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April 6, 2007, Alert No. 1,561.
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Gutierrez Discusses WTO, IPR, and High Tech in Russia

4/5. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez gave a speech in Moscow, Russia, regarding trade and Russian accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He urged Russia to protect intellectual property, resist protectionism, and provide a stable environment for investment and competition. He also said that the U.S. and Russia should have "a stronger partnership in ... high technology".

Carlos GutierrezGutierrez (at right) began by praising Russia. He said that "U.S.-Russia commercial ties are stronger and more dynamic than ever before."

He continued that "The next step for Russia is World Trade Organization accession. Russia is the world's largest economy not yet in the WTO. The United States has been working side-by-side with Russia to achieve WTO membership. Last November, Minister Gref and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab signed a bilateral market access agreement." (See, story titled "US and Russia Sign Bilateral Market Access Agreement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,493, November 21, 2006.)

He then gave advice to Russia on a number of issues, including intellectual property rights (IPR). He said that "Russians and Americans, like the rest of the world's people, stand to benefit from stronger enforcement of intellectual property.

"Around the globe we have seen that stolen intellectual property is not only an economic hazard, stifling innovation technological innovation, and discouraging works of culture in music and the arts, but also a health hazard." He elaborated that the World Health Organization (WHO) "estimates that 10 percent of global medicine is counterfeit." (See, WHO report on counterfeit medicines.)

He added that "Tough IP enforcement will protect Russian businesses and their ideas, like this country's resurgent film industry, and it will also protect Russian people."

Gutierrez continued that "Expansion of Russian commercial engagement with America and globally requires transparent markets that embrace foreign and domestic competition." He encouraged the Russia government to curb corruption, increase transparency, allow competition, provide an independent judiciary and adhere to the rule of law, and develop democratic institutions.

He argued that "As Russia becomes more prominent on the global stage, creating and maintaining a level playing field that encourages competition will attract more investment and ensure that Russian companies can successfully thrive at home and abroad."

Moreover, he said, "Transparency and predictability in regulations and laws governing investment would send positive signals to potential partners in both our countries. Capital allocators look for secure, predictable markets, and they watch with concern where uncertainty exists."

He also urged Russia to resist calls to protect domestic interests or whole segments of the economy with protectionist policies. He said that "Protectionism often has the unintended consequence of limiting access to capital, technology and know-how, and sheltering companies and entire industries from competition that sparks innovation and drives efficiency. Protectionism doesn't protect jobs -- the only thing that does is to compete, innovate and grow."

Finally, he said that "The United States and Russia should have a stronger partnership in ... high technology ..." and that "There have been tremendous technological advancements from which Russian companies could greatly benefit."

FCC Creates Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council

4/4. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the creation of an advisory committee titled "Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council".

The FCC stated that this committee will replace both the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC) and the Media Security and Reliability Council (MSRC). The FCC further stated that the duties of this new committee will include recommending best practices "to ensure the security, reliability, operability and interoperability of public safety communications systems", and recommending ways to "improve the Emergency Alert System (EAS)".

Its duties will also include "reviewing the deployment of Internet Protocol (IP) as a network protocol for critical next generation infrastructure, including emergency/first responder networks".

It duties will also include "reviewing and recommending to the FCC an implementation plan for the ``emergency communications internetwork´´ advocated by NRIC VII, Focus Group 1D in its December 2005 Final Report." See, NRIC's December 16, 2005, report [71 pages in PDF] titled "Communication Issues for Emergency Communications Beyond E911: Final Report -- Properties, network architectures and transition issues for communications between emergency services organizations, including PSAPs".

See, Federal Register, April 4, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 64, at Pages 16362-16363.

Copyright Office to Begin Online Registrations

4/5. The Copyright Office (CO) published a page in its web site that announces that starting "This summer" it will "offer the option to file a copyright registration online through this website". The CO has named this program "electronic Copyright Office" or "eCO".

The basic filing fee for many copyright registrations is $45. The corresponding fee for online applications will be $35.

The CO states that this new system will facilitate "Fastest processing time", "Earlier effective date of registration", "Online status tracking", and "Payment online by credit card or Copyright Office deposit account".

