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Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Alert No. 2,631.
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Obama Administration Condemns Patent Trolls

2/20. The White House news office released a statement regarding patents. It employs the term "patent trolls", without explaining the meaning of the term. It calls for legislation, but makes no legislative proposals. It recites recent actions taken by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and some things that the USPTO will do going forward.

It is significant that the White House news office is now employing the term "patent trolls". However, the statement is largely rhetorical, rather than substantive.

On the other hand, Michelle Lee, the acting head of the USPTO, gave a speech at a White House event on patents on February 20. She did not use the term "patent trolls".

Michelle LeeLee (at right) said that "Our work also includes actively engaging with the House and Senate as the legislative process moves forward. The patent system is the engine that powers our 21st century innovation economy. Even the most high-performance engine occasionally needs some fine-tuning. But I am confident our collaborative reform efforts will result in a patent system that performs at an unprecedented level of quality and economic output, benefiting us all."

Until recently, Lee worked for Google. Before that, she worked at the law firm of Fenwick & West.

The White House news office statement calls on the Congress to enact "common-sense patent reform legislation", and adds that "The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to deliver focused and effective patent reform legislation to the American people in the coming months".

The statement does not state what should be the content of legislation. It does not comment on HR 3309 [LOC | WW], the "Innovation Act", the patent bill passed by the House in December 5, 2013.

President Obama made a passing reference to patent legislation in his speech to the Congress on January 28, 2014. He said then, "let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation." See also, related story in this issue titled "President Obama Mentions Patents in State of the Union Address".

The statement says that "Today, the USPTO is announcing that it is exploring a series of measures to make it easier for the public to provide information about relevant prior art in patent applications, including by refining its third-party submission program, exploring other ways for the public to submit prior art to the agency, and updating its guidance and training to empower examiners to more effectively use crowd-sourced prior art."

It adds that "the USPTO will take steps to make it easier for technologists and engineers from industry and academia to provide relevant, technical training and expertise to patent examiners regarding the state of the art."

Also, "The USPTO will be  providing dedicated educational and practical resources to those who lack legal representation (i.e., pro se applicants) and will work with the AIA Pro Bono Advisory Council -- and through a newly appointed full-time Pro Bono Coordinator -- to expand the existing pro bono program established under the AIA to cover all 50 states. The Administration is calling on members of the patent bar to participate in the program." (Parentheses in original.)

Reaction. The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), both of which condemn patent trolls and advocate patent reform legislation, praised the announcement.

Matt Levy of the CCIA stated in a release that "The Obama Administrationís continued commitment to making our patent system support innovation, not litigation, is very exciting. We look forward to continuing our work with the Administration on reigning in patent trolls."

Gary Shapiro of the CEA stated in a release that "We commend the White House for its aggressive efforts to drive patent trolls back under the bridge. For years these trolls have extorted payments from small businesses and held back the growth of our economy, but those easy paydays must come to an end." ..."We appreciate the White Houseís leadership on this important issue, and we urge the Senate to immediately pass legislation ending the patent troll racket.Ē

Verizon's Gail Levine stated in a release that "Verizon applauds the Administrationís patent quality initiative as one important step in reforming a patent litigation system that stifles innovation. Other reforms also are needed, however, and we continue to support Congressís effort to enact meaningful patent litigation reform."

Charles Duan of the Public Knowledge stated in a release that "We applaud the White House for its continuing efforts to protect American innovators and the technology-consuming public by combatting abusive patent practices. Patent abuse is a growing problem that detriments the public. The steps being taken are not enormous steps, but they are steps in the right direction."

President Obama Mentions Patents in State of the Union Address

1/28. President Obama gave a speech to the Congress on January 28, 2014 titled "State of the Union Address" in which he advocated passage of a "patent reform bill".

He touted the "progress" and "growth" accomplished during his administration, but said very little about the state of the union, or his policy agenda, on technology related issues. When he did address technology related issues, it was in the vaguest of terms.

Patent Reform. President Obama did not discuss the state of the patent system. Nor did he offer any proposals for changes to patent law or procedure. Nor did he comment on HR 3309 [LOC | WW], the "Innovation Act", the patent bill passed by the House in December 5, 2013, or any other pending patent bills.

He merely said, "let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly, needless litigation."

