|US, Japan and Taiwan
Request WTO Panel on EU Duties on Tech Products
8/18. The Office of the U.S. Trade
Representative (OUSTR) filed with the World
Trade Organization (WTO) a request for the establishment of a dispute
settlement panel regarding the European Union's (EU) failure to accord duty free
treatment to certain products covered by the WTO
Agreement (ITA) [18 pages in PDF].
Susan Schwab, the USTR, stated
release that "We regret that formal consultations have not been successful
in resolving our concerns over the duties that the EU is imposing on several
high-tech products ... The EU committed to bind and eliminate duties on ITA
products in its WTO tariff schedules. We believe that these duties are
inconsistent with the EU’s commitments on these products, and that they
discourage technological innovation in the IT sector."
The OUSTR filed a request for consultations with the WTO on May 28, 2008.
See, story titled "US and Japan File Complaints with WTO Regarding EU Duties on
Tech Products" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,776, June 4, 2008.
This proceeding pertains to EU duties on cable boxes that can access the
internet, flat panel computer monitors, and certain computer printers that can
also scan, fax and/or copy.
The OUSTR release adds that "Japan and Chinese Taipei also requested
consultations with the EU on May 28 and June 12, respectively, and have joined
the United States in requesting the establishment of a dispute settlement
Robert Mulligan of the AeA, a U.S. based
trade group, stated that the "AeA believes that the EU approach to the ITA and
these products would undermine the benefits of the ITA and stifle innovation."
He added that "The ITA was intended to encourage technological development and
the action by the United States, Japan, and Chinese Taipei will reinforce the
agreement by challenging the EU approach."
|Federal Circuit Affirms in Cygnus
Telecommunications Patent Case
8/19. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) issued its
pages in PDF] in In Re Cygnus Telecommunications Technology Patent
Litigation, a patent infringement case involving computerized telephone
callback systems. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court in full.
Cygnus is the assignee of
Patent No. 5,883,964 titled "Interactive telephone system for optimizing
service economy" and
U.S. Patent No. 6,035,027 with the same title.
Cygnus filed complaints in various U.S. District Courts against numerous
companies, including AT&T, alleging patent infringement. Cygnus also pled trade
secret misappropriation against AT&T. These actions were consolidated in one
multidistrict proceeding in the U.S.
District Court (NDCal).
The District Court granted one judgment in favor of Telesys Communications
and other defendants on the basis that the patents in suit are invalid under the
on sale bar, which is codified at
35 U.S.C. § 102(b). The District Court also granted judgment in favor of
AT&T, based on invalidity under the on sale bar, and noninfringement. It also
dismissed the trade secret misappropriation claim.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court on all issues on appeal.
This case is In Re Cygnus Telecommunications Technology Patent Litigation,
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, App. Ct. Nos. 2007-1328,
2007-1329, 2007-1330, 2007-1331, 2007-1332, 2007-1333, 2007-1354, 2007-1361, and
2008-1023, appeals from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California, Judge Ronald Whyte presiding.
Judge Bryson wrote the opinion of the Court of Appeals, in which Judges
Pauline Newman and Donald Pogue joined. Pogue is a Judge of the U.S. Court of
International Trade, who sat by designation.
|Bush to Nominate
Dempsey for Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight
8/19. President Bush announced his intent to nominate James Dempsey to be a
Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) for a five
year term expiring on January 19, 2013. See, White House news office
Dempsey is VP for Public Policy at the
Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). He has lived in San Francisco
since 2005. Before that he lived in Washington DC, where the CDT is based. He
was previously Executive Director of the CDT.
The CDT added in a release that the position is part time, and that Dempsey
will continue to work for the CDT.
See also, CDT's biography
of James Dempsey with hyperlinks to select articles and written testimony for
The original PCLOB was created by Section 1061(b) of the Intelligence Reform
and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. This statute made the PCLOB a part of the
Executive Office of the
The members of the original PCLOB were Carol Dinkins,
Raul, Ted Olson, Francis Taylor and Lanny Davis. Davis resigned in
Then, the Congress reconstituted the PCLOB in Section 801 of HR 1
the "Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of
2007". President Bush signed this bill into law on August 3, 2007. It
is now Public Law No. 110-53.
HR 1 makes the PCLOB "an agency" within the meaning of
5 U.S.C. § 551. HR 1 provides that the PCLOB "shall be
composed of a full-time chairman and 4 additional members, who shall be
appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the
On February 27, 2008, President Bush nominated
Sutherland, Ronald Rotunda, and
Francis Taylor to be
members of the PCLOB. See, story titled "Bush Nominates Members of New
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board" in
E-Mail Alert No. 1,724, February 27, 2008.
Those nominations are still pending before the Senate.
