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News, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer, internet, communications and information technology sectors

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AOL v. ATT.  Trademark and Lanham Act case in U.S District Court, E.D.VA.

Apple Computer v. Articulate Systems.  See, Opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. (Appeal Nos. 99-1165 and 1198.) Decided December 7, 2000.

Aquacool v. Yahoo!  Case regarding subpoenas to bulletin board providers for personal information about anonymous posters. Original Complaint filed in the U.S. District Court, C.D.Cal., on May 11, 2000. See, also, TLJ Story.

AT&T v. FCC.  A case challenging FCC approval of Bell Atlantic's 271 application to provide long distance service in New York state. See, Opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, August 1, 2000.

AT&T v. Iowa Utilities Board.  Landmark case construing Telecom Act of 1996, concluded in 1999 by a decision of U.S. Supreme Court.

AT&T v. Portland.  Open cable access case, on appeal to the 9th Circuit.

Avery Dennison v. Sumpton.  A trademark case regarding cybersquatting decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, on August 23, 1999.

Bernstein v. DOJ.  Constitutional challenge to encryption export restraints, decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1999.

Blumenthal v. AOL and Drudge.  Section 230 case, U.S. District Court, Washington DC.

Bristol v. Microsoft.  Antitrust and unfair trade practices case, U.S. District Court Conn.

Broward County Cable case. See, Comcast v. Broward.

Caldera v. Microsoft.  Antitrust case.

Comcast et al v. Broward County.  A case regarding the First Amendment and mandatory access to broadband cable Internet access facilities. (Case No. 99-6934 Civ., U.S. District Court, S.D.Fl.) See, Order and opinion granting summary judgment. November 8, 2000.


DeCSS case. See, Universal Studies v. Reimerdes.

DOJ v Microsoft I.  Antitrust case.

DOJ v Microsoft II.  Antitrust case.

Drudge case. See, Blumenthal v. AOL and Drudge.

Eldritch v. Reno.  Challenge to the Copyright Term Extension Act, pending in the U.S. District Court in Washington DC.


EPIC v. DOJ (carnivore)

EPIC v. NSA.  FOIA suit seeking records pertaining to ECHELON and signals intelligence, pending in U.S. District Court, Washington DC.

FTC v. Periera (sp).

GTE v. ATT.  Suit to compel open access based on antitrust theory, pending in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania.

Intel v. Broadcom.

Intergraph v. Intel.  Antitrust and intellectual property case.

IRI v. ULM.  Intellectual Reserve Inc. v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry, a suit pertaining to copyrights on the web, pending in the U.S. District Court in Utah.

Kathleen R v. City of Livermore. Filtering software case, on appeal to the California Court of Appeals.

Los Angeles Times v. Free Republic.  Copyright case pending in the U.S. District Court in California.

Loudoun Library.  Constitutionality of filtering software case, decided November 23, 1998.

Panavision.  Panavision v. Toeppen, a trademark case regarding cybersquatting.

Reimerdes case. See, Universal City Studios v. Reimerdes.

SBC v. FCC.  Constitutional challenge to Section 271, cert. denied.

Sun v. Microsoft.  Intellectual property case.


Texas v. FCC.  Constitutional challenge to e-rate.


Universal City Studios v. Reimerdes.  (DeCSS case) Case No. 00 Civ 0277 (LAK), U.S. District Court, SDNY. See, Final Judgment, August 17, 2000.


Zeran v. AOL.  Section 230 case, cert. denied 1998.

AT&T v. Iowa Utilities Board.
Issues:  This case goes to who has authority (under the Telecom Act of 1996 and the Telecommunications Act of 1934) to regulate long distance entry into local markets, and what regulations are appropriate.  Specifically, the issues before the Supreme Court include: (1) Whether the 8th Circuit was correct in ruling that the FCC lacks the authority to adopt rules for states to use to set prices for services and network elements that incumbent local telephone companies are required to provide to new entrants; (2) Whether the 8th Circuit was correct in invalidating the FCC's regulation allowing new entrants in the local phone market to obtain and use existing combinations of network elements from incumbent LECs, precluding those elements from being broken apart. (3) Whether the 8th Circuit should have invalidated the "pick and choose" rule, which allows new entrants to select provisions of other negotiated agreements to establish their own service.
Court:  U.S.D.C., Iowa; U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court.
Status:  8th Circuit decision on 1/17/97 ruled that the FCC did not have authority to adopt rules in this matter.  U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari on 1/26/97.  The Supreme Court heard oral argument on 10/13/98.

