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Monday, April 8, 2013, Alert No. 2,547.
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OUSTR Announces Request for Comments and Hearing Regarding US EU TTIP

4/1. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) regarding the recently begun negotiations between the US and European Union titled "Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership" or "TTIP".

This notice announces that there will be a two day hearing on May 29 and 30, 2013 in the main hearing room of the U.S. States International Trade Commission, at 500 E St., SW.

This notice also requests public comments, and sets a deadline to 12:00 Midnight on May 10. This is also the deadline to submit requests to testify at the hearing on May 29 and 30.

This notice lists numerous subjects upon which the OUSTR seeks comments. For example, the OUSTR seeks information regarding "relevant trade-related intellectual property rights issues that should be raised with the EU" and "relevant electronic commerce and cross-border data flow issues that should be addressed in the negotiations".

The OUSTR also seeks comments on investment and competition issues, and other matters.

See, FR, Vol. 78, No. 62, April 1, 2013, at Pages 19566-19568.

Officials in the US and EU announced these TTIP negotiations in February. See, stories titled "EU and US Announce Beginning of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations" and "Obama Mentions Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,523, February 13, 2013.

See also, story titled "Marantis Outlines Objectives of US EU TTIP Negotiations" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,537, March 20, 2013.

OUSTR Releases Annual Report on Technical Barriers to Trade

4/1. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) released a report [93 pages in PDF] titled "2013 Report on Technical Barriers to Trade". See also, OUSTR release.

This TLJ article focuses on technical barriers to trade (TBT) that affect information and communications technology (ICT). This OUSTR report does not identify any ICT related TBTs in the Japan, Taiwan or the European Union. It does identify some ICT TBTs in Korea and India. However, most of the significant ICT TBTs identified in this report are imposed in the People's Republic of China (PRC).

The report states that "In various product sectors, certain governments are developing and implementing so-called ``voluntary创 standards in a manner that effectively makes compliance with them mandatory. ... Further, oftentimes voluntary standards may solely reflect domestic stakeholder interests rather than also those of the larger global trading community."

One example is the PRC's standards related to information security. The report states that the PRC government "is finalizing several draft ``voluntary创 standards related to information security for ICT products. The United States is concerned China will make compliance with these voluntary standards mandatory, either through incorporation into technical regulations, or through integration into the certification and type approval schemes" of the PRC's MIIT and CNCA.

The MIIT is the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology; see also, the US China Business Council's (USCBC) MIIT web page. The CNCA is the Certification and Accreditation Administration of China; see also, the USCBC's CNCA web page.

The report elaborates that "One such standard, Information Security Technology -- Requirement for Office Devices Security, appears to restrict the use of computer chips in ink cartridges. U.S. and other foreign companies consider that this design restriction reduces the functionality of printers, and they question how the measure relates to the protection of national security. U.S. industry and the U.S. Government are concerned that China may effectively mandate the use of this standard by incorporating it by reference into one of China抯 various certification regimes, for example, the CCC Mark or the MIIT telecom type approval process. U.S. industry is also concerned that various versions of the draft standard, including prohibitions of certain chips as components of printer cartridges, have diverged from the relevant international standard (IEEE 2600)."

The report goes into more detail on TBTs imposed via the CNCA's CCC. "China's CNCA requires a single safety mark -- the CCC mark -- to be used for both Chinese and foreign products. U.S. companies continue to report, however, that China is applying the CCC mark requirements inconsistently and that many Chinese-produced goods continue to be sold without the mark. In addition, U.S. companies in some sectors continue to express concerns about duplication of safety certification requirements, particularly for radio and telecommunications equipment ..."

Next, the OUSTR report addresses the PRC's Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI) standard.

It states that the US is concerned about the PRC's "2009 unpublished requirement that its WAPI wireless local area networks (WLAN) standard be used in mobile  handsets, despite the growing commercial success of computer products in China that comply with the internationally recognized WiFi standard developed" by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

It continues that in 2011, the PRC's MIIT "remained unwilling to approve any Internet-enabled mobile handsets or similar hand-held wireless devices unless the devices were WAPI-enabled."

Next, the OUSTR report addresses the PRC's ultra high throughput (UHT) and enhanced UHT (EUHT) standard. It states that "A new trade concern related to WiFi standards arose in 2011 when China published a proposed voluntary wireless LAN industry standard known as the ``UHT/EUHT standard创 to be used in wireless networks."