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (HJC), stated in a release that "I am encouraged by the Presidentís continued willingness to work with Congress in order to stop abusive patent litigation. At the end of last year, the House overwhelmingly passed the Innovation Act, a bipartisan bill that takes meaningful steps to address the abusive practices that have damaged our patent system and resulted in significant economic harm to our nation. Businesses both large and small are affected by this growing problem and the enactment of the Innovation Act is central to U.S. competiveness, job creation, and our nationís future economic security. I look forward to working with President Obama and the Senate to see that patent litigation reform legislation is signed into law."

Ed Black, head of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) stated in a release that "We are encouraged by the President's mention of patent reform in the State of the Union because it reflects the broad recognition that patent trolls are a multi-billion dollar drain on our economy. It's time for the Senate to take up and complete its passage of meaningful patent reform legislation, like the House did late last year. Itís important that the bill includes fee shifting reforms to ensure access to justice for innocent victims of patent trolls and also includes a meaningful system to get mistakenly issued patents reviewed."

FCC Tax and Subsidy Programs. President Obama said nothing about spectrum policy, auctions, emergency communications, network neutrality rules, or the waste, fraud and abuse in the FCC's universal service tax and subsidy programs. However, he did speak in vague terms about the FCC's e-rate subsidies for schools and libraries.

He said that "Last year, I also pledged to connect 99 percent of our students to high-speed broadband over the next four years. Tonight, I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, we've got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and twenty million students over the next two years, without adding a dime to the deficit."

The FCC's e-rate program provides subsidies for schools and libraries that are funded by taxes collected by service providers. This program is administered by the FCC and its USAC, and is off budget.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated in a release that "Harnessing the power of digital technology is central to improving our education system and our global competitiveness. In the Internet age, every student in America should have access to state-of-the-art educational tools, which are increasingly interactive, individualized and bandwidth-intensive. The Federal Communications Commission shares the Presidentís commitment to seizing the opportunities of digital learning, which is why weíve already launched an effort to modernize our successful E-Rate program -- the nationís largest education technology program. By applying business-like management practices to E-Rate, we can take steps this year that will make existing funds go farther to significantly increase our investment in high-speed broadband connectivity for schools and libraries for the benefit of our students and teachers. ..."

Trade Policy. President Obama said little about trade policy. He did advocate passage of legislation that would give him "trade promotion authority" (TPA). TPA would enhance the President's ability to negotiate trade agreements by allowing the Congress to approve or reject, but not amend, trade agreements negotiated by the President.

Mike Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, announced President Obama's support for TPA at his confirmation hearing on June 6, 2013.

The Congress gave President Bush TPA, who then proceeded to negotiate both bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs).

In contrast, Obama has shown little interest in FTAs. He has yet to commence any bilateral FTA negotiations. He delayed for years implementation of FTAs negotiated during the Bush administration.

There are underway trade negotiations known as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The President did say that "new trade partnerships with Europe and the Asia-Pacific will help them create more jobs".

The parties to the TPPA negotiations are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, US, and Vietnam. The parties to the TTIP negotiations are the US and EU.

Surveillance. The President did not discuss surveillance operations or pending legislative reforms, or offer any of his own proposals in this speech.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) stated in a release that "President Obama is responsible for the ongoing illegal overreach by the NSA that violates the civil liberties of innocent Americans. He is also largely at fault for the partisan divide plaguing Washington. But despite this divisiveness, the Leahy-Sensenbrenner USA FREEDOM Act has 124 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and 19 in the Senate -- a bipartisan and eclectic mix of folks covering the political spectrum. If the President wants to achieve genuine reform, he should work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to rein in the NSA and restore trust in our intelligence community."

The CCIA's Ed Black stated that "While the President did not offer specifics on surveillance reform, he did recognize that Internet users around the world need to have confidence that the privacy of ordinary citizens is not being violated. Later, in speaking about drones, he noted the need to remain true to our Constitutional ideals. We hope Congress keeps in mind the ideals outlined in our 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments as they work to pass surveillance reform legislation and review renewal of laws that authorize surveillance.Ē

Taxpayer Funded Research. President Obama said that "Federally-funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind Google and smartphones. That's why Congress should undo the damage done by last year's cuts to basic research so we can unleash the next great American discovery -- whether itís vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper-thin material thatís stronger than steel."

