Telecommunications

  • January 3, 2017

    FCC's Rosenworcel Departs Agency

    Federal Communications Commission Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel finished her term at the agency on Tuesday after failing to get Senate reconfirmation, saying in a statement that she was proud of work to advance issues of public safety, technology in education, and net neutrality.

  • January 3, 2017

    Apple Says High Court Can’t Lower $400M Samsung Award

    Apple has urged the Federal Circuit to affirm its earlier ruling that Samsung must pay nearly $400 million for infringing Apple’s smartphone design patents, even though the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the appeals court misread the law on design patent damages.

  • January 3, 2017

    General Cable Pays $82M To Resolve DOJ, SEC Probes

    General Cable Corp. has resolved investigations into what prosecutors call a decade of bribes to officials in Africa and Asia to win business, paying $82.3 million to the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and separate accounting violations.

  • January 3, 2017

    Duane Morris Accused Of $625M Botch Job In Telecom Row

    Duane Morris LLP cost a Philadelphia lawyer $625 million by botching an appeal in a lawsuit over the collapse of a $175 million acquisition of a submarine fiber-optic network in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a recent suit.

  • January 3, 2017

    Telecom Co. To Pay $6M To End Probe Into Alleged Deception

    The Federal Communications Commission has announced that telecom company Birch Communications Inc. will pay $6.1 million to resolve an investigation into the company's purported scheme to trick consumers into switching to Birch and to place unwanted charges on their bills.

  • January 3, 2017

    Korea Fines Qualcomm $854M For Strings-Attached Licensing

    Qualcomm Inc. must pay an $854 million fine for forcing mobile phone makers to pay royalties on broad patents covering modem chipsets and for tying licensing agreements to chip supply numbers, the Korea Fair Trade Commission has ruled.

  • January 2, 2017

    Telecom Cases To Watch In 2017

    The presidential transition has shifted the telecom spotlight from court fights against regulatory actions to a new Federal Communications Commission that could unwind them, but key cases on net neutrality and the jurisdictional lines between agencies remain unresolved. Here are the top cases to watch in 2017 in telecom.

  • January 2, 2017

    Telecommunications Policy To Watch In 2017

    President-elect Donald Trump's victory has turned the outlook for telecommunications policy on its head, with experts expecting Republicans to dial back the Open Internet Order and reverse course on media ownership. Here are the top issues in telecom policy to watch in the coming year.

  • December 23, 2016

    Phone Co. Accused Of Abusing Lifeline Program To Pay $30M

    A company accused of fraudulently enrolling more than 30,000 duplicate customers in the low-income Lifeline discount phone service program and taking millions in improper Universal Service Fund payments will pay $30 million and end Lifeline participation to settle the allegations, the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday.

  • December 22, 2016

    DOJ Must Produce Surveillance Records For Judge To Review

    A California federal judge overseeing an Electronic Frontier Foundation records request suit ordered the government Thursday to show her in private more than 250 documents it’s holding back on a telephone surveillance program tied to AT&T Inc. call data.

  • December 22, 2016

    EU Data Retention Slam Offers Telecoms Cloudy Path Forward

    The European high court's declaration Wednesday that bulk data retention mandates can't fly provides certainty to telecoms about what they can't do under national laws, but the court's lack of clarity on what data they should still hold on to for law enforcement is likely to leave service providers in a bind.

  • December 22, 2016

    Rural Broadband Group Urges Caution In Next-Gen TV Rollout

    A trade group representing rural pay-TV providers urged the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday to take a cautious approach as it mulls new rules to advance “Next Generation” TV broadcasting, requesting the commission issue a notice of inquiry prior to any rulemaking.

  • December 22, 2016

    AT&T Can't Scrap Age Discrimination Verdict, Judge Says

    A Pennsylvania federal judge has rejected AT&T's bid to toss a jury verdict awarding $370,000 to a longtime customer service executive allegedly fired for his age, saying there was "ample evidence" to support the jury's findings.

  • December 22, 2016

    Win For Apple, Samsung As PTAB Scraps IXI Patent Claims

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated claims Wednesday in three IXI IP LLC patents that cover wireless hot-spot technology, after rival smartphone makers Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. teamed up to challenge the patents before the board.

  • December 22, 2016

    TD Bank, Target Trim Robocall Suit, But Not Calif. Claim

    TD Bank and Target may have put a dent in a putative class action over repeated unsolicited phone calls to customers, but according to a New Jersey federal court ruling Tuesday, they could not defeat a consumer’s claim for violating a California debt collection law at the dismissal stage.

  • December 22, 2016

    Texas Cable TV Co. Reaches $750K Deal To End FLSA Suit

    A Texas cable TV company and a proposed class of 238 employees who claimed it violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by withholding overtime compensation and other pay have asked a Georgia federal judge to approve a $750,000 settlement agreement between the parties.