"China's UHT/EUHT standard appears to be an alternative to the internationally recognized IEEE 802.11n standard. MIIT released the UHT/EUHT standard for a 15-day public comment period on September 20, 2011 and approved it in February 2012. U.S. industry groups commented that the UHT/EUHT standard may not be compatible with either WAPI or the IEEE 802.11 standard. Separately, the United States expressed its concern to China that the integration of the UHT/EUHT standard into certification or accreditation schemes would make the standard effectively mandatory. This could restrict market access for U.S. producers."

The report also addresses India's ICT TBTs. "In 2009 and 2010, India imposed new requirements in telecommunications service licenses, including mandatory transfer of technology and source codes as well as burdensome testing and certification for telecommunications equipment. Following extensive engagement with trading partners including the United States, India eliminated most of these requirements in 2011. In doing so, however, India adopted new telecommunications license amendments that continue to require, among other things, that as of April 2013, testing of all telecommunications equipment deemed to raise security concerns take place in India. The U.S. Government and industry continue to press India to reconsider the domestic testing policy and to adopt the international best practice of using international common criteria and accepting products tested in any accredited lab, whether located in India or elsewhere."

Finally, the OUSTR report addresses two ICT TBTs in Korea. First, the report addresses the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) IT safety regulations.

It states that "U.S. industry has been working closely with KATS and the Radio Research Agency on the reorganization of safety regulations for information technology equipment. The United States has advocated for streamlined procedures that reflect the realities of contemporary manufacturing and would provide an appropriate level of safety certification for low-risk information technology equipment, such as printers and computers. KATS amended its regulations in July 2012, addressing many of the U.S. concerns, such as expanding the scope of products subject to a supplier抯 declaration of conformity, and adopting the most current IEC standard. However, some concerns remain unaddressed. For example, the regulation does not allow for safety certifications to be made by a single multinational enterprise for all identical products; rather, the regulation requires separate certification with respect to each factory抯 products. Currently, there is also no certificate renewal process. Furthermore, despite being a member of the IECEE CB scheme, KATS is not currently accepting CB reports without additional testing."

Second, the report addresses Korea's specific absorption rate (SAR) labeling requirements. "In October 2012, Korea published and notified draft technical regulations that would establish two labeling categories for SAR levels (absorption of electromagnetic radiation) for mobile phones. Korea allows phones with a SAR level of 1.6 W/kg or less to be marketed in Korea. The proposed regulation, however, would establish two tiers within the allowable range: phones with a SAR of 0.8 W/kg or less would be labeled as ``Level 1,创 while phones with a SAR between 0.8 and 1.6 W/kg would be labeled ``Level 2.创 U.S. industry has submitted comments on the regulation raising concerns that there is no clear rationale or scientific basis for distinguishing between phones that meet the relevant safety regulation, and that the label could mislead, rather than inform, consumers by suggesting that there is a safety difference between the two categories. The United States has raised this concern with Korea in bilateral consultations and we will continue to do so 2013."

OUSTR Releases Report on Compliance with Telecommunications Trade Agreement

4/3. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) released a report [24 pages in PDF] titled "2013 Section 1377 Review On Compliance with Telecommunications Trade Agreements".

Demetrios 
Marantis Demetrios Marantis (at right), the acting USTR, stated in a OUSTR release that "Recent years have witnessed a growing trend among our trading partners to impose localization barriers to trade designed to protect, favor, or stimulate domestic industries, service providers, or intellectual property (IP) at the expense of imported goods, services, or foreign-owned or developed IP -- and this trend is evident in the telecommunications sector".

He added that this report "highlights the concern that U.S. equipment manufacturers may be disadvantaged by the growing use of local content requirements in countries such as Brazil, India, and Indonesia".

This report states that it "addresses several general themes: Internet-enabled trade in services, including cross-border data flows and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services; independent and effective regulators; limits on foreign investment; competition; international termination rates; satellite services and submarine cable systems; telecommunications equipment trade; and local content requirements."