DOJ Issues Policy Statement Regarding Reporter Subpoenas and Communications Records Seizures

2/27. The Department of Justice (DOJ) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) that announces, characterizes, recites, and sets the effective date for, its rules changes pertaining to "its practices and policies regarding the use of subpoenas, court orders, and search warrants to obtain information from, or records of, members of the news media".

Summary. These new rules state that the DOJ's "policy is intended to provide protection to members of the news media from certain law enforcement tools, whether criminal or civil, that might unreasonably impair ordinary newsgathering activities".

While the just released text is characterized as "rules", it is merely "statement of principle" and "statements of policy". It creates no private rights, and imposes no substantive limitations upon DOJ action.

The text states that "This policy is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person."

The DOJ has a history of abuse of subpoenas and phone records surveillance directed at news reporters. Members of Congress have long sought to enact legislation that would provide some protections for news reporting. However, the DOJ and both the Bush and Obama administrations have opposed such efforts. These rules changes provide the DOJ with the argument that legislation is unnecessary because it is addressing its improper conduct internally.

The DOJ's just released document applies only to the DOJ. However, other government agencies have also abused subpoena and other powers. Pending and past legislative bills would reach all federal government agencies.

Agencies other than the DOJ, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), have improperly compelled disclosures from new reporters. See, for example, February 27, 2006, statement by former SEC Chairman Chris Cox, April 12, 2006 SEC policy statement, May 1, 2006, speech by Cox, and story titled "SEC's Cox Discusses Regulation and Information" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,389, June 12, 2006.

Background. The DOJ adopted these rules against the backdrop of its long and continuing record of abusive use of subpoenas and other processes directed at reporters, and efforts by Members of Congress to enact remedial legislation.

The DOJ's own Inspector General has found violation of law in the surveillance of reporters. (See, story titled "Another DOJ Inspector General Report Finds FBI Misconduct in Obtaining Phone Records" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,037, January 20, 2010.)

During the Obama and Bush administrations, the DOJ, and some of its components, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have interfered improperly with the legitimate and important activities of news journalists that are protected and promoted by the First Amendment.

In particular, the DOJ has often abused its subpoena powers to force journalists to disclose confidential sources. The known consequence of such action is the intimidation of potential government whistleblowers, and the consequent degradation of the quality of news reporting.

The ultimate target of subpoenas directed at reporters is often government whistleblowers who disclose government corruption, waste, and fraud. In addition, abusive subpoenas also intimidate officials who would disclose information to which the public would be entitled under the Freedom of Information Act, Open Meetings Act, and Administrative Procedure Act, were the relevant agencies to comply with those statutes.

Also, in some cases, news reporters are more successful at uncovering criminal conduct by regulated entities and persons than the investigators at the relevant regulatory agencies, who then compel reporters to turn over their records and the identity of their sources. This practice undermines reporters' ability to effectively investigate and report thereafter.

These rules changes will have little, if any, impact upon DOJ activities and operations. Rather, the release of these rules changes are part of an ongoing exercise in hypocrisy, and the ongoing effort to undermine legislative reform.

Legislative History. Former Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) worked for years, and especially in the 110th and 111th Congresses, to enact legislation that is known as both "media shield" and "free flow of information". Their bills would have provided some protection for news reporters from abusive subpoenas from federal government agencies, and particularly, the DOJ.

In the 111th Congress, the House passed HR 985 [LOC | WW], the "Free Flow of Information Act", on March 31, 2009. See, story titled "House Judiciary Committee Approves Media Shield and Communications Services Provider Protection Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,919, March 30, 2009. HR 985 is substantially identical to HR 2102 [LOC | WW], the version of the bill in the 110th Congress. See, story titled "House Approves Boucher-Pence Media Shield Bill" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,656, October 17, 2007.

These bills would have imposed modest limits upon the ability of federal entities to compel journalists to provide testimony or documents, or disclose sources, related to their work. These bills would also have limited government access to records of carriers, ISPs and other service providers.

The Senate did not pass a bill, in part because of opposition from the DOJ and Bush and Obama administrations. See, story titled "Bush Administration Opposes Pence/Boucher Free Flow of Information Act" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,757, April 30, 2008.

Reps. Pence and Boucher failed. Nevertheless, reporters' complaints have continued. See, for example, story titled "Associated Press Alleges Unjustified FBI Seizure of Reporters' Phone Records" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,561, May 14, 2013. And, Members of Congress continue to introduce bills.

