|Rep. Conyers and Rep. Smith Introduce USPTO
Funding Stabilization Act
5/18. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced HR 5322
the "Patent and Trademark Office Funding Stabilization Act of 2010".
This bill would set some fees, give the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) authority to set fees by rules, allow
the USPTO to retain and spend all of the fees that it collects, prohibit the diversion
of fees to subsidize other government programs, and impose a temporary surcharge
of 15 percent through September 30, 2011.
This bill was referred to the House
Judiciary Committee (HJC). Rep. Conyers and Rep. Smith are its Chairman and
ranking Republican. Rep. Zoe Lofgren
(D-CA) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
are also cosponsors.
There are also broad patent reform bills pending in the House and Senate. Rep. Conyers (at left)
stated in a release that HR 5322
"is not intended to impact the negotiations over the larger patent bill pending in the
Senate". He added that "Ranking Member Smith and I remain optimistic and hopeful about
the prospects for passage this Congress of comprehensive patent reform. We expect to continue to
work with our Senate colleagues on the larger bill."
The Senate bill is S 515
the "Patent Reform Act of 2009". The House bill is HR 1260
also titled the "Patent Reform Act of 2009". The March 2010
[105 pages in PDF] of the Senate bill, at Section 9, gives the USPTO fee setting authority.
See also, stories titled "Senators Announce Progress on Patent Reform Legislation"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
2,051, February 25, 2010, "House Members Comment on Senate Patent Reform Legislation,
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
2,052, March 1, 2010, and "Senators Release Latest Draft of Patent Reform Bill"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
2,056, March 5, 2010, and "Patent Reform Bills Introduced" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,908, March 4, 2009.
Rep. Conyers' release explains that "The USPTO is in the midst of a crisis.
According to Commerce Department figures, the number of unexamined patents has
ballooned to over 750,000. Exacerbating this problem is the fact that hundreds
of millions of dollars in fees have been diverted from the USPTO over the years.
This year we expect another $200 million to be similarly diverted. This fee
diversion robs the USPTO of valuable resources needed to hire and retain
qualified examiners and address patent backlog issues. Increased backlogs and
poor patent quality affect not only the agency, they hurt American innovation,
and delay our economic and jobs recovery."
Fee diversion has long been a problem for inventors and the USPTO, regardless
of which political party holds a majority of the seats in the House and or Senate.
See for example, stories titled "House CIIP Subcommittee Holds Hearing on
USPTO Fees" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 637, April 4, 2003, "House Intellectual Property
Caucus Advocates Ending USPTO Fee Diversion" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 762, October 21, 2003; and "House to Vote on Bill to End USPTO Fee
Diversion" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 832, February 9, 2004.
|House Commerce Committee Leaders Write
Google Regarding Wi-Fi Data
5/26. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA),
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), and
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a
letter [PDF] to Eric Schmidt, Ch/CEO of Google, asking questions regarding "recent
reports that Google has gathered huge amounts of data sent over private Wi-Fi networks while
documenting the streets of our country for its Google Street View product".
For example, the three Representative asked Schmidt to "explain why Google chose to
collect the data and how it intended to use the data", how it has been used, and how
Google plans to use the data.
Rep. Barton and Rep. Markey sent a
[PDF] to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on May 19,
2010, regarding Google's Wi-Fi data collection. See, story titled "Rep. Markey and Rep.
Barton Write FTC Regarding Google Data Collection Activities" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert
No. 2,085, May 20, 2010.
They also asked in the letter to Schmidt, "Has Google at any time conducted a legal
analysis regarding the applicability of consumer privacy laws on the monitoring and data
collection of Wi-Fi transmissions? If so, please provide a copy of the analysis."
They also asked when Google collected this information, which communities
were targeted and why, and how many Wi-Fi networks have been logged.
They also asked whether Google gave any prior notice of this monitoring and
data collection, or obtained any consent from consumers.
Finally, they asked if any of the data has been destroyed, and what Google is
doing to control the data.
|USPTO Contracts With Google to Provide Bulk
Patent and Trademark Data to Public
6/2. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO) announced in a
release that it has "entered into a no-cost, two-year agreement with Google
to make bulk electronic patent and trademark public data available to the public
in bulk form. Under this agreement, the USPTO is providing Google with
existing bulk, electronic files, which Google will host without modification for
the public free of charge."
