TLJ News from January 1-5, 2012

USPTO Announces America Invents Act Implementation Rulemaking Proceedings

1/5. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published three notices in the Federal Register that propose changes to its rules of practice to implement various provisions of HR 1249 [LOC | WW], the "Leahy-Smith America Invents Act", which was signed into law in September of 2011.

These proceedings pertain to post patent reviews, pre patent issuance submissions by third parties, and USPTO disciplinary proceedings.

See, full story.

Genachowski Announces Staff Changes

1/5. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski announced changes to his staff. See, FCC release.

Zachary Katz, who is currently "Chief Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor", will become "Chief of Staff", replacing Edward Lazarus when he leaves the FCC at the end of January.

Sherrese Smith, who is currently "Senior Counsel and Legal Advisor", will become "Chief Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor". The FCC release states that she will manage the FCC's "overall policy agenda, and will be responsible for policy coordination among the Bureaus and Offices".

Amy Levine, who is currently "Special Counsel and Legal Advisor", will become "Senior Counsel and Legal Advisor". She will continue to responsibility for the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB), and Office of Engineering and Technology (OET). She is an attorney who has worked for former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The FCC release states that she works on spectrum auction policy, provides technical advice to Congress, manages wireless transaction reviews, works on creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network, and works on E911 and NG911 issues.

Michael Steffen, who currently works in the Office of General Counsel (OGC), will become "Legal Advisor to the Chairman" with responsibility for wireline, international, and internet issues, including universal service, open internet, and satellite matters.

Josh Gottheimer, a PR person, will retain his title of "Senior Counselor". The FCC release states that going forward he will "focus on directing a new team at the Commission on public-private initiatives".

People and Appointments

1/5. Steven Olson was named Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Adviser to Secretary of Commerce John Bryson. See, Department of Commerce (DOC) release. Olson is a former partner in the Los Angeles office of the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers.

More News

1/5. The Office of the U.S. Attorney (USAO) for the Central District of California announced that it filed of criminal charges in the U.S. District Court (CDCal) against nine persons, and that California state prosecutors filed criminal charges in state court against three additional persons charging violation of the federal Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Lacey Act, and state wildlife laws in connection with selling endangered species and other protected wildlife over the internet. André Birotte stated in a release "The sale of endangered animals on the Internet has reached an alarming level, with as much as two-thirds of such sales taking place in the United States. These Internet sales of wildlife fuel poaching and make the killing of protected animals more profitable. Today’s prosecutions are a response to this alarming trend."

1/5. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) extended the deadline (from December 28, 2011 to January 11, 2012) to submit reply comments in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding changes to its program carriage rules. See, original notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 76, No. 189, Thursday, September 29, 2011, at Pages 60675-60700, and extension notice in the Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 3, Thursday, January 5, 2012, at Pages 468-469. The FCC adopted this NPRM [120 pages in PDF] on July 29, 2011, and released it on August 1, 2011. It is FCC 11-119 in MB Docket No. 11-131. See also, story titled "FCC Program Carriage Order Includes Standstill Provision" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,276, August 1, 2011.

1/5. The Technology Policy Institute (TPI) announced that it will host its annual Aspen Forum this year on August 19-21. The TPI stated in a release that "Participants in the 2012 Aspen Forum will explore what the 2012 elections could mean for major technology issues, including broadband and spectrum policy, competition policy, privacy, cybersecurity, Internet governance and intellectual property."

People and Appointments

1/4. David Mao was named Law Librarian of Congress and Roberta Shaffer was named Associate Librarian for Library Services.

1/4. Scott Thompson was named CEO of Yahoo effective January 9, 2012. He will replace Tim Morse, who will return to the position of CFO. Thompson was also appointed to Yahoo's Board of Directors. He was previously President of PayPal, a division of eBay. See, Yahoo release.

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1/4. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which regulates exports, announced in a release that FedEx has paid $370,000 to settle BIS allegations that it violated export control rules in connection with its providing freight forwarding services that aided and abetted unlicensed exports of flight simulation software to the People's Republic of China (PRC), electronic components to the United Arab Emirates, and printer components to Syria. All of the allegations were at least five years old.

People and Appointments

1/3. Bradley Gillen joined the law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer as a partner in its Washington DC office. He was previously Special Counsel to the Chief of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB). He worked on reform of the FCC's Universal Service Fund. Before that, he was a Legal Advisor to former FCC Commissioner Meredith Baker for wireline, broadband, and media issues. Before joining the FCC, he worked for the DISH Network. And before that, he worked for the law firm of Wiley Rein.

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1/3. The Copyright Office's (CO) Copyright Royalty Judges published a notice in the Federal Register that announces a proceeding to determine the reasonable rates and terms for the making of an ephemeral recording of a sound recording for a later transmission by entities that transmit performances of a sound recording to business establishments. See, 17 U.S.C. §§ 804, 112(e)(1) and 114(d)(1)(C)(iv). The deadline to submit petitions to participate in, and pay the $150 filing fees for, this proceeding is February 2, 2012. See, Federal Register, Vol. 77, No. 1, Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at Page 133.

1/3. President Obama signed into law HR 1892 [LOC | WW], the "Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012". It is now Public Law No. 112-87. See, White House news office release.

Go to News from December 26-31, 2011.