks, whose task it is to do everything they can to protect the American people from a terrorist enemy that wants to hit us again, is asking the United States Congress to give them the tools necessary to do their jobs. And I'm asking the Congress to do so, as well."

"The American people expect to be protected. And the Patriot Act is a really important tool for them to stay protected", said Bush. "For four years, that's what's happened. These good folks have used the Patriot Act to protect America. There's oversight on this important program. And now, when it came time to renew the act, for partisan reasons, in my mind, people have not stepped up and have agreed that it's still necessary to protect the country. The enemy has not gone away -- they're still there. And I expect Congress to understand that we're still at war, and they've got to give us the tools necessary to win this war."

Some of the U.S. Attorneys present at the event spoke to reporters afterwards. See, transcript.

U.S. Attorneys are nominated by the President, and confirmed by the Senate. Each U.S. Attorney leads a U.S. Attorneys Office (USAO) for a federal judicial district. The main, but not sole, responsibility of the USAOs is to prosecute federal crimes.

Mary Beth Buchanan, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, stated that "We support the conference report. We believe that this report gives us the adequate tools that we need to investigate terrorism and to protect the people from criminal activity. We believe that this provides adequate safeguards in every respect, and we fully support this report. And we would ask Congress to enact this legislation and to make the Patriot Act permanent to give us the tools that we need."

In December, the House, but not the Senate, approved the huge conference report [PDF] on HR 3199, the "USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005".

People and Appointments

1/3. Michael Copps took the oath of office for a second term as a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). See, FCC release [PDF]. Deborah Tate took the oath of office as a new member of the FCC. See, FCC release [PDF] and Tate statement [PDF]. President Bush has not yet nominated a replacement for former Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy.

1/3. Mike Gallagher, head of the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will leave his current position later this month. The NTIA's press office further states that he has not announced what he will do next, other than that he will remain in the Washington DC area. The Secretary of Commerce has not yet announced who will become the acting head of the NTIA.

1/3. Brian Cartwright was named General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), effective January 23, 2006. He will replace Giovanni Prezioso. Cartwright is a partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins. Chris Cox, the Chairman of the SEC, also worked for this law firm, long ago. See, SEC release.

1/3. Steve Vest rejoined the National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA) as Vice President, Government Relations. He worked for Gemstar-TV Guide International and Bracewell & Giuliani. See, NCTA release.

12/23. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced in a release that it wants to hire a "large number of Information Technology (IT) Professionals".

More News

12/28. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) published in its web site a copy of a report titled "The Boundaries of Privacy in American Society". Judge Sam Alito participated in the writing of this report over thirty years ago while a student at Princeton University. See especially, Report of the Chairman [PDF], written by Alito. The Senate will begin hearings on his nomination to be a Justice of the Supreme Court on Monday, January 9, 2006.

12/22. Microsoft stated in a release that "Microsoft, Dr. Lee and Google have reached an agreement that settles their pending litigation. The parties have entered into a private agreement that resolves all issues to their mutual satisfaction. The terms of the agreement are confidential and all parties have agreed to make no other statements to the media regarding it. Microsoft is pleased with the terms of the settlement." See also, stories titled "Trial Court Issues Preliminary Injunction in Microsoft v. Kai-Fu Lee and Google" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,214, September 15, 2005, and "Microsoft Sues Former Employee Who Joined Google" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,178, July 20, 2005.

12/20. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee (HCC), and Rep. Charles Bass (R-NH), a member of the HCC, wrote a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Deborah Majoras in which they requested that the FTC "look into how gift cards are marketed, sold, and used, and to report back on its findings in a letter to the Committee by February 17, 2006."

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Publication Schedule
There was no issue of the TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert on Monday, January 2, 2006, or Tuesday, January 3, 2006.
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Wednesday, January 4

The House will not meet. It will convene for the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress on Tuesday, January 31, 2006.. See, Majority Whip's calendar.

The Senate will not meet. It will convene for the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress on Wednesday, January 18, 2006. See, 2006 Senate calendar.

10:00 - 11:00 AM. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host an event titled "The Chamberís 2006 Agenda and the State of American Business". The Chamber will release a report titled "State of American Business". Tom Donahue (P/CEO) and Bruce Josten (EVP for Government Affairs) will speak and answer questions. Location: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street, NW.

Deadline to submit to the Library of Congress' Copyright Royalty Board petitions to participate in its proceeding commenced at the request of XM Satellite Radio. The purpose of this proceeding is to determine the reasonable rates and terms for the transmission and ephemeral recording statutory licenses that would apply to a new subscription service that performs sound recordings on digital audio channels programmed by the licensee for transmission by a satellite television distribution service to its residential customers, where the audio channels are bundled with television channels as part of a basic package of service and not for a separate fee. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 5, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 232, at Pages 72471 - 72472.

