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June 9, 2008, Alert No. 1,778.
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Adelstein Advocates Media Justice

6/9. FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein gave a speech in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the Free Press's event titled "National Conference for Media Reform".

It was a spirited but amorphous denunciation of numerous practices of broadcasters and "media", with calls for investigations, rulemakings, and other unspecified government action. He also spoke about "carrying this fight from our media to the Internet". It was a speech about fighting for "freedom of the press and on the Internet" by regulating speech, media and the internet.

He began by citing Dan Rather as authority for the proposition that "corporate media has abandoned its sense of responsibility".

Jonathan AdelsteinAdelstein (at right) urged the House to pass SJRes 28, regarding the FCC's media ownership rules. The Senate passed this resolution on May 15, 2008. See, story titled "Senate Approves Media Ownership Resolution" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,768, May 16, 2008. See also, story titled "FCC Releases Text of Media Ownership Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,714, February 8, 2008, story titled "Copps and Adelstein Complain About FCC Media Ownership Agenda Item" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,688, December 13, 2007, and story titled "Martin Releases Media Ownership Proposal" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,675, November 13, 2007.

He also advocated further FCC regulation of broadcast speech. He urged the FCC to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) "to develop new rules to clarify that sponsorship identification has to be clear and understandable".

He also called for further investigation of possible violations of the federal "payola" statute, and the "federal antipropaganda statute".

Adelstein stated that "We need to fight thinly disguised payola fueling homogenized corporate music that leaves no room for local and independent artists. We need to fight video news releases masquerading as news, with public relations agents pushing agendas that squeeze out real news coverage and local community concerns. We need to fight product placements turning news and entertainment shows alike into undisclosed commercials."

FCC actions in this area rely upon, among other statutory sections, 47 U.S.C. § 317 and 47 U.S.C. § 508, as well as FCC rules thereunder. Although, the FCC has not yet defined the term "homogenized corporate music".

Adelstein referenced this and other practices and activities of radio broadcasters of music. He also discussed broadcast and cable carriage of video news releases, Armstrong Williams, and the Department of Defense.

For further information about FCC activities in this area, see for example, stories titled "FCC Fines Comcast for Cablecasting Unattributed Information" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,624, September 24, 2007; "FCC Fines Radio Broadcast Companies for Selling Airtime" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,565, April 16, 2007; "FCC Chairman Directs Enforcement Bureau to Conduct Payola Investigation" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,191, August 9, 2005; "Adelstein Angles for More FCC Regulation of Speech" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,143, May 26, 2005; and "Powell Announces FCC Investigation Regarding Armstrong Williams" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,057, January 17, 2005.

He also advocated expanding government involvement from regulation of broadcast and cable to regulation of internet activities. He said that "we need to fight rapacious advertisers preying on the unsuspecting minds of our young children."

He also advocated regulation of internet speech, including "interactive advertising". He also said, "Let us continue to promote the true American spirit of democracy in the media and on the Internet."

"We cannot let what happened to our media happen to the Internet. We cannot allow a few gatekeepers to control the Internet so they can maximize profits in the service of advertisers. We need to keep the Internet -- of the people, by the people and for the people."

It was a wide ranging, and vaguely worded speech. He was not specific regarding whether his comparisons of broadcasting to the internet constituted advocacy of network neutrality regulation of broadband service providers, content regulation of internet speakers, or something else.

The FCC has long engaged in various types of regulation of broadcast speech, pursuant to laws made by the Congress, and rules promulgated by the FCC. For example, in its recent actions with respect to video news releases the FCC assert reliance upon 47 U.S.C. § 503 and Section 76.1615(a) of its rules. Moreover, the FCC has prevailed in many First Amendment challenges to the Constitutionality of its actions. See for example, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978), Red Lion v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969), and NBC v. US, 319 U.S. 190 (1943).

While Adelstein hinted at regulation of internet speech, he did not elaborate on the statutory authority or Constitutionality of extending broadcast type regulation to internet speech.

Adelstein did not use this speech to discuss another area in which the FCC has been active in regulating speech -- indecency.