Bernstein v. State Dept.
Issue:  Whether the federal government's prohibition of the export of strong encryption products violates the free speech clause of the 1st Amendment.
Court:  U.S District Court for the Northern District of California; U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit.
Status:  Judgment in favor of Bernstein on 8/25/97.  The U.S. appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Appeals Court has heard oral argument, but not ruled.

Blumenthal v. Matt Drudge and America Online.
Issue:  Whether 230 of the Telecom Act of 1996 immunizes online service AOL from liability for alleged defamation of paid content provider Drudge.
Court:  U.S.D.C., District of Columbia, 97-CV-1968, Judge Friedman.
Status:  Complaint filed on 8/28/97.  AOL's motion for summary judgment based on 230 was granted on 4/22/98.  Plaintiffs did not appeal this judgment, but are proceeding against Drudge.

Bristol Technology Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation.
Whether Microsoft violated state or federal antitrust law by not providing Windows to UNIX porting software developer Bristol access to Microsoft's source code for Windows NT 4.0 and 5.0.
Court: U.S.D.C., Connecticut, Case No. 398-CV-1567 (JCH).
Status: Plaintiff filed original Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction on 8/18/98.  Microsoft filed Motion for Summary Judgment and to Dismiss on 10/9/98.   Hearing on MPI scheduled to begin on 10/14/98.

Doe v. America Online.
Issue: Whether 230 of the Telecommuncations Act of 1996 bars suit against online service AOL for statements made a subscriber in an AOL chatroom.
Court: Trial Court -- Florida State Court, Case No. CL 97-631 AE.   Appeals Court -- Fourth District Court of Appeals, Case No. 97-2587.
Status:  The trial court dismissed the suit, pursuant to 230. Decision: 1997 WL 374223 (Fla. Cir. Ct. June 26, 1997).  (Copy of Decision.)  Plaintiff appealled to the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals.  On 10/14/98 the appeals court affirmed the trial court decision, but certified three issues for review by the Florida Supreme Court.   (Copy of Decision.) Plaintiff plans to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

DOJ v. Microsoft I.
Issue:  This is an ongoing proceeding in which the Department of Justice seeks to regulate Microsoft's production and sale of software products.  The issues involve whether Microsoft has violated a consent decree.
Court:  U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 94-CV-1564, Judge Jackson.  U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit, 97-CV-5343.
Status:  This matter is more in the nature of perpetual oversight than a case or controversy between two litigants.  The first phase was started in 1994, and settled in 1995.  The DOJ reinstituted the proceeding in November of 1997.   There are several orders and agreements in effect.  There is an interlocutory appeal of a 12/11/97 order pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals.  Oral argument was heard on 4/21/98. On 5/12/98 the Court of Appeals stayed Judge Jackson's injunction as to Windows 98.  Otherwise, the Appeals Court has yet to rule.

DOJ v. Microsoft II.
Issue:  Whether Microsoft has violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in connection with the development and marketing of operating system software, and may be enjoined from selling certain products, or engaging in certain business practices.
Court: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 98-CV-1232, and 1233, Judge Jackson.
Status:  The two complaints filed by the federal and twenty state governments on 5/18/98 were promptly consolidated by the Court.  The government filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction, which the Court has not ruled upon.  Microsoft filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which the Court denied.  After three postponements the trial is scheduled to start on 10/19/98.

FTC v. Intel (In the Matter of Intel Corporation).
Issue:  Whether Intel engaged in illegal monopolistic behavior in allegedly refusing to deal with three customers in order to coerce them into surrendering certain intellectual property rights.
This is an administrative proceeding of the Federal Trade Commission, FTC Docket No. 9288.
Status:  The FTC filed its Complaint on 6/8/98.  Trial is scheduled to begin on 2/14/98.

