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Jessica Chesher

Managing Editor

Innovation eReview
Legislative & Government News

This section tracks government news stories from January 2005 pertaining to intellectual property and technology. 

EU Parliament Wants Software Patent Law Rewritten - A European Parliament committee late Wednesday called for the present proposal for a software patent to be scrapped, meaning the already long and drawn-out debate on the issue will be extended further. (Excite, 2/3/05)

IBM-Lenovo deal up for extended review - The U.S. government is apparently taking a closer look at the national security implications of IBM’s plan to sell its PC business to China’s Lenovo Group. (CNET, 1/28/05)

Less Funding and New Faces Singal Changes in DC - Lawmakers signaled at the close of the 108th Congress that science and technology will not be spared as they look for ways to trim spending to deal with the growing budget deficit and pay for other priorities. (Small Times, 1/26/05)

U.S. Asks High Court to Curb File Swapping - Acting Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, supports the entertainment industry’s bid to shut down song-swapping networks such as Kazaa and Grokster by suing them for copyright infringement. (Yahoo, 1/25/05)

U.S. May Scrutinize IBM’s China Deal - The Bush administration is considering launching an extensive probe of whether the pending sale of International Business Machines Corp.’s personal computer business to a Chinese company might pose national security problems, according to members of a congressional oversight group. (Yahoo, 1/25/05)

Anti-spyware bill gets new life - The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a hearing on its version of a spyware bill that’s supported by Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas. (CNET, 1/25/05)

EU Lawmakers May Rewrite Contested IT Patent Plan - A fresh round of behind-the-scenes maneuvering around the European Union's efforts to pass IT patent legislation has left the European Parliament with a narrow window of opportunity to scrap the current, highly controversial text and start over from scratch. (eWeek, 1/21/05)

California Legislator Want To Outlaw P2P - Legislation introduced in California last Friday seeks to outlaw the selling, advertising, and distributing peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software. (Afterdawn.com, 1/20/05)

Another H-1B battle coming? - As the ink on a new law expanding the H-1B visa program begins to dry, another battle is already brewing about how many new foreign skilled workers, including computer professionals, should be allowed to work in the United States on the visas--and under what terms. (CNET, 1/20/05)

New Copyright Protection Bills Likely in 2005 - Online copyright protection, including bills focused on peer-to-peer file-trading, will likely be on the U.S. Congress' agenda as lawmakers gear up for their 2005 session this month. (PC World, 1/19/05)

Bill aims to separate human cloning, stem cell issues - Fearing that a legislative attempt to ban human cloning will undermine medical research, a Nebraska lawmaker is offering a bill that would ensure that stem-cell research is allowed to continue in the state. (USA Today, 1/19/05)

USPTO Releases Annual List of Top 10 - The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced the 2004 top 10 private sector patent recipients. For the twelfth consecutive year, IBM received more patents than any other private sector organization. (USPTO, 1/11/05)

E.U. may restart process on patent law - The saga of the European Union (E.U.) software patent directive has continued unabated into 2005 with some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) backing an initiative to pull the plug on the directive, which is currently awaiting a vote in the Council of the E.U. (IT World, 1/11/05)

Software makers lobby for copyright changes - Software makers Thursday asked Congress to make it easier to track down people who copy their products over the Internet, joining the entertainment industry in an effort to stiffen copyright protections. (CNN, 1/10/05)

Congress to weigh tsunami warning system - Congress will consider a $30 million network of buoys, wave gauges and seismic sensors to warn of tsunamis globally. (USA Today, 1/7/05)

Software makers lobby for copyright changes - The Business Software Alliance is saying that Internet service providers should be required to reveal the names of customers who may be distributing copyright software through "peer to peer" networks like Kazaa. This latest lobbying effort comes on the heals of another subpoena defeat in the courts. (CNN, 1/7/05)

Biotech Under Attack in Vermont - Several bills calling for a moritorium on planting biotech crops are expected to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session in Vermont. (CT. Farm Bureau, 1/6/05)

Spyware bill reintroduced in Congress - Spyware legislation that would allow fines of up to $3 million for makers of software that steals personal information from a user's computer or hijacks its browser will get a second look after the U.S. Congress failed to pass the legislation in 2004. (Computer World, 1/5/05)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Act - On January 4, 2005, Congressman Ehlers introduced the introduce the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was created by Executive Order in 1970, but since that time Congress never passed an act describing the mission and functions of the agency. Instead, over the past 34 years Congress has defined the mission of the agency in a piecemeal manner with legislation focused on specific issues. This bill would define both the mission and the functions of NOAA. (Thomas.gov)

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