Adelstein also said in this speech that "We must open our airwaves to low-power FM stations and minority voices, restore public interest obligations on broadcasters, and protect public access channels on cable", promote broadband deployment, and build municipal broadband networks. He did not state whether his use of the term "we" referred to the FCC, the Congress, or another entity.

Supreme Court Rules on Patent Exhaustion Doctrine

6/9. The Supreme Court issued its opinion [22 pages in PDF] in Quanta Computers v. LG Electronics, a case regarding the patent exhaustion doctrine. It held that the doctrine applies to method claims. It also held, given the nature of the chipsets in this case, and the language of the cross licensing agreement, that the doctrine applies to the products that "substantially embody" the patents.

Summary. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir). See, July 7, 2006, opinion [31 pages in PDF], which is also reported at 453 F. 3d, at 1370.

The patent exhaustion doctrine restricts a patent holder from exercising his rights against an article embodying the patent holder's invention once that article has been sold by the patent holder or an authorized licensee.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for a unanimous Court. The Court relied and elaborated upon the holding of the Supreme Court in its 1942 opinion in United States v. Univis Lens Co., 316 U. S. 241.

The opinion offers this summary. "For over 150 years this Court has applied the doctrine of patent exhaustion to limit the patent rights that survive the initial authorized sale of a patented item. In this case, we decide whether patent exhaustion applies to the sale of components of a patented system that must be combined with additional components in order to practice the patented methods. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the doctrine does not apply to method patents at all and, in the alternative, that it does not apply here because the sales were not authorized by the license agreement. We disagree on both scores. Because the exhaustion doctrine applies to method patents, and because the license authorizes the sale of components that substantially embody the patents in suit, the sale exhausted the patents."

This is a victory for information technology companies that make things that include microprocessors and other products based upon patented technologies. It is a defeat for the patent holders. The two sides offered competing arguments regarding the policy consequences of judicial interpretation of the patent exhaustion doctrine. See, discussion of amicus curiae briefs below.

Background. LG Electronics, Inc. (LGE) purchased a portfolio of computer technology patents in 1999 including the three patents at issue, U.S. Patent Nos. 4,939,641, 5,379,379, and 5,077,733.

LGE then licensed a patent portfolio, including these three patents, to Intel. The cross licensing agreement permits Intel to manufacture and sell microprocessors and chipsets that use the three patents. The agreement authorizes Intel to "make, use, sell (directly or indirectly), offer to sell, import or otherwise dispose of" its own products practicing the three patents. The agreement also provides that no license "is granted by either party hereto ... to any third party for the combination by a third party of Licensed Products of either party with items, components, or the like acquired ... from sources other than a party hereto, or for the use, import, offer for sale or sale of such combination." (Parentheses in original.)

Quanta Computer, and other petitioners, are computer manufacturers. They purchased microprocessors and chipsets from Intel. They made computers using Intel parts in combination with non-Intel memory and buses in ways that practice the three patents that Intel licensed from LGE.

That is, Intel was licensed to sell chipsets that incorporated LGE's patented technology. But, this was a limited license. Although, nothing in the agreement barred Intel from selling chipsets. Intel sold chipsets to Quanta. Quanta did not resell the chipsets. Rather, it put them in computers in a manner that exceeded Intel's license. It relied upon its purchase from Intel, and the patent exhaustion doctrine. In contrast, LGE asserted that the patent exhaustion does not apply.

Proceedings Below. LGE filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court (NDCal) against Quanta and the other computer manufacturers alleging patent infringement.

The District Court granted summary judgment to Quanta. It held that the license that LGE granted to Intel resulted in forfeiture of any potential infringement actions against legitimate purchasers of the Intel's products.

The District Court held that although the Intel products do not fully practice any of the patents at issue, they have no reasonable noninfringing use and therefore their authorized sale exhausted patent rights in the completed computers under US v. Univis Lens. The District Court also held that patent exhaustion applies only to apparatus or composition of matter claims that describe a physical object, and does not apply to process, or method, claims that describe operations to make or use a product.

The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part.

The Court of Appeals held that the doctrine of patent exhaustion does not apply to method claims, and in the alternative, it concluded that exhaustion did not apply because LGE did not license Intel to sell the Intel products to Quanta for use in combination with non-Intel products.

