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April 23, 2008, Alert No. 1,752.
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Court of Appeals Rules in Rambus v. FTC

4/22. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion [24 pages in PDF] in Rambus v. FTC, a antitrust case regarding Rambus's participation in the JEDEC standards setting process and assertion of patent rights. The Court of Appeals set aside the FTC's order concluding that Rambus violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act and Section 5 of the FTC Act.

Background. On June 19, 2002, the FTC filed an administrative complaint against Rambus alleging anti-competitive behavior in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) in connection with its participation in a standard setting body for dynamic random access memory products. See, story titled "FTC Files Administrative Complaint Against Rambus" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 455, June 20, 2002.

The complaint pertained to Rambus's participation in the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, which was formerly known as the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council. JEDEC develops and issues technical standards for a form of computer memory known as synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM).

These organizations are sometimes referred to as standards setting organizations (SSOs) or standards development organizations (SDOs).

In 2006, the FTC concluded that "Rambus's acts of deception constituted exclusionary conduct under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and that Rambus unlawfully monopolized the markets for four technologies incorporated into the JEDEC standards in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act."

See, FTC's August 2, 2006, opinion [120 pages in PDF] in its administrative proceeding titled "In the Matter of Rambus, Inc.". See also, FTC Docket No. 9302 for hyperlinks to pleadings in this proceeding.

And see, story titled "FTC Holds That Rambus Unlawfully Monopolized Markets" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,427, August 8, 2006, and story titled "FTC Files Administrative Complaint Against Rambus" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 455, June 20, 2002.

Rambus filed the present petitions for review of FTC orders with the Court of Appeals. See, FTC's brief [PDF].

Statutes. Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which is codified at 15 U.S.C. ß 45, provides in part that "Unfair methods of competition in or affecting commerce, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce, are hereby declared unlawful."

Section 2 of the Sherman Act, which is codified at 15 U.S.C. ß 2, provides in part that "Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony ..."

However, most of the legal principles applied by the Court of Appeals in this case are found, not in these statutes, but in numerous opinions of the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeals that interpret these statutes.

Reasoning of the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals granted the petition, set aside the FTC's orders, and remanded to the FTC.

The Court of Appeals first summarized the order of the FTC. It wrote that Rambus has asserted that patents issued to protect its invention cover four technologies that a private SSO included in DRAM industry standards. The FTC determined that Rambus, while participating in this process, "deceptively failed to disclose to the SSO the patent interests it held in four technologies that were standardized." The FTC found this conduct monopolistic, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, and also in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The Court of Appeals held that the FTC "failed to sustain its allegation of monopolization. Its factual conclusion was that Rambus's alleged deception enabled it either to acquire a monopoly through the standardization of its patented technologies rather than possible alternatives, or to avoid limits on its patent licensing fees that the SSO would have imposed as part of its normal process of standardizing patented technologies. But the latter -- deceit merely enabling a monopolist to charge higher prices than it otherwise could have charged -- would not in itself constitute monopolization." (Italics in original.)

The proceeding is remanded to the FTC, which could retry Rambus, or proceed on a different theory. The Court of Appeals thus wrote in dicta that "We also address whether there is substantial evidence that Rambus engaged in deceptive conduct at all, and express our serious concerns about the sufficiency of the evidence on two particular points."

The Court of Appeals then offered a lengthy application of the law of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, as expounded by the courts, to the present case.

It began by noting that "the mere existence of a monopoly does not violate the Sherman Act", and that in addition to the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market, the offense of monopolization requires the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historical accident.

It wrote that Rambus does not dispute the nature of the relevant markets or that its patent rights in the four relevant technologies give it monopoly power in each of those markets. Therefore, the "critical question is whether Rambus engaged in exclusionary conduct, and thereby acquired its monopoly power in the relevant markets unlawfully."

The Court of Appeals continued that to be condemned as exclusionary, a monopolist's act must have anticompetitive effect. It must harm the competitive process and thereby harm consumers. Moreover, the FTC carries the burden of proof.

