TLJ News from July 1-5, 2012

7/5. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) filed a complaint (nominally a request for consultations) with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the People's Republic of China (PRC) alleging that the PRC duties on imports of  US made vehicles violate its WTO commitments. This complaint is not technology related. However, recent US complaints against the PRC regarding rare earth materials and restrictions on electronic payment services are technology related.

House Commerce Committee to Consider Extension of Sunset on US SAFE WEB Act

7/3. The US SAFE WEB Act is scheduled to sunset next year. The House Commerce Committee (HCC) announced that its Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade will hold a hearing on July&12 on a yet to be introduced bill that would extend this sunset. See, HCC notice.

This Act increased the investigatory and information sharing powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For example, the Act gave the FTC new powers to compel third party service providers to disclose the contents of stored wire and electronic communications, without notice to the owner of the communications, and with a gag order imposed upon the service provider.

The Act also contains a seven year sunset provision. It provides that it "shall cease to have effect on the date that is 7 years after the date of enactment of this Act". President Bush signed it into law on December 22, 2006.

The bill was S 1608 [109th Congress], the "Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders Act". This title renders the near acronym of US SAFE WEB Act. It is now Public Law No. 109-455.

See, full story.

7/2. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a release regarding plans to open four USPTO regional offices in Detroit, Michigan, Dallas, Texas, Denver, Colorado, and Silicon Valley, California.

Go to News from June 26-30, 2012.