Supreme Court Opinion. The Supreme Court reversed.

It first addressed whether patent exhaustion applies to method patents. It held that it does.

It wrote that "Nothing in this Court's approach to patent exhaustion supports LGE’s argument that method patents cannot be exhausted. It is true that a patented method may not be sold in the same way as an article or device, but methods nonetheless may be ``embodied´´ in a product, the sale of which exhausts patent rights. Our precedents do not differentiate transactions involving embodiments of patented methods or processes from those involving patented apparatuses or materials. To the contrary, this Court has repeatedly held that method patents were exhausted by the sale of an item that embodied the method."

The Supreme Court also offered the rationale that "Eliminating exhaustion for method patents would seriously undermine the exhaustion doctrine. Patentees seeking to avoid patent exhaustion could simply draft their patent claims to describe a method rather than an apparatus."

Second, the Supreme Court addressed the extent to which a product must embody a patent in order to trigger exhaustion. It held that the patent exhaustion doctrine applies to products that "substantially embody" the patents.

The Supreme Court compared the facts of this case to those in Univis Lens, and concluded that its holding governs in this case.

The Court wrote that "LGE has suggested no reasonable use for the Intel Products other than incorporating them into computer systems that practice the LGE Patents. Nor can we can discern one: A microprocessor or chipset cannot function until it is connected to buses and memory. And here, as in Univis, the only apparent object of Intel’s sales to Quanta was to permit Quanta to incorporate the Intel Products into computers that would practice the patents." (Footnote omitted.)

"Like the Univis lens blanks, the Intel Products constitute a material part of the patented invention and all but completely practice the patent. Here, as in Univis, the incomplete article substantially embodies the patent because the only step necessary to practice the patent is the application of common processes or the addition of standard parts. Everything inventive about each patent is embodied in the Intel Products."

The Court continued that "the Intel Products cannot carry out these functions unless they are attached to memory and buses, but those additions are standard components in the system, providing the material that enables the microprocessors and chipsets to function. The Intel Products were specifically designed to function only when memory or buses are attached; Quanta was not required to make any creative or inventive decision when it added those parts. Indeed, Quanta had no alternative but to follow Intel’s specifications in incorporating the Intel Products into its computers because it did not know their internal structure, which Intel guards as a trade secret. ... Intel all but practiced the patent itself by designing its products to practice the patents, lacking only the addition of standard parts."

"The sale of a device that practices patent A does not, by virtue of practicing patent A, exhaust patent B. But if the device practices patent A while substantially embodying patent B, its relationship to patent A does not prevent exhaustion of patent B." (Emphasis in original.)

"While each Intel microprocessor and chipset practices thousands of individual patents, including some LGE patents not at issue in this case, the exhaustion analysis is not altered by the fact that more than one patent is practiced by the same product. The relevant consideration is whether the Intel Products that partially practice a patent -- by, for example, embodying its essential features -- exhaust that patent." (Emphasis in original.)

Finally, the Supreme Court concluded that the "sale to Quanta exhausted LGE’s patent rights".

Amicus Briefs. The case attracted numerous amicus curiae briefs, both in support of the LGE, and in support of Quanta.

The Intellectual Property Owners Association wrote in its amicus brief [PDF] in support of LGE that "patentees may place conditions on their licensing of inventions, so long as they do not use those conditions to abuse their patent rights. Conditional licenses that are used improperly, in violation of antitrust laws, are subject to the doctrine of patent exhaustion. Valid conditional licenses, however, are necessary to both patentees and licensees in order to bring useful technologies to the appropriate markets for an appropriate exchange of economic value. If intellectual property is to be effectively used and protected, the Court must re-enforce its precedent endorsing conditional sales and license agreements, when the conditions are not unlawful."

Qualcomm wrote in its amicus brief [PDF] in support to LGE that "High technology industries, such as the wireless communications industry, frequently involve manufacturing in a multi-step chain of production, which results in various companies owning large portfolios of multifaceted, interrelated patents. Members of these industries accordingly have negotiated licensing agreements under which patent owners license their patents to a diverse array of companies, each with substantially differing licensing needs, at various points in the production chain."