See, for example,
titled "USPTO Bulk Downloads: Patents".
The USPTO added that it "does not currently have the technical capability to
provide this public information in a bulk machine readable format that is
desired by the intellectual property (IP) community. This arrangement is to
serve as a bridge as the USPTO develops an acquisition strategy which will allow
the USPTO to enter into a contract with a contractor to retrieve and distribute
USPTO patent and trademark bulk public data. The contractor will be capable of
acquiring this bulk data and providing it to the public."
Google wrote in its web site that "When we launched Google Patent Search in
2006, we wanted to make it easier for people to understand the world of
inventions, whether they were browsing for curious patents or researching
serious engineering. ... The trouble is, that's a lot of information --
terabytes of it -- and in the past the only way to deliver that information was
on DVDs and other physical media."
|WTO's 3rd Trade Policy Review Addresses
IPR in the PRC
6/2. The World Trade Organization's (WTO)
held a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, regarding its third "Trade Policy Review
of China" on May 31 through June 2, 2010.
The WTO stated in a
among the issues addressed were "concern about China's indigenous innovation
policies, and their effect in restricting access for foreign products,
investors, technology and intellectual property", and "accelerating progress
towards China's goal of comparatively high standards for intellectual property
rights by 2020".
The European Commission issued a
statement on June 2 in which it wrote that it "acknowledged improvements in
Intellectual Property Rights protection in China, but emphasised the urgent need
for greater enforcement efforts, including effective customs controls and
The WTO Secretariat wrote in its April 26 report that "China has become increasingly
aware of the importance of IPR protection in facilitating innovation in the economy, and has
been strengthening the administration of all main categories of IPR. For much of the past
decade, China had double-digit annual growth in its use of the PCT system. Other areas of IP,
such as trademarks, had similar growth levels, and the proportion of domestic use of the IP
system is among the highest in the world. Such an increase in innovation can be expected over
time to increase public awareness of the need to protect IPRs and to make effective use of the
IP system as a tool for economic growth. In addition, better protected IPR could encourage
technology transfers from those FIEs with more advanced technology. China has identified
building an innovative country as a national development strategy." (The
relevant section of the
report [MS Word] addresses IPR at pages 151-176, on pages 61-68.)
John Clarke, the EU Head of Delegation, gave a
pages in PDF] on May 31 in which he stated that the People's Republic of China (PRC) "is
set to overtake Japan as the world's second largest national economy in 2010" and that
the PRC's "domestic policies and measures increasingly affect economic and trading trends
He said that "the level of state interference in the economy is still noticeable and
less and less compatible with China's level of economic development". He also called for
greater procedural and regulatory transparency, and more protection and enforcement with
respect to intellectual property rights.
He said that "Public consultations should be systematically held for all new measures
with an effect on trade. And these consultations should provide a reasonable period for
comments by both foreign and domestic stakeholders, which does not always happen. An
illustrative example was the draft notice on the Indigenous innovation scheme which was
initially about to enter into force on 10th of May, the same date as the deadline for comments.
This is neither good regulatory practice".
He continued that "We still see this lack of transparency in China's regulatory
processes. China's Compulsory Certification Scheme (CCC) continues to be a major obstacle for
foreign exporters due to the complexity, costs and length of the procedure. Instead of trying
to reduce the administrative burdens and trade disruptions reported by many Members in the TBT
Committee, China seems determined to expand the scope of the CCC to new items
such as ICT products."
He also said that "fostering innovation goes hand in hand with a solid protection of
the related IP rights. EU acknowledges China’s continued efforts and determination in building
up its legislative framework and intensifying the enforcement of IPR protection, which is
crucial in facilitating domestic innovation. Through its National Intellectual Property
Strategy China has set itself a deadline to become by 2020 “a country with a comparatively
high level in terms of creation, utilization, protection and administration of IP rights”. We
invite China to share its assessment about the success in implementation of this IP Strategy.
We remain concerned that enforcement remains insufficient, notably in regional and local
levels, and deficiencies and obstacles in solving complaints persist. EU urges China to step
up its efforts in enforcing IPR protection, including effective customs control."