The Court of Appeals wrote that the FTC "held that Rambus engaged in exclusionary conduct consisting of misrepresentations, omissions, and other practices that deceived JEDEC about the nature and scope of its patent interests while the organization standardized technologies covered by those interests. ... Had Rambus fully disclosed its intellectual property, ``JEDEC either would have excluded Rambus's patented technologies from the JEDEC DRAM standards, or would have demanded RAND assurances, with an opportunity for ex ante licensing negotiations.īī ... But the Commission did not determine that one or the other of these two possible outcomes was the more likely."

It wrote that the FTC's "conclusion that Rambus's conduct was exclusionary depends, therefore, on a syllogism: Rambus avoided one of two outcomes by not disclosing its patent interests; the avoidance of either of those outcomes was anticompetitive; therefore Rambus's nondisclosure was anticompetitive."

The opinion continued. "We assume without deciding that avoidance of the first of these possible outcomes was indeed anticompetitive; that is, that if Rambusís more complete disclosure would have caused JEDEC to adopt a different (open, non-proprietary) standard, then its failure to disclose harmed competition and would support a monopolization claim. But while we can assume that Rambus's nondisclosure made the adoption of its technologies somewhat more likely than broad disclosure would have, the Commission made clear in its remedial opinion that there was insufficient evidence that JEDEC would have standardized other technologies had it known the full scope of Rambusís intellectual property." (Parentheses in original.)

Therefore, the Court of Appeals wrote, for the FTC's syllogism to survive, and for the FTC to meet its burden of proving that Rambus's conduct had an anticompetitive effect, "we must also be convinced that if Rambus's conduct merely enabled it to avoid the other possible outcome, namely JEDECís obtaining assurances from Rambus of RAND licensing terms, such conduct, alone, could be said to harm competition."

But, "Deceptive conduct -- like any other kind -- must have an anticompetitive effect in order to form the basis of a monopolization claim."

"The focus of our antitrust scrutiny", the Court of Appeals wrote, is "placed on the resulting harms to competition rather than the deception itself."

"Here, the Commission expressly left open the likelihood that JEDEC would have standardized Rambusís technologies even if Rambus had disclosed its intellectual property. Under this hypothesis, JEDEC lost only an opportunity to secure a RAND commitment from Rambus. But loss of such a commitment is not a harm to competition from alternative technologies in the relevant markets." (Italics in original.)

"Indeed, had JEDEC limited Rambus to reasonable royalties and required it to provide licenses on a nondiscriminatory basis, we would expect less competition from alternative technologies, not more; high prices and constrained output tend to attract competitors, not to repel them." (Italics in original.)

The Court of Appeals concluded. "Thus, if JEDEC, in the world that would have existed but for Rambus's deception, would have standardized the very same technologies, Rambusís alleged deception cannot be said to have had an effect on competition in violation of the antitrust laws; JEDECís loss of an opportunity to seek favorable licensing terms is not as such an antitrust harm. Yet the Commission did not reject this as being a possible -- perhaps even the more probable -- effect of Rambus's conduct. We hold, therefore, that the Commission failed to demonstrate that Rambusís conduct was exclusionary, and thus to establish its claim that Rambus unlawfully monopolized the relevant markets."

Consequences of this Opinion. This opinion is a major victory for Rambus. Along with a recent jury verdict in Hynix v. Rambus, this opinion will assist Rambus in its efforts to collect patent royalties on the patents at issue.

Also, the FTC's efforts to apply competition law principles to patents and the standards setting process appear to be in disarray.

Rambus's General Counsel, Tom Lavelle, stated in a release that "We are very pleased with this decision by the DC Court of Appeals. As we have contended all along, Rambus did nothing wrong during its participation in the JEDEC standard-setting organization, and now the Court of Appeals has confirmed our point of view. Rambus has had to endure years of uncertainty, lost business and enormous legal fees defending this case, and we are thrilled to have this portion behind us".

He added that "This decision, especially combined with the jury verdict in March reaching the same conclusion, should put the issue to rest and allow us to focus on running our business."

Lavelle referred to the March 26, 2008, jury verdict in Hynix Semiconductor v. Rambus, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, D.C. No. 00-cv-20905.

That other case is a patent infringement action involving the same patents of Rambus, and the same allegations of anticompetitive conduct, as in the FTC's action against Rambus. In a previous phase of the Hynix case, Rambus won a verdict of patent infringement. On March 26, the trial jury returned a verdict rejecting Hynix's claims of anticompetitive conduct by Rambus.