Qualcomm continued that "Critical to the complex structure of patent licensing in these industries is the well established rule that a patent owner has the flexibility, as a matter of law, to license different aspects of its bundle of make, use and sell rights separately without exhausting the whole of the patent owner’s rights, and may grant restricted, conditional licenses that authorize the licensee to practice only those patent rights that are necessary to accomplish that particular licensee’s intended purpose."

It wrote in its December 10, 2007, brief that the interpretation of the patent exhaustion doctrine that has now been adopted by the Supreme Court disregards industry customs and Supreme Court precedent, and "jeopardizes efficient allocations of risk and reward across the chain of production".

In contrast, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) wrote in its amicus brief [PDF] in support of Quanta that "Under the Federal Circuit's rule, making sales ``conditional´´ circumvents the exhaustion doctrine and allows patentees to retain the option of asserting the full arsenal of patent rights at any point that component changes hands."

The CCIA further argued that in the long run, the Federal Circuit's ruling, which the Supreme Court reversed, would have created "a shadow economy of permissions that advantage opportunists, especially those who own patents outside their core business and so have little need to cooperate in promoting stable and predictable markets in those areas. It will disrupt and skew the entire business ecology of the IT sector to favor upstream patent interests at the expense of assemblers, integrators, vendors, and end users -- and likely return the world to a less efficient economy based on vertical integration and stovepiped products and services that do not interoperate."

Similarly, Dell, eBay, HP and Cisco Systems wrote in their joint amicus brief [PDF] that the Federal Circuit's "regime is not necessary to enable patent owners to obtain full compensation for use of their invention, will create considerable confusion and uncertainty for downstream participants in the manufacturing process (as well as for sellers and the ultimate users of any products containing components implicating a patent), and opens the door to new, and very substantial abusive patent infringement claims." (Parentheses in original.)

It also argued, as the Supreme Court ultimately concluded, that "categorically excluding all method claims from the patent exhaustion doctrine" creates "an exception that swallows the rule".

This case is Quanta Computer, Inc., et al. v. LG Electronics, Inc., Supreme Court of the U.S., Sup. Ct. No. 06-937, a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, App. Ct. Nos. 05-1261, 05-1262, 05-1263, 05-1264, 05-1302, 05-1303, and 05-1304. Judge Mayer wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges Michel and Newman joined. The Court of Appeals heard appeals from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Claudia Wilkin presiding.

DOJ Approves Verizon's Acquisition of Rural Cellular Subject to Divestitures

6/10. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court (DC) against Verizon Communications alleging violation of federal antitrust law in connection with its acquisition of Rural Cellular Corp. (RCC). The DOJ simultaneously filed a proposed consent decree that will settle the matter.

The consent decree requires Verizon to divest assets in six geographic markets in the state of Vermont.

The DOJ stated in a release that "The divestitures are required to assure continued competition in markets where the proposed transaction would otherwise result in a significant loss of competition. Verizon and RCC are the most significant competitors in Vermont's two Rural Service Areas (RSAs) and the Burlington Metropolitan Statistical Area, as well as in one RSA in New York and two RSAs in Washington. According to the complaint, the proposed transaction would substantially reduce competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services in these areas, where, in each case, Verizon and RCC collectively serve more than 60 percent of subscribers."

The federal Tunney Act requires notice in the Federal Register, and opportunity for public comment, prior to judicial approval. There is also a parallel proceeding before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Wednesday, June 11

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's schedule for week of June 9, and schedule for June 11.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM for morning business. It will then resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S 3044 [LOC | WW], the "Consumer-First Energy Act of 2008", a bill regarding taxation and price regulation in the energy sector.

9:00 AM - 12:00 NOON and 1:30 - 4:00 PM. The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Data Privacy and Advisory Committee will meet. There will be panels on E-Verify and the Information Sharing Environment. See, DHS notice [PDF]. Location: Hilton Arlington Hotel, Galleries I & II, 950 North Stafford St., Arlington, VA.

9:00 - 11:45 AM. Day two of a two day meeting of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) titled "NIST's Roles in the Innovation Ecosystem". See, notice in the Federal Register, May 6, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 88, at Page 24950. Location: NIST, Administration Building, Employees Lounge, Gaithersburg, MD.