The PRC submitted a report
[26 pages in MS Word] on April 26, 2010, in which it addressed, among other things,
It wrote that "As a developing country, China still lags behind in its overall
development level of science and technology, with quality of scientific research not high
enough and funding in the field of science and technology still insufficient. In
particular, with respect to import of hi-tech products and transfer of
technology, China, like other developing countries, has long been subject to
unfair and unreasonable unilateral restrictions imposed by some developed
countries having comparative advantages in this regard."
However, this report did not name or explain any of these "unfair and unreasonable
The PRC report also states that "Intellectual property
rights are of utmost importance for China in its transformation of the pattern
of economic development. In June 2008, the State Council promulgated Outline of
National Intellectual Property Rights Strategy. The paper summarized the
intellectual property rights system and their protection in China, and made the
intellectual property rights strategy a clear and important national strategy.
It also proposed to enhance comprehensively the capabilities of creating, using,
protecting and managing intellectual property rights to contribute to the
innovation capacity of the nation and to the building of an innovative society.
Over the past two years, a number of laws and regulations concerning
intellectual property rights were improved with new amendments, including for
example the Patent Law and its implementation regulations, and the efforts of
law enforcement to protect intellectual property rights were also further
The report also mentioned telecommunications. "In September 2008, Regulations on
Administration of Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises was amended. The minimum
registered capital requirement of a foreign-invested telecommunications enterprise providing
basic telecommunications services was reduced by half. The approval procedures for
telecommunication enterprises in China to be listed overseas were further
The PRC also wrote that it welcomes research and development centers in the PRC. Finally,
it stated that "The Chinese Government opposes protectionism in any form." It added
that "As proven by history, protectionism can only aggravate trade disputes and deepen
crises. It never helps to turn around economic recession but instead delays the
process of recovery."
|US and PRC Conclude
5/27. The U.S. and the People's Republic of China (PRC) concluded meetings of the
the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) and the
U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue (SED).
Ron Kirk (at right), head of the
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR), stated in a
release that the SED "was a very useful opportunity for candid discussions
and direct engagement between those of us from the Obama Administration and our
Chinese government counterparts and we agreed on a number of significant
outcomes. I am pleased that we have been able to make some progress on the
important issue of China's indigenous innovation policy. While much more needs
to be done, we will continue our work with China through intensive expert and
high-level discussions about innovation policy that we have agreed to hold this
Demetrios Marantis, a Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, stated in a
release that "We are focused on addressing indigenous innovation and other
discriminatory industrial policies, improving enforcement of intellectual property rights,
and ending non science-based regulations that block U.S. agricultural exports."
Francisco Sanchez of the Department of Commerce stated in the same release that the JCCT
"will help us promote open trade and cross-border investment, create an open environment
for innovation, and enhance transparency and the rule of law".
|More Trade News
6/2. President Obama's news office released a
statement regarding Japan. "We respect the Japanese political process and
Prime Minister Hatoyama's decision to step down. The selection of Japan's next Prime Minister
is a matter for the Japanese people and political process. The U.S. - Japan bilateral
relationship is very strong and deeply rooted in our common interests and values. Our
Alliance has flourished under each Japanese Prime Minister and U.S. President for the past
half century and will continue to strengthen in the years to come. We will continue to work
closely with the Government of Japan, and the next Prime Minister, across the broad range of
issues facing our two nations."
6/2. The European Commission announced in a
release regarding unbundling of BT fiber infrastructure. The EC wrote that it has
"decided to accept ... the proposal of UK telecoms regulator Ofcom to oblige telecoms
operator BT to provide 'virtual' access to its optical fibre infrastructure to alternative
operators. Ofcom’s proposal will allow product differentiation and innovation similar to that
possible through physical local loop unbundling. Ofcom's plans will maintain competition on
UK broadband markets following the roll-out of next generation access (NGA) networks by
allowing alternative operators to offer competitive broadband services on these networks.
However, the Commission underlined that this should only be a transitional measure and that
full fibre unbundling should be imposed as soon as technically and economically possible."