There are bills pending in the current Congress, the 113th. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced HR 1962 [LOC | WW], the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2013" on May 14, 2013. It was referred to the House Judiciary Committee (HJC), which has taken no action.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced S 987 [LOC | WW], the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2013" on May 16, 2013. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) amended and approved this bill on September 12, 2013. The full Senate has taken no action.

Summary of Rules Changes. These rules create no private rights. Also, they are merely "statements of policy".

Perhaps the most significant provisions in these rules are those that state that when DOJ personnel want to subpoena or surveil news reporters to learn about their news reporting activities, they must obtain approval from senior DOJ officials.

Next, while these rules confer no rights upon news reporters or others, these rules expressly condone subpoenas, and other compulsory process, directed at news reporters in connection with their news reporting.

For example, the DOJ "may apply for a warrant to obtain work product materials or other documentary materials of a member of the news media", and the DOJ may apply for a "warrant to search the premises, property, or communications records of a member of the news media".

Also, the DOJ may compel production of "communications records" of "a third-party communication service provider".

The rules state that "communications records" include "the contents of electronic communications as well as source and destination information associated with communications, such as email transaction logs and local and long distance telephone connection records, stored or transmitted by a third-party communication service provider with which the member of the news media has a contractual relationship".

The rules also provide that the DOJ may obtain "a subpoena, court order, or warrant to obtain communications records or business records of a member of the news media" without giving notice to the "member of the news media".

This document takes effect on February 27, 2014. See, FR, Vol. 79, No. 39, February 27, 2014, at Pages 10989-10994.

In This Issue
This issue contains the following items:
 ē Obama Administration Condemns Patent Trolls
 ē President Obama Mentions Patents in State of the Union Address
 ē DOJ Issues Policy Statement Regarding Reporter Subpoenas and Communications Records Seizures
 ē People and Appointments
Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
Thursday, February 27

The House will meet at 10:00 AM for morning hour, and at 12:00 NOON for legislative business. The House will complete its consideration of HR 2804 [LOC | WW], the "Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency Act of 2014". This huge bill would make numerous changes to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to make agency rule making processes more transparent. See, Rep. Cantor's calendar.

The Senate will meet at 9:30 AM.

10:00 AM. The House Intelligence Committee (HIC) will hold a closed hearing titled "Ongoing Intelligence Activities". HVC-304, Capitol Visitor Center.

10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) will hold an executive business meeting. Webcast. See, notice. Location: Room 226, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (SHSGAC) will hold a hearing titled "Recycling Electronics: A Common Sense Solution for Enhancing Government Efficiency and Protecting Our Environment". The witnesses will be Walter Alcorn (Consumer Electronics Association), Kevin Kampschroer (General Services Administration), Thomas Day (U.S. Postal Service), Brenda Pulley (Keep America Beautiful), and Stephen Skurnac (Sims Recycling Solutions. See, notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.

RESCHEDULED FROM FEBRUARY 13. 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The Senate Banking Committee (SBC) will hold a hearing on the Federal Reserve Board's (FRB) "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress". The witness will be Janet Yellen (Chairman of the FRB). See, notice. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.

10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host a panel discussion on the FCC's e-rate tax and subsidy programs. The speakers will include Kevin Carey (NAF), Reed Hundt, Richard Culatta (Department of Education), Susan Hildreth (Institute of Museum and Library Services), Melanie Huggins (Richland Library, South Carolina), Pam Moran (Albemarle County Public Schools, Virginia), Greta Byrum (NAF), and Sarah Morris (NAF). Webcast. See, notice. Location: NAF, suite 400, 1899 L St., NW.

12:00 NOON - 1:00 PM. The Heritage Foundation (HF) will host an discussion of the book titled "Game Plan: How to Protect Yourself from the Coming Cyber Economic Attack". The speakers will include Kevin Freeman, the author. Webcast. Free. Open to the public. Location: HF, 214 Massachusetts Ave., NE.

12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law will host an on site and webcast panel discussion titled "Vertical and Complementary Products Merger". The speakers will be Joanna Tsai (FTC), Joshua Wright (FTC Commissioner), Renata Hesse (DOJ Antitrust Division), Steve Salop (Georgetown University Law School), and David Wales (Jones Day). Prices vary. No CLE credits. See, notice. Location: Jones Day, 51 Louisiana Ave., NW.