It states that "The United States and other countries have benefitted greatly from the growth in trade in digital goods and services enabled by the Internet. Open access to networks and the free flow of data across borders are critical to the success of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services sector. Restrictions on the movement of data can present significant barriers to trade in services. While there may be legitimate reasons for governments to impose certain restrictions on the data flows, such as the protection of privacy, such restrictions can be overbroad, having the unintended effect of unnecessarily restricting trade."

The report adds that "In some instances, the restrictions are intended to create a preference for local suppliers." But, it names no countries.

The report finds that "Government restrictions that block VoIP services, require VoIP providers to partner with a domestic supplier, or impose onerous licensing regimes for the provision of VoIP services unnecessarily restrict trade and investment." But, it lists no countries.

Next, the report identifies the "lack of independence and the ineffectiveness of telecommunications regulators as trade barriers". Here, it lists the People's Republic of China (PRC), whose "regulator, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), makes little attempt to act as a neutral arbiter among market participants and has effectively shielded state-owned Chinese operators from competition, both domestic and foreign."

The report also identifies "foreign investment limits, typically in the form of limits on the percentage of equity a foreign firm is allowed to control, as a prevalent trade-distortive barrier". It names the PRC, along with Canada and Mexico, as countries that impose such limits.

This OUSTR also addresses the PRC mobile services market. "Early in 2013, MIIT proposed measures to open up the possibility of licensing resellers of mobile services. ... This proposal is noteworthy in three respects: (1) it may inject welcomed market access opportunities into a basic telecommunications sector that MIIT consolidated several years ago into three State-owned, integrated operators; (2) it appears to be the first time the Chinese government will have tolerated wholly-private operators entering this sector, marking a significant departure from a 2001 State Council Decree (Decree 291) that USTR has contested and which required mobile operators to be majority state-owned; and (3) it implicitly recognizes the infeasibility of attracting new entrants in the sector under an extant rule that sets capitalization rates in the basic telecommunications sector at over USD $100 million. As a general matter, these three aspects of China抯 telecommunications regulatory regime, in addition to other, informal bans on new foreign licenses, have all but ensured that the sector categorized as basic has been bereft of foreign participation."

"Unfortunately", the report continues, "MIIT's proposed rules appear to exclude foreign-invested enterprises from participation in the pilot program, by limiting participation to Chinese-invested enterprises. USTR has formally expressed strong concerns to China regarding this exclusion. Given the contribution foreign-invested companies could make, MIIT's proposed rules are both short-sighted and raise concerns relating to China抯 WTO commitments."

The report also addresses telecommunications equipment trade issues involving the PRC, including that the PRC might mandate an encryption standard for 4G LTE telecommunications equipment, and that its "Multi-Level Protection Scheme" or MLPS for information security in critical infrastructure "could adversely affect sales by U.S. information technology suppliers in China".

US China Commission Reports on Trade in February 2013

4/5. The U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, also known as the USCC, released its latest monthly report titled "Monthly Summary of U.S.-China Trade Data". It contains data on trade between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the month of February 2013.

It states that "The U.S. trade deficit with China in advanced technology products has increased by $1.5 billion over the same period last year. The bulk of the deficit continues to be in the information & communications sector."

This report also states that HR 933 [LOC | WW], an appropriations act enacted late last month that limits IT acquisitions by certain federal departments and agencies from PRC entities "has sparked heated debates". See, related story in this issue titled "Appropriation Act Limits Federal Government Acquisitions of PRC IT".

The report elaborates that "Many in Congress feel that the bill is especially warranted now given the recent revelations of cyber-security threats posed by China. The fear is that high-technology products made by Chinese government controlled companies could be used to either extract information or shut down operations remotely. However, U.S. business groups expressed concern about the bill. They argued that there is no proof of Chinese companies installing ``back doors创 in equipment. They are also concerned that China may retaliate if the United States enacts a law explicitly targeting China; China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has already forcefully condemned the purchasing restrictions." (Footnote omitted.)

This report also addresses the prospects for any PRC complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO). "The Chinese government could challenge the law at the WTO because the language of the bill specifies systems being sourced from China. Any such challenge might be complicated by the fact that, unlike the U.S., China is not a signatory to the WTO's government procurement agreement (GPA). Furthermore, the GPA contains a national security exemption."