This matter is far from concluded. The FTC may proceed to retry Rambus. Hynix may prevail on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir). Rambus is also involved in ongoing litigation with other alleged patent infringers. Nevertheless, Rambus is in a substantially stronger position now than it was a month ago.

Other Court Opinions and Administrative Actions. On September 4, 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) issued its opinion [39 pages in PDF] in Broadcom v. Qualcomm, a case regarding whether a patent holder's deceptive conduct before a private standards development organization (SDO) may be condemned under antitrust laws, and if so, what facts must be pled to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. The Court of Appeals concluded that SDOs can be pro-competitive and advance consumer welfare, and hence, a patent holder's conduct before an SDO can violate antitrust law. See, story titled "3rd Circuit Rules that Deception of SDO Can Give Rise to Claims for Violation of Sherman Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,635, September 7, 2007.

On January 29, 2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) issued its split opinion in Rambus v. Infineon, a patent infringement case involving dynamic random access memory (DRAM) products. The Court of Appeals vacated the District Court's judgment of non-infringement, as a matter of claim construction. It also reversed the District Court's denial of a motion to set aside a jury verdict of fraud based on failure to disclose patent and patent application information to a standard setting body. See, story titled "Federal Circuit Rules in Rambus v. Infineon", also published in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 594, January 30, 2003.

On October 30, 2006, Thomas Barnett, Assistant Attorney General (AAG) in charge of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division's (ATR) issued a business review letter to Robert Skitol, attorney for the VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA), that discloses the DOJ's views on SDOs and the standards development process. See also, DOJ release and story titled "DOJ Approves VITA Patent Policy" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1479, October 31, 2006.

On, January 18, 2007, Gerald Masoudi, the DOJ/ATR's Deputy AAG, gave a speech titled "Efficiency in Analysis of Antitrust, Standard Setting, and Intellectual Property". See also, story titled "DOJ's Masoudi Addresses Antitrust, Standard Setting and IPR" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,528, January 29, 2007. And see, January 18, 2007, bullet points points of speech by the FTC's Alden Abbott regarding antitrust, intellectual property and standard setting.

The European Commission recently initiated a proceeding against Rambus similar to the FTC's proceeding. See, story titled "European Commission Pursues Rambus Regarding JEDEC Standards Setting Process" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,627, August 23, 2007.

Case Information. The present case is Rambus v. FTC, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, App. Ct. Nos. 07-1086 and 07-1124, petitions for review of final orders of the FTC. Judge Williams wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges Henderson and Randolph joined.

SEC Files Complaint Against Broadcom Over Backdated Stock Options

4/22. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (CDCal) against Broadcom Corporation alleging violation of federal securities law in connection with backdating of stock options, and resulting overstatement of income. See, SEC release.

The SEC announced that it simultaneously settled with Broadcom. Under this settlement, Broadcom admits no wrongdoing, but consents to entry of an injunction against future violation of federal securities laws, and to pay a $12 Million fine.

The complaint alleges violation of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b), 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), 13(b)(2)(B), and 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and various SEC rules thereunder.

This case is SEC v. Broadcom Corporation, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, D.C. No. SACV 08-00430 JVS (RNBx).

Supreme Court Denies Cert in Bankruptcy Case Involving Spectrum Licenses

4/21. The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Donald Thacker v. FCC, a bankruptcy case involving spectrum licenses. See, Orders List [12 pages in PDF] at page 5.

This lets stand the September 17, 2007, opinion [PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir).

In 1996 Magnacom Wireless obtained spectrum usage licenses at a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auction. As a designated entity, it made only down payments, and signed security agreements that required periodic payments over ten years. The total purchase price was $55 Million. It failed to pay the FCC. It filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition. The FCC sought and received from the Bankruptcy Court relief from the stay. The FCC then cancelled the licenses. It then auctioned the spectrum again, for $287 Million.

Donald Thacker, the trustee to the bankruptcy estate of Magnacom, filed a complaint seeking proceeds from this second auction. The Bankruptcy Court dismissed the complaint, the District Court affirmed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Thacker then filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court.

See also, story "9th Circuit Rules on Effect of Bankruptcy on FCC Spectrum Licenses" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,640, September 17, 2007.