12:15 - 1:30 PM. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will host an event titled "FCC's Rural Broadband Experiments and Expressions of Interest Due March 7, 2014". The speaker will be Alexander Minard (FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau's Telecommunications Access Policy Division). Bring your own lunch. The FCBA states that this is an FCBA event. Location: Bingham McCutchen, 11th floor, 2020 K St., NW.

1:00 - 5:00 PM. The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Special Committee 222, Inmarsat AMS(R)S, will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 79, No. 28, February 11, 2014, at Page 8235. Location: Double Tree Annapolis Hotel, 210 Holiday Court, Annapolis, MD.

2:00 PM. The American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law will host a teleconferenced panel discussion titled "Local Broadcaster Mergers: Competition and Communications Policy Issues". The speakers will be Arthur Burke (Davis Polk & Wardwell), Franco Castelli (Wachtell Lipton), Ross Leiberman (American Cable Association), Jane Mago (National Association of Broadcasters), and Lauren Wilson (Free Press). Prices vary. No CLE credits. See, notice.

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

Friday, February 28

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

Supreme Court conference day. See, October Term 2013 calendar.

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Special Committee 228, Minimum Operational Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, will meet. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 79, No. 28, February 11, 2014, at Page 8233. Location: RTCA, Suite 910, 1150 18th St., NW.

9:00 - 10:30 AM. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host a discussion of the book [Amazon] titled "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens". The speakers will include Dannah Boyd (the author), Amanda Lenhart (Pew Research Center, and Mary Madden (Pew). Webcast. See, notice. Location: NAF, Suite 400, 1899 L St., NW.

9:30 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will hold a hearing titled "The FTC at 100: Views from the Academic Experts". The witnesses will be Howard Beales (George Washington University School of Business), Daniel Crane (University of Michigan School of Law), Geoffrey Manne (International Center for Law & Economics), Christopher Yoo (University of Pennsylvania Law School), Robert Lande (University of Baltimore School of Law), and Paul Ohm (University of Colorado Law School). See, notice. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

12:30 - 1:45 PM. The American Bar Association (ABA) will host a webcast panel discussion titled "Disgorgement as an Antitrust Remedy in State and Federal Enforcement Action". The speakers will be Dov Rothman (Analysis Group), John Asker (New York University), Geoffrey Oliver (Jones Day), and Eric Stock (NY Office of the Attorney General, Antitrust Bureau). Prices vary. No CLE credits. See, notice.

Deadline for the U.S. International Trade Commission's (USITC) to submit its report to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) titled "Trade Barriers That U.S. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Perceive as Affecting Exports to the European Union". See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 216, November 7, 2013, at Pages 66950-66951.

Extended deadline for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) to complete its Section 301 investigation of government of Ukraine regarding protection of intellectual property rights. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 231, December 2, 2013, at Page 72141.

Monday, March 3

The House will meet the week of March 3-7. See, 2014 House calendar.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Tellabs Operations v. Fujitsu, App. Ct. No. 13-1226. Panel A. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in X2Y Attenuators v. USITC, App. Ct. No. 13-1340, an appeal from a determination of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) that Intel and Apple did not infringe X2Y's patents involving microprocessor technology. Panel A. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Vehicle IP v. AT&T Mobility, App. Ct. No. 13-1380. Panel A+. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Align Technology v. USITC, App. Ct. No. 13-1240. Panel B. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Suffolk Technologies v. AOL, App. Ct. No. 13-1392. Panel B. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in VirnetX v. Cisco Systems, App. Ct. No. 13-1489. Panel B. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

1:00 - 2:30 PM. The American Bar Association (ABA) will host a webcast panel discussion titled "LinkedIn for Lawyers". Prices vary. No CLE credits. See, notice.

Tuesday, March 4

9:00 - 10:30 AM. The American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law will host a webcast panel discussion titled "Vertical Issues in High Tech Industry". The speakers will be Joanna Tsai (Economic Advisor to FTC Commissioner Joshua Wright), Elizabeth Wang (Charles River Associates), Yao Feng (Broad & Bright, Beijing), and Daniel Sokol (University of Florida). Prices vary. No CLE credits. See, notice.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Compression Technology v. EMC, App. Ct. No. 13-1513. Panel C.  Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Operating Systems Solutions v. Apple, App. Ct. No. 13-1487. Panel D.  Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in MadStad Engineering v. USPTO, App. Ct. No. 13-1511. This is an appeal from the U.S. District Court (MDFla) in a constitutional challenge to the first to file provision of the America Invents Act, D.C. No. 8:12-cv-01589. Panel D. Location: Courtroom 402, 717 Madison Place, NW.