The primary consequence to date of the restructuring of the PCLOB has
been to suspend its operations, and the oversight and reports that flowed
Ed Black, head of the Computer &
Communications Industry Association (CCIA), stated in a release that
Dempsey "brings years of experience to this crucial issue at a time
when the need for proper oversight of the nation's surveillance
infrastructure has never been greater. We only hope that this is a positive
sign and that administration officials listen to Jim's wise
8/20. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the
text [67 pages in PDF] of its Memorandum Opinion and Order (MOO) asserting
authority to regulate the network management practices of broadband service
provides. This MOO was issued in connection with a complaint submitted by the
Public Knowledge and the Free
Press regarding Comcast's management of
certain peer to peer traffic. This item is FCC 08-183 in Docket No. 07-52. The
FCC adopted, but did not release, this MOO on August 1, 2008. See, story titled
"FCC Asserts Authority to Regulate Network Management Practices"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,805, August 4, 2008.
8/19. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a
the Federal Register that announces, describes, and sets comments deadlines
for, its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding expanding the scope
of services and products covered by the FCC's schools and libraries tax
and subsidy program. The FCC adopted this item on July 25, 2008, and
text [26 pages in PDF] on July 31, 2008. It is FCC 08-173 in CC Docket
No. 02-6. The deadline to submit initial comments is September 18, 2008.
The deadline to submit reply comments is October 3, 2008. See, Federal
Register, August 19, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 161, at Pages 48352-48359.
8/19. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(2ndCir) issued its
opinion [9 pages PDF] in In Re Nortel Networks Securities Litigation,
a securities case in which the Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's
January 29, 2007, post settlement judgment awarding plaintiffs' counsel
attorneys fees in the amount of 3% of the class recovery. They wanted 8.5%. The
opinion lists plaintiffs' counsel as the law firm of Milberg Weiss & Bershad.
See, stories titled "Milberg Weiss Indicted for Paying Illegal Kickbacks to
Class Action Plaintiffs" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,375, May 22, 2006, "Bershad Agrees to Cooperate with
Prosecutors" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,607, July 9, 2007, "Lerach Retires" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,631, August 30, 2007, and "Grand Jury Indicts Weiss; Lerach and
Shulman Agree to Plead Guilty" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,644, September 24, 2007. This case is In Re Nortel Networks
Securities Litigation, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, App. Ct.
No. 07-0757-cv, an appeal from the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Court of Appeals
issued a per curiam opinion of Judges Sotomayor,
Wesley and Clifford Wallace. Wallace is a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals
(9thCir), who sat by designation.
8/19. The Copyright Office (CO)
published a notice
in the Federal Register that announces, describes, attaches, and sets the
effective date (August 8, 2008) for, its Memorandum Opinion to the Copyright
Royalty Board regarding the division of authority between the Judges and the
Register of Copyrights under the
17 U.S.C. § 115 statutory license.
8/18. The National Telecommunications and
Information Administration's (NTIA) announced in a
that "nearly 6.4 million ``over-the-air´´ TV households, those that rely on an
antenna for broadcast TV, have requested about 12 million coupons from the TV
Converter Box Coupon Program."
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Wednesday, August 20
The House will not meet. It will return from its August recess on
The Senate will not meet. It will return from its August
recess on September 8. It will hold momentary pro forma sessions
until then to prevent President Bush from making recess
The Supreme Court will return on September 29, 2008. See, October Term
|Thursday, August 21
The House will not meet.
The Senate not meet.
1:00 - 5:00 PM. The Department of Health and
Human Services' (DHHS) American Health Information Community's (AHIC)
Privacy, & Security Workgroup may meet. See,
the Federal Register, July 29, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 146, at Page 43937. AHIC
meetings are often noticed, but cancelled. Location: Room 1114, Switzer
Building, 330 C St., SW.
|Friday, August 22
The House will not meet.
The Senate will meet momentarily in pro forma session at 10:00 AM.
10:00 AM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has scheduled an
event titled "Open Meeting". See,
document [PDF] titled in part "Commission
Meeting Agenda", and story titled "FCC Revises Schedule for August 22 Event" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,814, August 18, 2008. Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room.
Deadline to submit comments to the
National Institute of Standards and
Technology's (NIST) Computer Security
Division (CSD) regarding its
SP 800-121 [43 pages in PDF] titled "Guide to Bluetooth
Deadline to submit reply comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Second Further
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding post-reconfiguration 800 MHz band
plans for the Puerto Rico region. See,
the Federal Register, July 14, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 135, at Pages
|Monday, August 25
Deadline to submit comments to the National
Science Foundation's (NSF) Subcommittee on Networking and Information
Technology Research and Development (NITRD) to assist it in preparing its
five year strategic plan for the NITRD program. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, July 25, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 144, at Pages 43477-43478.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(FNPRM) regarding assignment and administration of ten digit telephone
numbers for internet based Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). This
item is FCC 08-151 in CG Docket No. 03-123 and WC Docket No. 05-196. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, July 18, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 139, at Pages 41307-41311.
|Tuesday, August 26
No events listed.
|Wednesday, August 27
No events listed.
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