The CO also stated that it will begin using new registration forms on July 1, 2007. However, it has not yet released copies of these new forms. The CO added that "With new scanning software, the Office will be able to process these forms more efficiently and faster."

The CO states in a web page titled "The U.S. Copyright Office Reengineering Program" that "The reengineering initiative aims to produce a more efficient and effective customer-based registration and recordation process through specific project objectives. It will reshape the Office’s future and its services to creators and users of copyrighted works. The focus of this effort is to reengineer the Office’s principal business processes and public services of registering claims, recording documents, acquiring works for the Library of Congress, answering public requests, maintaining records and accounts, and processing licenses."

While the CO's new eCO system will enable authors to register works online, the Congress and CO have yet to provide clear rules for how to register web based works with the CO. The CO's registration system predates the internet. Its categories of works, such as nondramatic literary works and works of visual arts, and its multitude of forms, do not provide guidance regarding registration of works of authorship in new media.

One consequence is that authors may loose a cause of action for infringement on the grounds that they failed to comply with registration procedure. See, for example, opinion [6 pages in PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (8thCir) in Action Tapes v. Mattson, and story titled "8th Circuit Rules Against Copyright Owner on Registration Errors" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,445, September 8, 2006. Also, the CO's regulations regarding registration are codified at 37 C.F.R. §§ 202.1 - 202.23.

People and Appointments

4/4. Robert Jamison was promoted to Deputy Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS stated in a release that his responsibilities will include improving "the resiliency of essential cyber-security and communications capabilities". Jamison was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Before that, he worked for the Department of Transportation. And before that, he was a longtime employee of United Parcel Service (UPS).

4/4. Robert Mocny was promoted to Director of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. He was Deputy Director of US-VISIT. See, DHS release.

4/3. Richard Sennett was named Chief Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Division of Investment Management. See, SEC release.

More News

4/5. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) submitted a report [21 pages in PDF] to the Congress titled "Annual Report to the Congress for FY 2006 Pursuant to the Do Not Call Implementation Act on Implementation of the Do Not Call Registry". The report states that "The National Do Not Call Registry is, by virtually every available measure, an effective consumer protection initiative. By the end of FY 2006, more than 132 million telephone numbers were registered. The available data show that compliance with the National Do Not Call Registry provisions of the Amended Telemarketing Sales Rule ("Amended TSR") is high and that, as a result, consumers are receiving fewer unwanted telemarketing calls." (Footnote omitted. Parentheses in original.) See also, FTC release.

4/4. The Copyright Office published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the comment deadline for its proposed rules changes regarding applications for registration of claims to the renewal term of copyright. The deadline to submit comments is May 4, 2007. See, Federal Register, April 4, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 64, at Pages 16306-16311.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, April 9

Deadline to submit affidavits to the Copyright Office (CO) to assist it in compiling a new specialty station list "to identify commercial television broadcast stations which, according to their owners, qualify as specialty stations for purposes of the former distant signal carriage rules" of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This list is relevant to the cable compulsory license, which is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 111. The CO requests that "all interested owners of television broadcast stations that qualify as specialty stations, including those that previously filed affidavits, to submit sworn affidavits to the Copyright Office stating that the programming of their stations meets the requirements specified under the FCC regulations in effect on June 24, 1981." See, notice in the Federal Register, February 8, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 26, at Pages 6008-6010.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding AT&T's petition for forbearance from enforcement of certain FCC cost assignment rules. See, Public Notice [3 pages in PDF] (DA 07-731). This proceeding is WC Docket No. 07-21.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the license transfer application filed by News Corporation, Directv Group, Inc., and Liberty Media Corporation. News Corps seeks to divest its interest in Directv, and Liberty Media seeks to divest its interest in News Corp. See, FCC Public Notice [PDF]. This is DA 07-637 in MB Docket No. 07-18.

Tuesday, April 10

The Senate will return from recess at 10:00 AM.