Overall, the USCC report states that "Bilateral trade between the United States and China declined by 10 percent month-on-month in February. That was partly owing to slow business during the Chinese Lunar New Year, when most Chinese workers take several weeks of vacation. Nonetheless, seasonal factors aside, important trends are emerging in bilateral trade that may accelerate as business picks up again this spring. One is that the U.S. trade deficit in goods with China continues to widen, increasing by 13 percent so far in 2013 over the same period last year. At this rate, this year will mark the largest trade deficit on record. Although U.S. exports to China are on the rise, with 9 percent year-on-year growth (nearly double the growth in 2011-2012), the growth in U.S. imports from China has outpaced exports to China by 2.7 percentage points, up from just 2.1 percentage points last year." (Parentheses in original.)

Appropriation Act Limits Federal Government Acquisitions of PRC IT

3/26. President Obama signed into law HR 933 [LOC | WW], the "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013". This bill limits the use of funds appropriated for four federal departments and agencies for acquiring information technology (IT) systems made by entities that are owned, directed or subsidized by the People's Republic of China (PRC).

The bill cites the "risk of cyber-espionage or sabotage" by the PRC as the reason for the limitation. However, the bill also references PRC officials with "direct involvement with violations of human rights".

The four federal entities covered by this bill are the Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The DOC includes numerous components, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The DOJ includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Section 516(a) of the act provides that "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available under this Act may be used by the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or the National Science Foundation to acquire an information technology system unless the head of the entity involved, in consultation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other appropriate Federal entity, has made an assessment of any associated risk of cyber-espionage or sabotage associated with the acquisition of such system, including any risk associated with such system being produced, manufactured or assembled by one or more entities that are owned, directed or subsidized by the People's Republic of China."

Section 516(b) provides that "None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available under this Act may be used to acquire an information technology system described in an assessment required by subsection (a) and produced, manufactured or assembled by one or more entities that are owned, directed or subsidized by the People's Republic of China unless the head of the assessing entity described in subsection (a) determines, and reports that determination to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, that the acquisition of such system is in the national interest of the United States."

In addition, Section 535 of the act provides that "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement, or execute a bilateral policy, program, order, or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company unless such activities are specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of enactment of this Act."

This section adds that this limitation "shall not apply to activities which NASA or OSTP has certified -- (1) pose no risk of resulting in the transfer of technology, data, or other information with national security or economic security implications to China or a Chinese-owned company; and (2) will not involve knowing interactions with officials who have been determined by the United States to have direct involvement with violations of human rights."

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
  OUSTR Announces Request for Comments and Hearing Regarding US EU TTIP
  OUSTR Releases Annual Report on Technical Barriers to Trade
  OUSTR Releases Report on Compliance with Telecommunications Trade Agreement
  US China Commission Reports on Trade in February 2013
  Appropriation Act Limits Federal Government Acquisitions of PRC IT
  People and Appointments
  More News
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Monday, April 8

The House will not meet. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

The Senate will return from its Spring recess. It will meet at 2:00 PM for morning business.

10:00 - 11:30 AM. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will host a panel discussion titled "China's Defense Budget". The speakers will be Andrew Erickson (Harvard University), James Mulvenon (Defense Group, Inc.), Jack Georgieff (CSIS), and Christopher Johnson (CSIS). See, notice. Location: CSIS, B1 Conference Center, 1800 K St., NW.

EXTENDED TO MAY 22. Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding elevating the allocation status of Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA) in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band from secondary to primary and whether giving ESAA licensees primary status in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band would require a change to the technical rules. The FCC adopted this NPRM on December 20, 2012, and released it on December 28, 2012. It is FCC 12-161 in IB Docket No. 12-376. See, original notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 46, March 8, 2013, at Pages 14952-14957. See also, second notice in the FR, Vol. 78, No. 61, March 29, 2013, at Page 19172.

Tuesday, April 9

The House will return from its Spring recess. It will meet at 2:00 PM for legislative business. It will consider several non-technology related items under suspension of the rules. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

10:00 AM. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of Ernest Moniz to be Secretary of Energy. See, notice. Location: Room 366, Dirksen Building.

10:30 AM. The Senate Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "State of Rural Communications". The witnesses will be John Strode (Ritter Communications), Steven Davis (CenturyLink), Patricia Jo Boyers (BOYCOM Cablevision), and Leroy Carlson (U.S. Cellular). See, notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (SHSGAC) will hold a hearing on the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). See, notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) will hold a closed hearing on undisclosed matters. See, notice. Location: Room 219, Hart Building.

