|Obama Signs Patent Cases Pilot Program
1/4. President Obama signed HR 628
| WW], which creates
a ten year pilot program regarding the assignment of Judges in patent cases in selected U.S.
District Courts. See, White House news office
The pilot program created by this bill will operate in six
different judicial districts, to be designated by the Director of the
Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC).
In these six districts Judges can, in effect, avoid being assigned patent
cases, while those judges, including senior status judges, who opt in to hearing
patent cases, will be assigned those cases.
In these selected districts, it may enable interested Judges to focus on
patent cases, enable patent litigants to have their cases heard by Judges with
greater expertise, and lower reversal rates in patent cases.
Specifically, it provides as follows:
"(A) those district judges of that district court who request to
hear cases under which 1 or more issues arising under any Act of Congress
relating to patents or plant variety protection are required to be decided, are
designated by the chief judge of the court to hear those cases;
(B) cases described in subparagraph (A) are randomly assigned to
the judges of the district court, regardless of whether the judges are
designated under subparagraph (A);
(C) a judge not designated under subparagraph (A) to whom a case is
assigned under subparagraph (B) may decline to accept the case; and
(D) a case declined under subparagraph (C) is randomly reassigned
to 1 of those judges of the court designated under subparagraph (A)."
This act sets criteria to be applied by the AOUSC in selecting six districts.
See also, story titled "House Passes Bill to Create Pilot Program for Patent
Cases" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,183, December 19, 2010.
|Obama Signs COMPETES Reauthorization
1/4. President Obama signed HR 5116
huge spending authorization bill. See, White
House news office
It is titled the "America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote
Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Reauthorization Act of 2010",
or "America COMPETES Reauthorization Act"
It authorizes the appropriation of $46 Billion over three years for
National Science Foundation (NSF),
National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST), Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies. It also authorizes giving
grant money for the construction of innovation clusters and research parks.
The original COMPETES Act authorized appropriations through FY 2010. See, HR 2272
(110th Congress) [LOC |
the "America Competes Act of 2007", Public Law No. 110-69. The original COMPETES
bill focused on science and technology. The just passed bill expands into other areas.
See also, story titled "House and Senate Pass COMPETES Reauthorization Bill"
in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,187, December 23, 2010.
|Obama Signs Low Power FM Bill
1/4. President Obama signed HR 6533
WW], the "Local
Community Radio Act of 2010". See, White House news office
This Act eliminates the third adjacent channel distant separation requirements for
low power FM (LPFM) radio broadcasting. It will enable more LPFM broadcasting in large markets.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman
Julius Genachowski stated in a
that this bill "is a big win for radio listeners. Low-power FM stations are small,
but they make a giant contribution to local community programming. This important law eliminates
the unnecessary restrictions that kept these local stations off the air in cities and towns
across the country."
FCC Commissioner Michael
Copps stated in a
release that "In this day of way-too-much media consolidation, stifling program
homogenization, and the decimation of local news, new voices are critically important to
sustaining America’s civic dialogue and citizen engagement."
This Act provides that the FCC "shall modify the rules authorizing the
operation of low-power FM radio stations, as proposed in MM Docket No. 99-25, to
-- (1) prescribe protection for co-channels and first- and second-adjacent
channels; and (2) prohibit any applicant from obtaining a low-power FM license
if the applicant has engaged in any manner in the unlicensed operation of any
station in violation of section 301 of the Communications Act". See,
U.S.C. § 301.
It also requires that the FCC amend its rules to "eliminate third-adjacent
minimum distance separation requirements between -- (1) low-power FM stations; and (2)
full-service FM stations, FM translator stations, and FM booster stations".
But, the FCC "shall not amend its rules to reduce the minimum co-channel and
first- and second-adjacent channel distance separation requirements in effect on
the date of enactment of this Act between -- (A) low-power FM stations; and (B)
full-service FM stations".
Genachowski added that the FCC "will take swift action to open the dial to new low-power
radio stations and the valuable local service they provide."
See also, stories titled "Congress Passes Low Power FM Bill", "Summary of HR
6533, the Community Radio Act of 2010", and "History of LPFM Law and Policy
Making" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,183, December 19, 2010.
|FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for January
1/4. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a
release that contains a tentative agenda for
its event titled "Open Meeting" scheduled for Tuesday, January 25, 2011.
First, the FCC is scheduled to adopt an Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking which the FCC release describes as "to ensure that the public safety
broadband network is interoperable nationwide".