This case is Donald Thacker v. FCC, Supreme Court of the United States, Sup. Ct. No. 07-803, a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, App. Ct. No. 05-35839. The Court of Appeals heard an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, D.C. No. CV-04-05681-FDB, Judge Franklin Burgess presiding. Judge Sandra Ikuta wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges Betty Fletcher and Harry Pregerson joined. See also, Supreme Court docket.

People and Appointments

4/22. President Bush announced his intent to nominate Jeffrey Sedgwick to be Assistant Attorney General (AAG) in charge of the Office of Justice Programs. He is currently this acting AAG. See, White House release.

4/21. Michael Halloran, Counselor to the Chairman and Deputy Chief of Staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will leave the SEC in May. See, SEC release.

More News

4/23. The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a criminal complaint in U.S. District Court (DKan) against Benjamin Rowner and Jay H. Soled alleging criminal conspiracy in connection with their defrauding of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) e-rate subsidy program. The DOJ also announced in a release that the two defendants have agreed to plead guilty.

4/22. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) issued its opinion in Star Wireless v. FCC, denying a petition for review of a final order of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that imposed a monetary forfeiture for violating the FCC's anti-collusion rule. This case is Star Wireless LLC v. FCC and USA, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, App. Ct. No. 07-1190, a petition for review of a final order of the FCC. Judge Rogers wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges Henderson and Brown joined.

4/21. The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Joseph Ardito v. NBC Universal, Inc., Sup. Ct. No. 07-1142. See, Orders List [12 pages in PDF] at page 5. This lets stand the October 4, 2007, opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals (2ndCir). See also, Supreme Court docket.

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, April 24

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It will consider HR 2830 [LOC | WW], the "Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2008", pursuant to a rule. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of April 21, and schedule for April 24.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM. It will resume consideration of HR 1315 [LOC | WW], the "Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2007".

Day one of a three day conference of the National Conference of State Legislature titled "Spring Forum". At 1:15 PM, there will be a panel titled "REAL ID: Final Rules ... State Responses". The speakers will include Kathleen Kraninger, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security. At 2:30 PM there will be a panel titled "Open Government: Transparency Online". At 2:45 PM there will be a panel titled "State Leadership on Health Information Technology". Location: Capital Hill Hyatt Regency, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

9:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) will host an event titled "IPI's Third Annual World Intellectual Property Day Event". The first panel is titled "Digital Technologies: Emerging Challenges, Evolving Strategies"; the speakers will be Solveig Singleton (IPI), Mitch Bainwol (RIAA), Dan Glickman (MPAA), and Steve Largent (CTIA). The second panel is titled "Social and Economic Benefits of IP: Who Wins? Who Loses?"; the speakers will be Susan Finston (IPI), Lien Verbauwhede Koglin (WIPO), Michael Gollin (Venable law firm), and Mohit Mehrotra (Excel Life Sciences). The third panel is titled "The Intellectual Property Marketplace: The Role of IP Valuation and Tech Transfer"; the speakers will be Bartlett Cleland (IPI), Usha Balakrishnan (Collaborative Social Responsibility Solutions), Abha Divine (Techquity), and Robert Cresanti (Ocean Tomo). The fourth panel is titled "Combating (Dangerous) Counterfeits: How Countries are Policing their Borders"; the speakers will be Chris Israel (IPI), Mike DuBose (Chief, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section, Department of Justice), Nick Smith (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and Dave Walters (Cisco). This event is free. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to Erin Humiston at 972-874-5139 or erin at ipi dot org. Location: 5th floor, Reserve Officer Association, 1 Constitution Ave., NE.