10:30 AM. The House Judiciary Committee (HJC) will hold a hearing titled "Exploring Alternative Solutions on the Internet Sales Tax Issue". The witnesses will be __. See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

1:00 - 2:30 PM. The American Bar Association (ABA) will host a webcast panel discussion titled "101 Cloud Computing: Legal Challenges and How to Address Them". The speakers will be Theresa Beaumont, David Bodenheimer (Crowell & Moring), Joe Pennell (Mayer Brown), Bennet Borden (Drinker Biddle & Reath). Prices vary. CLE credits. See, notice.

2:00 PM. The House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet will hold a hearing titled "Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet". The witnesses will be __. See, notice. Location: Room 2141, Rayburn Building.

4:00 - 6:00 PM. The New America Foundation (NAF) will host a discussion of the book titled "Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground". The speakers will be Emily Parker (the author) and Anne-Marie Slaughter (NAF). Webcast. See, notice. Location: NAF, suite 400, 1899 L St., NW.

Wednesday, March 5

10:00 AM. The House Commerce Committee's (HCC) Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing titled "Reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act". The witnesses will be __. See, notice. Location: Room 2123, Rayburn Building.

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in Buysafe v. Google, App. Ct. No. 13-1575. Panel H. Location: Courtroom 203, 717 Madison Place, NW.

11:00 AM. The Cato Institute will host a panel discussion titled "Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership: National Interest or Corporate Handout?". The speakers will be Margot Kaminski (Yale University), Tom Giovanetti (Institute for Policy Innovation), William Watson (Cato), and Simon Lester (Cato). Free. Open to the public. Lunch will be served after the panel discussion. See, notice. Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

2:00 - 4:00 PM. The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program's Middleware and Grid Interagency Cooridination (MAGIC) Team meets the first Wednesday of each month. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 226, November 22, 2013, at Page 70076. Location: NSF, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA.

Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding regulation of wireless tower siting. The FCC adopted and released this NPRM on September 26, 2013. This NPRM is FCC 13-122 in WT Docket Nos. 13-238 and 13-32, and WC Docket No. 11-59. See, notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 234, December 5, 2013, at Pages 73144-73169.

Thursday, March 6

10:00 AM. The U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir) will hear oral argument in EPOS Technologies v. Pegasus Technologies, App. Ct. No. 13-1330, an appeal from the U.S. District Court (DC) in a patent infringement case. Panel I. Location: Courtroom 201, 717 Madison Place, NW.

1:30 - 2:30 PM. The American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law will host a teleconferenced panel discussion titled "Antitrust, Unfair Competition, and the Lanham Act: Recent Intersections in Litigation". The speakers will be Robert Wierenga (Schiff Hardin), Rebecca Tushnet (Georgetown University Law Center), and Randy Miller (Venable). Prices vary. No CLE credits. See, notice.

People and Appointments

2/27. President Obama nominated Robert Holleyman to be a Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. If confirmed by the Senate, he will fill the position previously held by Demetrios Marantis. Holleyman is a former long time head of the Business Software Alliance (BSA). See, White House news office release and release.

2/26. President Obama appointed Joe Echevarria to be a member of the President's Export Council. See, White House news office release. He is the CEO of Deloitte LLP, and a member of the U.S. Board of Directors of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

2/25. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) in which it requests nominations, and comments on nominations, for membership on its Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee. The deadline to submit nominations (and written comments regarding nominations) is March 25, 2014. See, FR, Vol. 79, No. 37, February 25, 2014, at Pages 10596-10598.

2/24. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) announced in a speech that he will not run for re-election in 2014.

2/19. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) announced in a release that he will not run for re-election in 2014.

2/12. President Obama nominated Francis Taylor to be the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis. See, White House news office release and release. He previously worked for General Electric.

2/11. The CompTIA and Technology Councils of North America (TCNA) held an event in Washington DC at which they presented Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) with their "2014 TechVoice Champion" awards. See also, Rep. Goodlatte's release and TCNA release.

2/10. President Obama nominated Robert Work to be Deputy Secretary of Defense. See, White House news office release and release. He served in the Marine Corps for 27 years. He worked at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) from 2002 to 2009. He was Under Secretary of the Navy from 2009 through early 2013.

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