  • December 22, 2016

    FTC Can't Exclude Evidence As Sanction In DirecTV Ad Row

    A California magistrate judge declined Wednesday to exclude certain evidence DirecTV plans to present in the Federal Trade Commission’s federal court case over the company’s allegedly deceptive sales practices as sanctions for its alleged failure to preserve website data, holding that both sides could have been more proactive.

  • December 22, 2016

    Tech Support Cos. Agree To $10M Judgment Over Scam

    The Federal Trade Commission and Florida’s attorney general announced Thursday that Inbound Call Experts LLC and several related companies have agreed to a $10 million judgment for allegedly duping consumers into buying unnecessary tech support services and computer software.

  • December 22, 2016

    Nortel Says $565M PBGC Deal Boosts Odds Of Ch. 11 Exit

    Nortel Networks told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Wednesday that a proposed settlement affording the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. a $565 million allowed claim marked a "material compromise" that will put the fallen telecommunications giant on a path to exit Chapter 11.

  • December 22, 2016

    Missouri Seeks Judgment In TCPA Suit Against Charter

    The state of Missouri on Wednesday sought a quick win in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act suit against Charter Communications Inc., saying the evidence indisputably shows the cable company made unwanted sales calls to residents on state and federal do-not-call registries.

Expert Analysis

  • A Primer On The Presidential Appointee Vetting Process

    Robert K. Kelner

    With the election over, the process of selecting individuals to fill the next administration’s key appointed positions is quickly shifting into high gear. For those who are called to serve in such positions, the process entails extensive vetting of professional credentials and a host of personal background check issues, say attorneys with Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Merging Law Firms: Think Before You Tie The Knot

    John Remsen Jr.

    Getting larger isn’t a good enough reason to merge. Focus on whether the merger will make your firm better. Also, it’s possible that a merger can reduce profitability, says John Remsen Jr. of TheRemsenGroup.

  • Will FCC Privacy Rules Create Challenges For ISPs?

    John F. Stephens

    The Federal Communications Commission's new rules limit internet service providers' usage of consumer data, which will impact their profits and pressure them to increase fees for users. However, the incoming Republican administration may ignore or even undo these rules, says John F. Stephens of Sedgwick LLP.

  • Merging Law Firms: Why Deals Fail Or Underperform

    Lisa Smith

    While many law firm mergers have been successful, some have been spectacularly unsuccessful — to the point of firm dissolution. Some have exceeded expectations, while others have had little impact on the overall competitiveness of the combined firm. In both failed discussions and less-than-successful mergers, there are mistakes that are made along the way, says Lisa Smith of Fairfax Associates.

  • Attack Of The Zombie Webcams: DDoS Attacks And The Insecure IoT

    Laura E. Jehl

    While smaller distributed-denial-of-service attacks have been a hazard for internet systems for years, recent DDoS attacks are dramatically larger, meaning that long-used defenses against them are simply overwhelmed. As the mode and scale of these attacks evolve, so too will the legal landscape and standard for duty of care, say attorneys with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

  • FCPA Enforcement On Near-Record Pace For 2016: Part 2

    John E. Davis

    The recent balance shift in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement likely reflects a strategic decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to reallocate internal agency resources toward larger, more complex corporate investigations and the pursuit of culpable executives, leaving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the driver’s seat for most lower-value corporate enforcement actions, say attorneys with Miller & Chevalier Chtd.

  • Intellectual Property Under A Donald Trump Presidency

    Jorge Espinosa

    Vice President-elect Mike Pence has been a highly rated favorite of the American Conservative Union, which has condemned patent law reform as “a risk to American innovation.” As transition chief, Pence is likely to have a strong influence on President-elect Donald Trump’s view of the desirability of patent reform, says Jorge Espinosa, managing partner of Espinosa Trueba Martinez PL.

  • What To Expect From The New Senate

    Kay Bailey Hutchison

    A word of caution to our fellow Republicans — one lesson learned from President Obama’s first two years in office is that pushing through partisan legislation could come back to haunt a party and a presidency, say former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Curt Beaulieu of Bracewell LLP.

  • Merging Law Firms: Beware Conflicts Of Interest

    Allison Martin Rhodes

    Among the many ethical issues that can arise, conflicts of interest from current or past representation of each firm’s clients should be at the forefront of merger discussions. Recently, we have seen such conflicts disqualify firms in the middle of high-cost litigation, say Allison Martin Rhodes of Holland & Knight LLP and Robert Hillman of the University of California, Davis.

  • Man Vs. Machine: Or, Lawyers Vs. Legal Technology

    Abdi Shayesteh

    Some have claimed that emerging legal technologies and increasingly cost-conscious clients will mean the extinction of the legal profession as we know it. However, innovations in legal technology may actually benefit attorneys, allowing them to spend their time doing more meaningful work, say Abdi Shayesteh and Elnaz Zarrini of AltaClaro.