9:00 AM. Day two of a two day partially closed meeting of the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Information Systems Technical Advisory Committee. The April 24, 2008, meeting is closed, and its agenda is undisclosed. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 8, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 68, at Pages 19049-19050. Location: Room 3884, DOC, 14th St. between Constitution and Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold an executive session. The agenda includes consideration of SJRes 28, S 2607 [LOC | WW], and S 2507 [LOC | WW]. SJRes 28 provides "That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to broadcast media ownership (Report and Order FCC 07-216), received by Congress on February 22, 2008, and such rule shall have no force or effect." S 2607 amends Section 3009 of the "Deficit Reduction Act of 2005", which pertains to low power television and translators. S 2507 is the "DTV Border Fix Act of 2007". See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of S 2533 [LOC | WW], the "State Secrets Protection Act". The agenda also includes consideration of three judicial nominees: Mark Davis (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia), David Kays (U.S.D.C., Western District of Missouri), and Stephen Limbaugh, (U.S.D.C., Eastern District of Missouri). The SJC rarely follows its published agendas. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled "Turmoil in U.S. Credit Markets: Examining the U.S. Regulatory Framework for Assessing Sovereign Investments". The witnesses will be Scott Alvarez (Federal Reserve Board General Counsel), Ethiopis Tafara (SEC), David Marchik (Carlyle Group), and Jeanne Archibald (Hogan & Hartson). See, notice. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet by conference call to prepare advice on submission of contributions to ITU-T SG16. (This is the International Telecommunication Union's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Technical Study Group Sixteen (Multimedia terminals, systems and applications).) See, notice in the Federal Register, February 28, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 40, at Page 10854. To participate, call 1-210-839-8500 or 1-888-455-9640. The passcode is 52902.

12:00 NOON - 6:30 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Engineering Advisory Committee. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 64, at Page 18007. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1235, Arlington, VA.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The National Economists Club will host a lunch titled "Strings Attached? The Economics and Politics of Sovereign Wealth Funds". The speaker will be Tim Adams (Lindsey Group, and former Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs). Location: Chinatown Garden Restaurant, 2nd floor, 618 H St., NW.

1:00 - 2:30 PM. The House Intelligence Committee will hold a closed hearing titled "Cyber". See, notice. Location: Room H-405, Capitol Building.

2:00 PM. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs's (SHSGA) Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management will hold a hearing titled "Beyond Control: Reforming Export Licensing Agencies for National Security and Economic Interests". See, notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee's (SCC) Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Innovation will hold a hearing titled "National Nanotechnology Initiative: Charting the Course for Reauthorization". See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

5:00 PM (2:00 PM PT). Rambus will hold its its regularly scheduled quarterly conference call. Rambus officers will also discuss the April 22, 2008, opinion [PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) granting Rambus's petition for review of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) orders concluding that Rambus violated competition laws in connection with patents and standards setting processes. See, Rambus release.

TIME?. The Department of State's (DOS) International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet. The agenda may include advice for the U.S. government on the ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2008 (WTSA 08), meetings of the Telecommunication Sector Advisory Group (TSAG), and group meetings on the International Telecommunication Regulations, cybersecurity, and other subjects. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 28, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 40, at Page 10854. Location?

Deadline to submit nominations for two positions on the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Universal Service Administrative Company's (USAC) Board of Directors. See, FCC notice.

Friday, April 25

Rep. Hoyer's schedule for the week of April 21 states that "no votes are expected in the House".

Day one of a three day conference of the National Conference of State Legislature titled "Spring Forum". At 11:00 AM there will be a panel titled "Communications Tax Issues". Location: Capital Hill Hyatt Regency, 400 New Jersey Ave., NW.

8:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. Day two of a two day meeting of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Engineering Advisory Committee. See, notice in the Federal Register, April 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 64, at Page 18007. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1235, Arlington, VA.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) regarding a broadcast television substitution in Riverside, California. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 11, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 48, at Pages 12928-12929.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding competitive bidding procedures for its Auction 78, the AWS-1 and Broadband PCS auction, which is scheduled to commence on July 29, 2008. See, DA 08-767 and notice in the Federal Register, April 16, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 74, at Pages 20664-20672.

Monday, April 28

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Free State Foundation (FSF) will host a program titled "Reforming Universal Service: What Should Be Done And How To Do It". The speakers will be James Assey (National Cable & Telecommunications Association), Shirley Bloomfield (Qwest), Joel Lubin (AT&T), Randolph May (FSF), John Rose (OPASTCO), Mark Rubin (Alltel), Colin Crowell (House Commerce Committee, Democratic staff), and Neil Fried (House Commerce Committee, Republican staff). RSVP to Susan Reichbart at sreichbart at freestatefoundation dot org The event is free. Lunch will be provided. Location: Room 2322, Rayburn Building.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar Association will host panel discussion titled "Merger Control in the Americas". The speakers will be John Taladay (Howrey), Eduardo Perez Motta (Chairman, Federal Commission on Competition, Mexico), Elizabeth Farina (President, Brazilian Competition Council), and Maria Tineo (Counsel for International Antitrust, Federal Trade Commission). The price to attend ranges from $15 to $30. For more information, contact 202-626-3488. See, notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