Second, there will be a self-laudatory presentation by FCC staff which the
FCC release describes as "the status of the comprehensive reform efforts to
improve the agency's fact-based, data-driven decision-making".
The FCC's January meeting of Commissioners usually contains little substance.
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|This issue contains the following items:
• Obama Signs Patent Cases Pilot Program Bill
• Obama Signs COMPETES Reauthorization Bill
• Obama Signs Low Power FM Bill
• FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for January 25 Event
New items are highlighted in
|Wednesday, January 5
The House will meet. Members will take the oath of office. The House will
consider HRes 5, which contains rules for the House of Representatives for the 112th
The Senate will meet at 12:00 NOON.
|Thursday, January 6
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It will consider
HRes __, which pertains to reducing the Congressional budget.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) in response to its
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (3rdNPRM) [43 pages in PDF] regarding technical rules for
the Fixed-Satellite Service in the 37.5-42.5 GHz band. The FCC adopted this item on
October 29, 2010, and released the text on November 1, 2010. It is FCC 10-186 in IB Docket
No. 97-95. See, original notice
in the Federal Register, November 22, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 224, at Pages 71064-71066, and
correction notice in the
Federal Register, December 13, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 238, at Page 77602.
|Friday, January 7
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business.
Supreme Court conference day (discussion of argued
cases, and decision on cert petitions). Closed.
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The
Office of Science and Technology
Policy's (OSTP) President's
Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) will hold a partially closed meeting.
See, notice in the Federal
Register, December 13, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 238, at Pages 77679-77680. Location: Marriott
Metro Center, 775 12th St., NW.
12:15 - 1:45 PM. The
Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Diversity Committee will
host a brown bag lunch titled "Current Issues in the FCC’s Equal Employment
Opportunities Rules and Enforcement". The speakers will be Lewis Pulley
(Assistant Chief of the FCC's Media Bureau's Policy Division), David Honig
Media and Telecommunications Council), and Christina Burrow (Dow Lohnes).
Location: National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), 1771 N St., NW.
|Tuesday, January 11
The House will meet. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM.
8:00 -10:00 AM. Broadband Census News LLC will host a panel discussion
titled "What Intellectual Property Issues Are Top of Mind for the 112th
Congress?". Breakfast will be served. This event is free and open to the public.
See, notice and registration
page. This event is also sponsored by the National
Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and the
Public Knowledge (PK). Location:
Clyde's of Gallery Place, 707 7th St., NW.
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The Department of Commerce's (DOC)
National Telecommunications and Information
Administration's (NTIA) Spectrum
Management Advisory Committee will meet. See,
notice in the Federal
Register, December 7, 2010, Vol. 75, No. 234, at Page 75968. Location: Room 4830, DOC, 1401
Constitution Ave., NW.
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Committee will host a brown bag lunch titled
"Foreign Ownership and Investment Issues in Broadcasting". The speakers may
include Bob Ratcliffe (FCC), David Honig (Minority Media
and Telecommunications Council), Frank
Montero (Fletcher Heald & Hildreth), and John
Logan (Dow Lohnes). Location: Wiley Rein, 1776 K
5:00 - 7:00 PM. The Center for Democracy and Technology's (CDT)
Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee will host an event titled "14th Annual
Tech Exhibition and Reception". See,
notice. Location: Room 902, Hart
|Wednesday, January 12
The House will meet.
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The DC Bar
Association will host an event titled "The Patent Reform: What is the Status of
Patent Reform?". The speakers will be Paul Michel (former Judge of the U.S. Court
of Appeals (FedCir)), John Jarosz (Analysis Group), and
Marina Zalevsky (Sughrue Mion). The price to
attend ranges from $15 to $25. For more information, contact 202-626-3463. See,
notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will hold an
event titled "Meet the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Front Office". The
Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) states that
this is an FCBA event. See,
registration form. The deadline for registrations and cancellations is 12:00 NOON on
January 10. The price to attend is $17. Lunch will be served. Location:
Wiley Rein, 1776 K St., NW.
5:30 - PM. The New
America Foundation (NAF) will host a lecture by Dan Gillmor titled "Mediactive:
A User’s Guide to Democratized Media". See,
notice. Location: NAF, Suite
400, 1899 L St., NW.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications
Bar Association (FCBA) will host an event titled "Major International Privacy
Developments and the Impact on Multi National and Globally Networked Environments".
CLE credits. Prices vary. The deadline for registrations and cancellations is 5:00 PM
on January 10. See,
registration form. Location: Bingham McCutchen, 2020 K St., NW.