Gucht (at left), the European Trade Commissioner, gave a
speech in Brussels, Belgium, in which he advocated trade multilateralism
and pursuit of the Doha Development Agenda. He explained that "Since the
summer of 2008, talks have stalled. However, just as we are not a cause to the
blockage, in this phase of the negotiations we can sadly not provide the key to
unblocking either. The package on the table in 2008 will not do for the United
States, where especially in Congress the feelings towards trade liberalisation
are mitigated at best. Other negotiators are using the American intransigence so
as not to have to adjust their positions either. And it is not clear what can be
done to break the deadlock." Meanwhile, he said, the EC will pursue bilateral
free trade agreements.
5/19. The European Commission (EC) announced that it has reached a settlement with ten
makers of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips who conspired to fix prices in
violation of EU anti-cartel law. The settlement provides for fines totalling over 331 Euros.
The companies involved are Micron, Samsung, Hynix, Infineon, NEC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Toshiba,
Elpida, and Nanya. This action follows numerous actions taken over many years by the
U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division. See, EC
|This issue contains the following items:
• Rep. Conyers and Rep. Smith Introduce USPTO Funding Stabilization Act
• House Commerce Committee Leaders Write Google Regarding Wi-Fi Data
• USPTO Contracts With Google to Provide Bulk Patent and Trademark Data to Public
• WTO's 3rd Trade Policy Review Addresses IPR in the PRC
• US and PRC Conclude Meetings
• More Trade News
New items are highlighted in
|Wednesday, June 2
12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM. David Kappos, head of the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO),
will give a speech titled "Unleashing Intellectual Property to Fuel Growth
and Create Jobs". See,
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Location: Center for American
Progress, 10th floor, 1333 H St., NW.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM)
regarding whether, how, and under what circumstances federally recognized Native
American Tribes and Alaska Native Villages should receive a bidding credit in auctions
for new radio stations, and whether and how the Tribal Priority adopted in the First
Report and Order (First R&O) in this proceeding might be claimed by Tribes that
do not possess defined tribal lands. This FNPRM is FCC 10-24 in MB Docket No. 09-52.
The FCC adopted it on January 28, 2010, and released the
[58 pages in PDF] on February 3, 2010. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, March 4, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 42, at Pages 9856-9859.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding tank
level probing radar (TLPR) devices to operate in the 77-81 GHz frequency band on an
unlicensed basis under Part 15 of the FCC's rules. This NPRM is FCC 10-14 in ET Docket
Nos. 10-23, 07-96, and 06-216. The FCC adopted it on January 14, 2010, and released the
text [21 pages in PDF] on January 19, 2010. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, March 4, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 42, at Pages 9850-9856.
Deadline to submit comments to the National
Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Computer
Security Division (CSD) regarding its second draft of
IR 7628 [305 pages in PDF] titled "Smart Grid Cyber Security Strategy and
Requirements". See also,
notice in the
Federal Register, April 13, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 70, at Pages 18819-18823.
|Thursday, June 3
8:00 AM - 12:15 PM. The Public
Knowledge (PK) will host a half day conference titled "Toward a Sustainable
Spectrum Policy: Rethinking Federal Spectrum". Location: Washington Court Hotel
on Capitol Hill, 525 New Jersey Ave., NW.
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) International Telecommunications and Privacy
and Data Security Committees will host a brown bag lunch titled "Addressing Privacy
Issues Abroad, Including Changes to EU Directives, key issues facing the U.S., EU and
Markets Such as Asia, Latin America and Updates on Current Global Privacy Debates".
The speakers will be Christopher Boam (Verizon Communications),
Timothy Tobin (Hogan & Hartson), Tony Hadley
(Experian), Damon Greer (DOC's
International Trade Administration), Yael Weinman
(Federal Trade Commission). For more information, contact
Linda Cicco at Linda dot cicco at bt dot com or Jennifer Ullman at Jennifer dot ullman at
verizon dot com. Location: Willkie Farr &
Gallagher, 1875 K St., NW.
3:30 PM. David Kappos, head of the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO), will hold a news conference by teleconference to
discuss the USPTO's proposed multi-track patent examination
initiative. Contact Karen Sewell at Karen dot Sewell at
uspto dot gov or 571-272-8400 to request the dial in number and
|Friday, June 4
10:00 AM. The Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) will hold a seminar on the use of eXtensible Business Reporting
Language (XBRL) by mutual funds to comply with new rules that require them to file data
in the risk/return summary section in XBRL format. See,
notice. Location: SEC,
auditorium, 100 F St., NE.
|Monday June 7
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Akamai Technologies v. Limelight Networks,
a patent infringement case regarding technology for web site hosting, App. Ct. No. 2009-1372,
an appeal from the U.S. District Court (DMass).
Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Webzero v. Clicvu, a patent
infringement case, App. Ct. No. 2009-1483, an appeal from the
U.S. District Court (CDCal). Location: Courtroom
402, 717 Madison Place, NW.
2:00 PM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Fujitsu Limited v. Netgear, a patent
infringement case regarding wireless internet technology, App. Ct. No. 2010-1045, an appeal
from the U.S. District Court (WDWisc). Location:
Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom
Foundation (PFF) will host a panel discussion titled "The Future of Speech
on the Borderless Internet". The PFF states that panelists will discuss
"trans-national regulation and litigation of defamation, hate speech, indecency and
political dissent". The speakers will be
(Hogan Lovells), Evgeny Morozov (Foreign Policy magazine), and Berin Szoka (PFF).
and registratio page. This event is open to the public, but registration
is required. Location: Hogan Lovells,
555 13th St., NW.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
regarding amending the FCC's amateur radio service rules with respect to amateur
radio operations during government sponsored emergency preparedness and disaster readiness
drills and tests. The FCC adopted its NPRM on March 18, 2010, and released the
[8 pages in PDF] on March 24, 2010. It is FCC 10-45 in WP Docket No. 10-72. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, April 22, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 77, at Pages 20951-20954.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [45 pages in PDF] regarding universal
service low income subsidy programs in Puerto Rico. The FCC adopted and
released this item on April 16, 2010. It is FCC 10-57 in WC Docket No. 05-337,
CC Docket No. 96-45, and WC Docket No. 03-109. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, May 7, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 88, at Pages 25156-25159.
Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Justice's (DOJ)
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) regarding its proposed rule
changes regarding prison communications, including prisoner telephone communications.
This proceeding does not pertain to delivery or use of unauthorized cell phones in federal
prisons. See, notice in the
Federal Register, April 6, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 65, at Pages 17324-17329.
Deadline to submit comments to the
National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding the nexus
notice in the Federal
Register, April 23, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 78, at Pages 21226-21231.
|Tuesday, June 8
10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals
(FedCir) will hear oral argument in Finjan v. Secure Computing, a patent
infringement case regarding technology for protecting computers and networks from hostile
downloadables, App. Ct. No. 2009-1576, an appeal from the U.S. District Court
(DDel). Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "CLE Seminar on The
Judicial Year in Review and the Impact of the Comcast Decision". The
speakers will include Austin Schlick (FCC General Counsel), Mack Armstrong
(FCC Associate General Counsel), Richard Welch (FCC Associate General
Counsel), Andy Tollin (Wilkinson Barker Knauer), Josh Turner (Wiley Rein), Sam
Feder (Jenner & Block), Jon Nuechterlein (Wilmer Hale), and Harold Feld
(Public Knowledge). See,
notice. Location: Wiley Rein,
1776 K St., NW.
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding
numerous proposed changes to the FCC's procedural rules and organizational rules.
The FCC adopted this item on February 18, 2010, and released the
[23 pages in PDF] on February 22, 2010. It is FCC No. 10-32 in GC Docket No. 10-44. See,
notice in the
Federal Register: March 25, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 57, at Pages 14401-14409.
Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding making
minor changes to its rules pertaining to ex parte communications with the FCC. The
FCC adopted this item on February 18, 2010, and released the
pages in PDF] on February 22, 2010. It is FCC No. 10-31 in GC Docket No. 10-43. See,
notice in the
Federal Register, March 25, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 57, at Pages 14409-14417.
|Wednesday, June 9
8:15 AM - 4:30 PM. The U.S.-China Economic
and Security Review Commission may hold a hearing titled "Evaluating China's
Role in the World Trade Organization over the Past Decade". This event is open
to the public. See, notice
in the Federal Register, May 5, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 86, at Page 24775. Location: Room
562, Dirksen Building, Capitol Hill.
2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee's (SJC) Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will
hold a hearing titled "Oversight of the Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws".
The witnesses will be Christine Varney (Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ's
Antitrust Division) and Jonathan Leibowitz (Chairman
of the Federal Trade Commission). The SJC will webcast this
event. See, notice.
Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.
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