Wednesday, April 10

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for morning hour, and at 12:00 NOON for legislative business. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

Day one of a three day event hosted by the American Bar Association (ABA) titled "Antitrust Law 2013 Spring Meeting". See, notice. Location: JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

POSTPONED. 10:00 AM. The House Appropriations Committee's (HAC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the Department of Justice (DOJ). Attorney General Eric Holder will testify. See, notice. Location: Room 2359, Rayburn Building.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host an event titled "The Social and Economic Case for Autonomous Vehicles". The speakers will be Robert Atkinson (ITIF), Bill Krenik (Texas Instruments), and Jason Schultz (Toyota). See, notice. Location: Room B-338, Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill.

2:30 PM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing on the nomination of Srikanth Srinivasan to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir). Webcast. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

4:00 PM. Day one of a two day meeting of the House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to mark up HR __ [LOC | WW | PDF], a yet to be introduced bill that states that "It is the policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet." See, notice. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

6:00 - 8:00 PM. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) will host an event to promote the book [Amazon] by Gary Shapiro titled "Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses". There will be a reception from 6:00 until 8:00. There will be speeches at 6:30. Location: 1776 Campus, 12th floor, 1133 15th St., NW.

Thursday, April 11

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for morning hour, and at 12:00 NOON for legislative business. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

Day two of a three day event hosted by the American Bar Association (ABA) titled "Antitrust Law 2013 Spring Meeting". See, notice. Location: JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

9:00 - 10:30 AM. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) will host a discussion of the book [88 pages, Amazon] titled "The Need for Speed: A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy in the 21st Century". The speakers will be the two authors, Robert Litan (Kauffman Foundation) and Hal Singer (Navigant Economics), and Robert Atkinson (ITIF) and Blair Levin (Aspen Institute). See, notice. Location: ITIF/ITIC, Suite 610A, 1101 K St., NW.

10:00 AM. The House Small Business Committee's (HSBC) Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations will hold a hearing titled "JOBS Act Implementation Update". The witnesses will be Lona Nallengara (acting Director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance), John Ramsey (acting Director of the SEC's Division of Trading and Markets), Kevin Rustagi (SBE Council), and Jean Peteres (Angel Capital Association). See, HSBC notice. The 112th Congress enacted the JOBS Act one year ago, but has not written key implementing rules. See, story titled "Walter Addresses SEC's Failure to Write Crowd Funding Rules" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,544, April 2, 2013. Location: Room 2360, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The House Intelligence Committee (HIC) will hold a partially closed hearing titled "Worldwide Threats". See, notice. Location: the open portion of this hearing will be in Room HVC-210, House Visitor Center; the closed portion will be in Room HVC-304.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold an executive business meeting. The agenda again includes consideration of the nomination of Kenneth Gonzales (USDC/DNMex). See, notice. Webcast. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

1:30 PM. The House Appropriations Committee's (HAC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing on the Department of Commerce (DOC). See, notice. Location: Room 2359, Rayburn Building.

2:15 PM. Day two of a two day meeting of the House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Communications and Technology to mark up HR __ [LOC | WW | PDF], a yet to be introduced bill that states that "It is the policy of the United States to promote a global Internet free from government control and to preserve and advance the successful multistakeholder model that governs the Internet." See, notice. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

2:30 PM. The Senate Intelligence Committee (SIC) will hold a closed hearing on undisclosed matters. See, notice. Location: Room 219, Hart Building.

3:00 - 4:30 PM. The Heritage Foundation (HF) will host a panel discussion titled "Asia 2013: the View from Capitol Hill". The speakers will be Carolyn Leddy (Senate Foreign Relations Committee Republican staff), Eric Sayers (office of Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)), Victor Cervino (office of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)), and Walter Lohman (HF). Free. Open to the public. Webcast. See, notice. Location: HF, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

4:00 PM. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host an event titled "Patents for Humanity Awards Ceremony". The speakers will include Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Teresa Rea (acting Director of the USPTO). See, notice. See also, story titled "Sen. Leahy Introduces a Bill to Make USPTO Acceleration Certificates Alienable" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,487, December 10, 2012. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

Friday, April 12

The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Cantor's schedule.

Supreme Court conference day. See, Supreme Court calendar.