GTE v. WorldCom & MCI.
Issue: Whether the proposed merger of WorldCom and MCI would violate 7 of the Clayton Act by allegedly creating a dominant provider of Internet backbone service.
Court:  U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 98-CV-1155, Judge Jackson.
Status:  Complaint filed on 5/7/98.

Intergraph v. Intel.
Whether Intel violated antitrust law for allegedly refusing to deal with a customer in order to coerce it into surrendering certain intellectual property rights.
Case No. CV 97-N-3023-NE, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Northeastern Division.
Status: Original Complaint filed on 11/17/97.  Amended complaint filed on 12/3/98.  Opinion issued 4/10/98.

Karn v. U.S. Dept. of State.
Issues: Constitutionality of encryption export restraint.
Court:  U.S.D.C., District of Columbia (CV 95-1812); U.S. Appeals Court, District of Columbia.
Status:  Original Complaint filed 9/21/95.  District Court dismissed action as a "political question" on 3/22/96.  Reversed and remanded by Court of Appeals on 1/21/97.
Berstein attorneys: Ken Bass and Tom Cooper, 202-962-4857, Venable Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti, 1201 New York Ave, Washington DC 20005.
Phil Karn:
EFF coverage.

Kathleen r. v. city of Livermore.
Whether a parent of a child who uses Internet access computers at a public library can compel the library to install blocking software on children's computers within the library.
Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Livermore-Pleasanton-Dublin Branch, Case No. V-015266-4.
Status: Complaint filed 5/28/98.

Mainstream Loudoun v. Loudoun County Public Libraries.
Issues:  Whether installation of blocking software on internet connected computers in a public library violates the First Amendment free speech rights of either library patrons or internet speakers.
Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria, CV 97-2049, Judge Brinkema.
Status:  The original Complaint was filed on 12/22/97.  Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss & Motion for Summary Judgment on 2/25/98, which the Court denied in large part.  The Court ruled in its 4/7/98 Opinion that the Library's use of blocking software constitutes content based, prior restraint of speech, which will be reviewed by the strict scrutiny standard.  Discovery then proceeded.  Cross motions for summary judgment were filed on 9/4/98, and argued on 9/25/98.  On 10/2/98 the Court issued a statement that the case will be decided on the pleadings and evidence filed with the court, without an evidentiary hearing.

SBC Communications Inc. v. F.C.C.
Issues:  Whether the FCC can prevent RBOCs from providing long distance telephone service; whether 271 of the Telecom Act of 1996 constitutes an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder.
Court:  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, 7:97-CV-163-X, Judge Kendall.   U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit.
Appeals Court: SBC Communications, Inc., et. al. v. FCC, et. al., U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit, Number 98-10140.
Status:  District Court Judge Kendall ruled 12/31/97 that 271 is unconstitutional, but stayed his order on 1/7/98 pending outcome of the appeal.   Reversed by Fifth Circuit on 9/4/98.

Sun Microsystems v. Microsoft Corp.
Issues: Whether Microsoft has violated its Java license agreement with Sun Microsystems, or whether Microsoft has otherwise engaged in false advertising, trademark infringement, unfair competition, or interference with economic advantage.
Court:  U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 97-CV-20884, Judge Whyte.
Status:. Original complaint filed on 10/8/97.  Hearing held on motion and cross motion for summary judgment on 2/27/98.  Judge Whyte entered preliminary injunction barring Microsoft from using the Java Compatibility Logo on 3/24/98.  Court held hearing on 9/10/98.

Urofsky v. Allen.
Issues:  Whether a state law barring state employees from using their computers at work to access sexually explicit materials violates the First Amendment free speech clause.
Court:  U.S.D.C., Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria.
Status:  District Court Judge Brinkema ruled for plaintiffs on 2/24/98. 

Zeran v. America Online.
Issues:  Whether 230 of the Telecom Act immunizes online service AOL from liability for defamation by an AOL subscriber in AOL bulletin boards and chat rooms.
Court: U.S.D.C., Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria; U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, CA 96-1564; U.S. Supreme Court.
Status:  The District Court dismissed the case, and on 11/12/97 the Appeals Court affirmed, on the grounds that 230 shields interactive computer service from liability for conduct of third party content provider.  The Plaintiff's Petition for Writ of Certiorari with Supreme Court was denied on 6/18/98.

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