GOVERNMENT ACTIONS AFFECTING COMMERCE









 

    1999:   NOVEMBER:

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  • Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1999:   In an effort to avoid a threatened veto of a bill that would prohibit speculating in Internet addresses or "Domain Names", (a practice known as "cybersquatting"), leaders in Congress have inserted the language of the bill into a satellite-television bill which has already been passed in the House of Representatives and which is now awaiting action in the Senate.  This new action regarding the 'cybersquatting" bill is a major victory for Jack Valenti and the Motion Picture Association of Amerrica, as well as for other groups that have been trying to protect trademarks online. The bill was passed in the House yesterday, November 9, by an overwhealming 408 to 8 vote.

         The Clinton White House had threatened to veto such proposed legislation, but it favors the satellite measure as a way to help satellite=TV companies compete with cable operators.

         This new measure would permit trademark owners  as well as politicians and athletes--groups who have lately become the targets of attempts to "highjack" their names or symbols--to take civil action against anyone who registers celebrity names or trademarks as Internet addresses with hopes of reselling them for a profit. Maximum damages available under this bill would be US$100,000.00

         Last year (1998) the Administration picked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann, to be the nonprofit entity responsible for running the Internet's domain name system.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 10,1999:  In Washington, D. C. today the U. S. Food and Drug  Administration gave approval to the JOHNSON & JOHNSON CORPORATION to put its drug Remicade on the market as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Remicade had already been marketed by JOHNSON & JOHNSON as a treatment for the digestive disorder called Crohn's disease. With the new approval,  Remicade would then be able to compete with the drug Enbrel, which was sold by the IMMUNEX CORPORATION and its parent, the AMERICAN HOME PRODUCTS CORPORATION.

         JOHNSON & JOHNSON said that the wholesale price for an average patient's first-year treatment with Remicade would be around US$9,500.00. Enbrel's cost for the same first-year's treatment was about 20% more, at US$11,400.00. The cheaper price of Remicade was expected to help those patients who were having trouble getting their insurance companies to cover the higher cost of Enbrel, which was the only other drug in Remicade's class.