EXTENDED FROM MARCH 14. Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The FCC adopted this item on December 18, 2007, and released the text on January 24, 2008. It is FCC 07-218 in MB Docket No. 04-233. See, notice in the Federal Register, February 13, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 30, at Pages 8255-8259. See also, FCC's Public Notice [PDF] (DA 08-393). See also, Public Notice [PDF] (DA 08-515) extending deadlines.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding SP 800-64 Rev. 2 [60 pages in PDF], titled "DRAFT Security Considerations in the System Development Life Cycle".

Tuesday, April 29

9:30 AM. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled "The Impact of Implementation: A Review of the REAL ID Act and the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative". See, notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) will hold a hearing titled "Oversight of Trade Functions: Customs and Other Trade Agencies". The witnesses will be Warren Maruyama (General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), Ralph Basham (Commissioner of Customs, Department of Homeland Security), Julie Myers (Assistant Secretary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS), and Daniel Pearson (Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission). See, notice. Location: Room 215, Dirksen Building.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) will host a lunch titled "700 MHz ``D Blockīī: What's Next?" The speakers will be Declan Ganley (Ch/CEO of Rivada Networks), Kenneth Ferree (PFF), Art Contreras (Mobile Future), Michael Calabrese (New America Foundation), Paul Glenchur (Stanford Washington Research Group). This event is free and open to the public. See, PFF notice and registration page. Location: Rotunda Room, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

Deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) regarding its proposal to amend the Trademark Rules of Practice to provide that the procedures for filing trademark correspondence by Express Mail or under a certificate of mailing or transmission do not apply to certain specified documents for which an electronic form is available in the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). See, notice in the Federal Register, February 29, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 41, at Pages 11079-11081.

Wednesday, April 30

9:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee's (SJC) Subcommittee on the Constitution will hold a hearing titled "Secret Law and the Threat to Democratic and Accountable Government". It will address legal analysis withheld from the public, including memoranda of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) will preside. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Advisory Committee on the Electronic Records Archives (ACERA). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 11, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 71, at Pages 19903-19904. Location: 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

12:30 - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a presentation titled "U.S. Copyright Office's New Electronic Filing Procedure for the Registration of Copyrights". The speaker will be Jeffrey Cole of the Copyright Office. The price to attend ranges from $20 to $25. For more information, contact 202-626-3488. See, notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

1:30 - 3:30 PM. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Spectrum Management Advisory Committee will meet. The agenda includes receiving recommendations and reports from working groups of its Technical Sharing Efficiencies Subcommittee and Operational Sharing Efficiencies Subcommittee. See, NTIA notice and notice in the Federal Register, April 11, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 71, at Pages 19828-19829. Location: Room 1412, DOC, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding public safety communications in the 800 MHz band. The FCC adopted and released this item on March 5, 2008. This item is FCC 08-73 in WT Docket No. 02-55 and ET Docket Nos. 00-258 and 95-18. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 31, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 62, at Pages 16822-16826.

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding SP 800-39 [67 pages in PDF], titled "DRAFT Managing Risk from Information Systems: An Organizational Perspective".

Thursday, May 1

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Day two of a two day meeting of the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) Advisory Committee on the Electronic Records Archives (ACERA). See, notice in the Federal Register, April 11, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 71, at Pages 19903-19904. Location: 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

9:00 - 10:30 AM. Robert Atkinson, head of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), will present a report titled "Explaining International Broadband Leadership". See, notice. Location: National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW.

9:30 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will hold a hearing on a yet to be introduced bill that the HCC titles "Draft Legislation Enhancing Access to Broadband Technology and Services for Persons with Disabilities". The hearing will be webcast by the HCC. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing on the nominations of Steven Agee (to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit), William Lawrence (U.S. District Court, SDInd), and Murray Snow (USDC, DAriz). Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

6:00 PM. Deadline for the winning bidders in Auction 73 to avoid default for failure to submit final payment, including late fees, for their winning bids. See, notice.

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