12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a program titled "Entertainment Law in Review". The price to attend ranges from $20 to $30. The speaker will be Stan Soocher (University of Colorado at Denver). For more information, contact 202-626-3463. See, notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing on four judicial nominations: Paul Gardephe (to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York), Kiyo Matsumoto (U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York), Cathy Seibel (U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York), and Glenn Suddaby (U.S.D.C., Northern District of New York). See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

2:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property (SCIIP) will hold a hearing on HR 4789 [LOC | WW], the "Performance Rights Act". See, stories titled "Bills Introduced in House and Senate to End Terrestrial Broadcasters' Performance Right" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,690, December 18, 2007, and "Paper Advocates Performance Right for Recording Artists" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,724, February 27, 2008. The HJC will webcast this hearing. See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

3:00 PM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "Impact and Policy Implications of Spyware on Consumers and Businesses". This hearing will also pertain to S 1625 [LOC | WW], the "Counter Spy Act". The witnesses will be Eileen Harrington (Deputy Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection), Benjamin Edelman (Harvard Business School), Marc Rotenberg (Electronic Privacy Information Center), Arthur Butler (Americans for Fair Electronic Commerce Transactions), Vincent Weafer (Symantec, on behalf of the Business Software Alliance), and Jerry Cerasale (Direct Marketing Association). See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

6:00 - 8:15 PM. The DC Bar Association will host program titled "Ethics of E-mail". The speaker will be Thomas Spahn (McGuire Woods). The price to attend ranges from $80 to $115. For more information, contact 202-626-3488. See, notice. This event qualifies for continuing legal education (CLE) credits. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "FCBA Spring Reception". See, registration form [PDF]. Prices vary. Location: Washington Hilton Hotel, 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW.

EXTENDED FROM APRIL 14. Extended deadline to submit reply 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 oppositions to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to a petition for reconsideration [42 pages in PDF] in the FCC's universal service and access charge reform proceedings (CC Docket No. 96-45, CC Docket No. 96-262, and WC Docket No. 06-122). See, notice in the Federal Register, May 27, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 102, at Page 30393.

Thursday, June 12

9:30 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may hold an event titled "Open Meeting". See, FCC notice [PDF]. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th St., SW.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) may hold an executive business meeting. The agenda includes consideration of Helene White and Raymond Kethledge to be Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals (6thCir), and Stephen Murphy to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (EDMich). See, SJC notice and story titled "President Bush and Senate Democrats Reach Compromise on 6th Circuit Nominees" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,747, April 15, 2008. The SJC rarely follows its published agendas. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

11:00 AM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on Immigration will hold a hearing titled "The Need for Green Cards for Highly Skilled Workers". The HJC will webcast this hearing. See, notice. Location: Room 2237, Rayburn Building.

2:00 PM. The House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment will hold a hearing titled "U.S. Japan Relations: an Overview". The witnesses will include Alexander Arvizu (Department of State). See, notice. Location: Room 2172, Rayburn Building.

TIME? The House Appropriations Committee's (HAC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, & Science will meet to mark up the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill. Location?

TIME? The Center for Democracy and Technology's (CDT) Net Caucus will host an event titled "Safe Computing Open House for Constituents". Location?

5:30 - 8:00 PM. The DC Bar Association will host a program titled "The Trademark Office Speaks". The speakers will be Christina Hieber (Associate Solicitor), Lynne Beresford (Commissioner for Trademarks), and David Sams (Chief Administrative Trademark Judge, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board). For more information, contact 202-626-3463. The price to attend ranges from $50 to $65. See, notice. Location: Hotel Monaco, 700 F St, NW.

Friday, June 13

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's(NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding its SP 800-123 [54 pages in PDF] titled "Guide to General Server Security (Draft)".

Deadline to submit comments to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer Security Division (CSD) regarding its SP 800-66 Rev1 [109 pages in PDF] titled "An Introductory Resource Guide for Implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule (Draft)".

Sunday, June 15

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit applications to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory Grants Program (EEEL). See, notice in the Federal Register, January 25, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 17, at Pages 4521-4535.