Day three of a three day event hosted by the American Bar Association (ABA) titled "Antitrust Law 2013 Spring Meeting". See, notice. Location: JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.

5:00 PM. Deadline to submit comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) regarding competitive need limitations (CNLs) under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 53, March 19, 2013, at Pages 16908-16910.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) in response to its Public Notice (PN) regarding implementation of its Connect America Phase II subsidy program. This PN is DA 13-284 in WC Docket No. 10-90. The WCB released it on February 26, 2013. See also, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 51, March 15, 2013, at Pages 16456-16460.

Monday, April 15

9:00 - 10:00 AM. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host a discussion of the book [Amazon] titled "To Save Everything, Click Here". The speakers will be Evgeny Morozov (author) and Christine Rosen (NAF). See, notice. Location: NAF, Suite 400, 1899 L St., NW.

9:30 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (DCCir) will hear oral argument in Conference Group v. FCC, App. Ct. No. 12-1124. See also, FCC brief filed on __. Judges Garland, Rogers and Silberman will preside. This is the first item on the Court's agenda. Location: Courtroom 11, 4th floor, Prettyman Courthouse, 333 Constitution Ave., NW.

Deadline to submit to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oppositions to petitions to deny AT&T's acquisition of Atlantic Tele-Network's U.S. retail wireless operations. See, AT&T release of January 22, 2013, and FCC Public Notice [5 pages in PDF], DA 13-352 in WT Docket No. 13-54.

Deadline to submit initial comments to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Media Bureau (MB) in response to its Public Notice, DA 13-281 in MB Docket No. 13-50, released on February 26, 2013, regarding the August 31, 2012 letter from the Coalition for Broadcast Investment regarding FCC restrictions on foreign ownership and voting interests. See, notice in the Federal Register Vol. 78, No. 55, March 21, 2013, at Pages 17395-17403.

Extended deadline to submit comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to its notice in the Federal Register (FR) regarding potential practices that patent applicants can employ at the drafting stage of a patent application in order to facilitate examination and bring more certainty to the scope of issued patents. See, FR, Vol. 78, No. 10, January 15, 2013, at Pages 2960-2961. See also, story titled "USPTO Seeks Comments on Preparation of Patent Applications" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,512, January 20, 2013. And see, extension notice in the FR,  Vol. 78, No. 51, March 15, 2013, at Pages 16474-16475.

People and Appointments

4/8. Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, died. President Obama praised her in a statement as an "unapologetic supporter of our transatlantic alliance".

4/4. The New America Foundation (NAF) announced that its next President will be Anne-Marie Slaughter. (Princeton University). She will begin on September 1, 2013. She will replace Steve Coll. See, NAF release.

4/3. Marc Fagel, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) San Francisco office, will leave the SEC. See, SEC release.

More News

4/8. The Department of Commerce (DOC) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) that announces that it will lead a legal services trade mission to the People's Republic of China (PRC). The FR notice states that the purpose of this mission is "to introduce U.S. law firms without a presence in China to the Chinese market, to market U.S. legal services to Chinese companies and individuals, to raise awareness about the U.S. legal and business climate to Chinese companies interested in doing business in the U.S. market, and to further an ongoing dialogue with Chinese authorities on opening the Chinese legal services market to expanded practice by U.S. firms". This trade mission will be on September 16-18, 2013. See, FR, Vol. 78, No. 67, April 8, 2013, at Pages 20893-20896.

4/5. The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division filed its brief [180 pages in PDF] with the U.S. Court of Appeals (9thCir) in US v. AU Optronics, an appeal from the criminal convictions of AU Optronics and others in the DOJ's long running thin film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) price fixing cases. See, story titled "DOJ Seeks Billion Dollar Fine and 10 Year Prison Sentences in LCD Price Fixing Case" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,447, September 13, 2012. The U.S. District Court (NDCal) sentenced AU Optronics to pay a fine of $500 Million. In addition, it sentenced Hsuan Bin Chen and Hui Hsiung to serve three years in prison and to pay $200,000 fines. This case is US v. AU Optronics Corporation, et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, App. Ct. Nos. 12-10492, 12-10493, 12-10500, and 12-10514, appeals from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Susan Illston presiding.

4/1. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) released a report [112 pages in PDF] titled "2013 Report on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures".

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