Monthly Archives: October 2012

UK Government Urged to Champion Intellectual Property Rights

On 29 October 2012, the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group published a report examining the Government’s role in promoting and protecting intellectual property (IP).  According to the report, which is based on the written submissions of almost 60 interested bodies, Government departments often fail to understand the importance of IP to the growth of … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: FCC Holds Broadcaster LEARN Program Workshop

On Friday, October 26, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission held its first workshop as part of its Learn Everything About Reverse-Auctions Now (“LEARN”) Program — a series that seeks to provide broadcasters guidance on the incentive auction process by which the FCC will reallocate a to-be-determined amount of broadcast television spectrum in the 600 MHz … Continue Reading

U.S., EU Officials Highlight Consensus on Need for Clarification of FRAND Commitments

Alongside the Article 102 TFEU standard essential patents (“SEP”) complaints that the European Commission is investigating against Samsung and Motorola Mobility, the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are actively encouraging standards setting organisations to provide greater clarity regarding the scope and implications of FRAND commitments offered by SEP right … Continue Reading

FCC Sets Comment Cycles for Additional Petitions Seeking to Clarify TCPA Provisions

In follow up to our previous blog entry on the subject, comment deadlines were set for additional petitions seeking to clarify TCPA provisions and related FCC rules.  Comments on these Petitions are due on November 23, 2012, and reply comments are due on December 10, 2012. The Westfax Petition asks the FCC to clarify whether … Continue Reading

Oral Argument Scheduled in Aereo Appeal

On November 30, 2012, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral argument regarding whether to uphold the trial judge’s decision to decline to enjoin Aereo’s “Watch Now” television streaming service pending the outcome of a full trial.  Major television networks and broadcast stations serving the New York City-area market are seeking to prevent … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: UK Completes Digital Television Transition, With Plans to Auction Freed Up Spectrum for 4G Services Within a Year

This week the United Kingdom completed its five-year transition from analog to digital broadcast television operations.  The switch to digital has allowed broadcasters in the UK to offer more channels and high-definition television services to the public.  In addition, the transition freed up spectrum that the UK government will auction for fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband services in … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Approves Deal to Spur 4G LTE Deployment in “Long-Troubled” WCS Band

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday approved rules to spur the long-stalled development of the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service band by resolving interference issues between WCS and satellite radio services. The FCC noted that “most of the WCS licenses have gone unused for approximately 15 years,” since the licenses first were auctioned in 1997.  … Continue Reading

Telemarketing Recap: Recent Key Developments at the FCC, FTC and in the Courts

A number of key developments affecting telemarketing emerged over the past week: 1.  The distinction between informational and telemarketing calls was further defined.  The 9th Circuit held that calls intended to impart information about a customer rewards program could be construed as “dual purpose” calls subject to federal and state telemarketing restrictions.  See Chesbro v. … Continue Reading

Wireless Carriers Meet First Deadline on Anti-“Bill Shock” Alerts

The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday that U.S. wireless carriers are on track to meet voluntary commitments they made one year ago to provide alerts that help customers avoid unexpectedly high bills. Under a voluntary agreement announced by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in October 2011, members of CTIA-The Wireless Association agreed to provide free, automatic … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: A Closer Look at the FCC’s Proposed Rules for First-Ever Incentive Auction and Repacking of Broadcast Spectrum

As we reported previously, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions (“NPRM”), along with an accompanying paper by auction specialists Auctionomics and Power Auctions. In this post, we describe the proposed rules for the incentive … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Hear Case on FCC Jurisdiction to Establish Zoning “Shot Clock”

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on the ability of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal agencies to determine the scope of their own jurisdiction.  Generally, under the Supreme Court’s decision in Chevron USA v. NRDC, courts must defer to agencies’ interpretations of ambiguous statutes within the agencies’ respective areas … Continue Reading

Netflix Settles Online Closed Captioning Litigation

Recently, Netflix settled a lawsuit brought by the National Association for the Deaf (NAD) that alleged that its online closed captioning practices violated the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).  As a part of the settlement, Netflix agreed to caption all of its “Watch Instantly” programming by September 30, 2014.  Until then, Netflix will provide a … Continue Reading

FCC Allows All-Digital Cable Systems to Encrypt Basic Tier

Cable systems that have converted to all-digital transmission will be allowed to encrypt their basic-tier programming, the Federal Communications Commission decided last week. The FCC on Friday released its full Report and Order, which explained the decision and outlined transitional protections for existing subscribers who might be affected. Background  Previously, FCC rules prohibited cable operators … Continue Reading

Spectrum Watch: FCC Releases Agenda for October 26th Reverse Auction Workshop

 The FCC today released details for its October 26th Broadcaster Learn Everything About Reverse-Auctions Now (“LEARN”) Program Workshop, to be held in the Commission Meeting Room at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. and webcast live at    The workshop is the first in a series that seeks to provide broadcasters guidance on the incentive … Continue Reading

Marking the One-Year Anniversary of the USF/ICC Transformation Order

In just under a year since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the USF/ICC Transformation Order setting forth major reforms to its telecommunications funding and compensation systems, the multi-year reform process continued amidst judicial and regulatory challenges. This post examines how these reforms evolved over the last year through modifications to the Order clarifying various … Continue Reading

SpectrumWatch: FCC Initiates Review of Mobile Spectrum Holdings Policies

Tomorrow, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will publish comment deadlines for its recently-released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that begins the process of reviewing its policies regarding the allocation of mobile spectrum.   The full text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available here.  While the simultaneous adoption of proposed rules for an incentive auction of … Continue Reading

Google and Publishers Reach Settlement in Book Digitization Case

Google and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced on October 4 that they have entered into a settlement agreement in a seven-year dispute over the search company’s Google Books Library project.  The project, which seeks to create a searchable digital archive of books from several major libraries around the world, has been the target of … Continue Reading

California to Offer Open Source Textbooks under Creative Commons Licenses

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law two pieces of legislation on September 27, paving the way for the creation of free, open-source digital textbooks for 50 of the most popular lower-division courses in California’s public colleges and universities.  SB 1052 establishes the California Open Education Resources Council.  This body is tasked with selecting the … Continue Reading

Update: Orphan Works Directive Receives Final Approval from European Council

By Jacqueline Clover and Ezra Steinhardt Yesterday, the European Council issued its final approval for the Orphan Works Directive.  See our previous blog post about the Directive’s approval by the Parliament here.  The Council’s approval marks the last stage in the Directive’s legislative process. The Directive will now go on to be published in the … Continue Reading

Final Text Agreed for the Creation of Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO)

By Ezra Steinhardt and Fredericka Argent In late September 2012, a commission of the African Union (AU) published the final draft text of a statute to establish a new Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO).  The publication of the draft is the culmination of a process that began in 2007, which included consultations with AU Member … Continue Reading