Thursday, January 5

2:00 PM. Jim Williams, Director of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) US-VISIT program will hold a media roundtable on titled "2005 Accomplishments". The DHS notice states that "Media wishing to attend this event must present valid press credentials and arrive NO LATER than 1:30 PM EST". Location: 1616 N. Ft. Myer Drive, Arlington, VA.

Friday, January 6

12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Wireless Telecommunications Practice Committee will host a lunch. There will be a debate regarding municipal WiFi networks between Tom Lenard (Progress & Freedom Foundation) and Harold Feld (Media Access Project). See, registration form [PDF]. The price to attend is $15. Location: Sidley Austin, 1501 K Street, NW.

4:00 - 7:00 PM. The International Trademark Association (INTA) will host a symposium titled "Should Parma be a Trademark? Issues Surrounding Geographical Marks and Indicators". The speakers will be Roger Schechter (George Washington University Law School), Lionel Bently (University of Cambridge), Min-Chiuan Wang (Institute of Technology Law, National Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan), and Glynn Lunney (Tulane University School of Law). See, notice. Location: __.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the operation, effectiveness, and implementation of and compliance with (1) the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements affecting market opportunities for telecommunications products and services of the U.S., (2) the telecommunications provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), (3) the U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs) with Chile, Singapore, and Australia, and (4) any other FTAs coming into effect by January 1, 2006. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 16, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 220, at Pages 69621 - 69622.

Monday, January 9

12:00 NOON. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will begin its hearings on the nomination of Judge Sam Alito to be a Justice of the Supreme Court. Location: Room 216, Hart Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Sharp Kabushiki v. ThinkSharp, Inc., No. 05-1220. This is a dispute regarding registration of the mark "Thinksharp" for computer software by ThinkSharp, Inc. Sharp, which makes electronics products, objects. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will begin a mock auction for its FM Broadcast Construction Permits Auction (Auction No. 62). See, Public Notice [PDF] numbered DA 05-3204, and dated December 21, 2005.

Tuesday, January 10

9:00 AM. The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will hold an open meeting. The tentative agenda for this meeting includes a presentation on the Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program, an update on nanotechnology, and a briefing on the U.S.-China S&T Forum. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 23, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 246, at Page 76286. Location: Washington Room, Hotel Washington located at 515 15th St., NW.

10:00 AM. The Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Texaco v. Dagher and Shell v. Dagher. This case involves the application of antitrust law to lawful joint ventures. See, story titled "Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Dagher" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,163, June 28, 2005, and story titled "Verizon Seeks Reversal in Texaco v. Dagher" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,232, October 12, 2005. See also, Supreme Court docket.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Microchip Technology v. Chamberlain Group, No. 05-1339. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Resonate, Inc. v. Alteon Websystems, No. 05-1336. This is a patent case involving internet traffic routers and switches. See also, Resonate, Inc. v. Alteon Websystems, Inc., 338 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2003). Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

Wednesday, January 11

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section will host a panel discussion titled "Post-Grokster: What the Supreme Court Decision Means to You and Your Clients". The speakers will include John Hornick (Finnegan Henderson). The price to attend ranges from $20-$40. For more information, call 202 626-3463. See, notice. Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW, B-1 Level.

12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Transactional Practice Committee will host a brown bag lunch regarding the "Implications of the recent Media Bureau decisions rescinding grants of assignment/transfer of control applications after the parties have closed". For more information, contact Howard Liberman at hliberman at dbr dot com. Location: __.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The Department of State's International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will hold the first in a series of weekly meetings to prepare for the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) 2006 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, to be held November 6-24, 2006, in Antalya, Turkey. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 21, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 244, at Page 75854. This notice incorrectly states that these meetings will be held on Tuesdays; they are on Wednesdays. For more information, contact Julian Minard at 202 647-2593 or minardje at state dot gov. Location: AT&T, 1120 20th St., NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the petition for declaratory ruling (DR) filed by Grande Communications that seeks a DR regarding the treatment of traffic terminated through Grande to end users of interconnected local exchange carriers (LECs), in circumstances where customers of Grande have certified that the traffic originated in Internet protocol (IP) format. See, notice in the Federal Register, November 2, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 211, at Pages 66411 - 66412. See also, story titled "FCC Sets Comment Deadlines for DR Petition on IP Originated VOIP Traffic and Intercarrier Compensation" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,246, November 3, 2005. This proceeding is WC Docket No. 05-283.

Deadline to submit to the Department of Commerce's Technology Administration nominations of individuals to serve on the National Medal of Technology Nomination Evaluation Committee. See, notice in the Federal Register, December 12, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 237, at Page 73453.