Tuesday, June 17

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Protecting Consumers by Protecting Intellectual Property". See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

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?

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction No. 77 is scheduled to begin. See also, notice in the Federal Register, May 8, 2008, Vol. 73, Number 90, at Pages 26112-26118.

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Notice of Inquiry related to its rules regulating crime control exports. These rules cover police and military hardware, such as helmets, shields, and guns. However, these rules also regulate the export of some computers and software. See, notice in the Federal Register, March 19, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 54, at Pages 14769-14770.

Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) regarding its proposed changes to its Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These changes affect, among other things, "high performance computers" and "encryption commodities and software". See, notice in the Federal Register, April 18, 2008, at Vol. 73, No. 76, at Pages 21076-21083.

Wednesday, June 18

12:00 NOON. The Cato Institute will host a book forum. The speakers will be Jason Riley, author of the book [Amazon] titled "Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders", Michael Barone (US News and World Report) and Daniel Griswold (Cato). Lunch will be served after the program. The event will be webcast by the Cato Institute. See, notice and registration page. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

12:00 NOON - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day invitation only conference of the American Antitrust Institute (AAI). See, schedule. Location: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 13th floor, 529 14th St., NW.

8:30 AM - 4:45 PM. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a hearing titled "Access to Information and Media Control in the People's Republic of China". See, notice in the Federal Register, June 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 106, at Pages 31545-31546. Location: Room 418, Russell Building, Capitol Hill.

More News

6/10. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet will held a hearing titled "Status of the DTV Transition: 252 Days and Counting". See, prepared testimony [PDF] of Kevin Martin (FCC), prepared testimony [PDF] of Bernadette Rivera (National Telecommunications and Information Administration), prepared testimony [PDF] of Mark Goldstein (Government Accountability Office), prepared testimony [PDF] of Tom Romeo (IBM), prepared testimony [PDF] of Tim Cannon (Time Warner Cable), prepared testimony [PDF] of Mark Lloyd (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights), prepared testimony [PDF] of Paul McTear (Raycom Media), prepared testimony [PDF] of John Ripperton (Radio Shack), and prepared testimony [PDF] of Eric Rossi (Nielsen Company).

6/9. The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Festo v. Shoketsu Kinzoki Kogyo, Sup. Ct. No. 07-1066, a patent case involving the doctrine of equivalents. See, Orders List [10 pages in PDF] at page 3. This lets stand the July 5, 2007, opinion [32 pages in PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir). See, Supreme Court docket.

6/9. The Supreme Court denied certiorari in Prostar Computer v. IpVenture, Sup. Ct. No. 07-1304, a patent case involved technology for managing personal computer systems. See, Orders List [10 pages in PDF] at page 4. This lets stand the September 28, 2007, opinion [7 pages in PDF] of the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir). See, Supreme Court docket.

6/9. The Copyright Alliance announced a program titled "One Voice". The CA stated in a release that this is a "campaign to engage, educate and enlist creators across America in the dialogue about copyright and its importance to the U.S. economy and the livelihoods of millions of Americans".

6/6. 15 groups sent a letter [PDF] to the Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the Chairman of the House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the ranking Republican on the HCC, urging the HCC to "hold hearings on the issue of Internet service providers (ISPs) and their business partners targeting ads to subscribers based on inspections of those subscribers' Web activities." The letter was sent by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Consumers Union (CU), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Free Press (FP), Media Access Project (MAP), Public Knowledge (PK), and others. They added that "We are concerned that such ISP wiretapping schemes may violate multiple privacy laws and policies."

6/6. The Department of Justice (DOJ) published a notice in the Federal Register that announces, describes, recites, and sets the comment deadline (August 5, 2008) for, it notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the record keeping, labeling, and inspection requirements to implement provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 that require producers of depictions of simulated sexually explicit conduct. This notice states that the proposed rules provides that these records "shall include a copy of the depiction and, where the depiction is published on an Internet computer site or service, a copy of any URL associated with the depiction." The notice adds that, pursuant to Supreme Court's 2002 opinion in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U.S. 234, these requirements do not apply to "computer-generated images that only appear to be real human beings". See, Federal Register, June 6, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 110, at Pages 32262-32273.

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