9:30 AM. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, and The Advertising Council will hold a news conference to announce a "national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to engage a new generation of children to make innovation, invention and technological development an integral part of their lives". See, USPTO notice. Location: Zenger Room, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The witnesses will be the five Commissioners of the FCC, Deborah Majoras, Pamela Harbour, Jonathan Leibowitz, William Kovacic, and Thomas Rosch. See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

1:30 - 4:30 PM. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) will hold a meeting. The agenda includes "The Insider Threat to Critical Infrastructure Control Systems". The speakers include Thomas Noonan (General Manager, IBM Internet Security Systems). See, notice in the Federal Register, March 16, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 51, Pages 12625-12626. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold an hearing titled "Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the Future of 9-1-1 Services". See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

4:00 - 6:00 PM. The DC Chapter of the Copyright Society of the USA will host a panel discussion titled "User Generated Content: The Copyright Conundrum". The speakers will be Sarah Deutsche (Verizon), Alec French (NBC Universal), Peter Jaszi (American University law school), Mike Remington (Drinker Biddle & Reath), Steve Tapia (Microsoft), Fred von Lohmann (Electronic Frontier Foundation). Rob Kasunic (American Univ. and Copyright Office) will moderate. Location: American University Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

6:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a dinner. The speaker will be FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. The reception begins at 6:00 PM. Dinner is at 7:30 PM. Prices range from $100 to $275. See, registration form [PDF]. Location: Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW.

Wednesday, April 11

Day one of a two day meeting of the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Business Research Advisory Council. The agenda for the 1:00 PM session includes "Internet data collection". See, notice in the Federal Register, March 27, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 58, at Pages 14299-14300. Location: Conference Center of the Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Judicial Nominations". Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) will preside. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON - 3:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar titled "Economic Analysis and FCC Decision-making". See, registration form [PDF]. Prices vary. This is a brown bag lunch. The deadline to register is 5:00 PM on April 6. Location: Hogan & Hartson, 13th floor, 555 13th St., NW.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section will host a panel discussion titled "The Patent Office Speaks". The speakers will be John Doll (Commissioner of Patents, USPTO), Peggy Focarino (Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations, USPTO), John Love (Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, USPTO), and Maureen Browne (moderator, Heller Ehrman). See, notice. The price to attend ranges from $15-$35. For more information, call 202-626-4363. Location: Jurys Washington Hotel, 1500 New Hampshire Ave., NW.

2:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee's (SJC) Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing titled "Responding to The Inspector General's Findings of Improper Use of National Security Letters by the FBI". Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) will preside. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

Deadline to submit requests to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to make presentations at the May 2, 2007 meeting of the BIS's Deemed Export Advisory Committee (DEAC) in Atlanta, Georgia. See, notice in the Federal Register: March 7, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 44, at Page 10141.

Thursday, April 12

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of S 236, the "Federal Agency Data Mining Reporting Act of 2007" and HR 740, the "Preventing Harassment through Outbound Number Enforcement (PHONE) Act of 2007". The agenda also includes consideration of several judicial nominees: Frederick Kapala (to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois), Halil Suleyman Ozerden (U.S.D.C. Southern District of Mississippi), and Benjamin Hale Settle (U.S.D.C. Western District of Washington). The SJC rarely follows its published agenda. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "Developments in Trade Remedy Proceedings and Legislation with China". The speakers will be Robert Heilferty (Office of Chief Counsel for Import Administration, Department of Commerce), Stephen Kho (Akin Gump), Jayme Roth, Marguerite Trossevin (Mayer Brown), and Eileen Bradner (moderator, Wiley Rein). See, notice. The price to attend ranges from $5-$25. For more information, call 202-626-4363. Location: Alston & Bird, 950 F St., NW.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the Missoula intercarrier compensation reform plan federal benchmark mechanism proposal. This proceeding is CC Docket No. 01-92. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 26, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 57, at Pages 14060-14061.

Monday, April 16

The House will return from recess at 2:00 PM.

Deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to its notice of proposed rulemaking regarding amending 37 CFR 2.64 to require a request for reconsideration of an examining attorney's final refusal or requirement to be filed through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) within three months of the mailing date of the final action. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 14, 2007, Vol. 72, No. 30, at Pages 6984-6986.

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