This Week on Capitol Hill: STRONGER Patents Act Returns, Maintaining the Lead in Global AI, and Internet Antitrust Issues

This week marks Congress’ return from its August recess and patent owners should be encouraged to see the Senate IP Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday to explore the STRONGER Patents Act in its latest attempt to improve the U.S. patent system. In the House, various subcommittees will focus on FCC broadband map accuracy, advancements in forensic science, and security issues in the nation’s Internet architecture. Outside of Capitol Hill, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a pair of events to look at the global race for dominance in artificial intelligence (AI) and the country’s R&D funding agenda, and the Brookings Institution will explore autonomous transportation and service delivery systems, as well as federal data privacy legislation.

Tuesday, September 10

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

How the United States Can Maintain Its Lead in the Global AI Race 

At 9:30 AM on Tuesday in the Murrow Room, National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045.

A recent report from ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation indicates that China, the United States and the European Union are the leading competitors in the global race for technology dominance in the artificial intelligence sector. While the U.S. maintains a lead currently, the report reflects growing belief that China is heading towards dominance in the field. This event features a keynote address by Michael Kratsios, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Following that address will be a panel discussion of experts including Fiona Alexander, Distinguished Policy Strategist, American University School of International Service; Jackie Medecki, Director and Managing Attorney of U.S. Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare Policy, Intel; Michael McLaughlin, Research Analyst, ITIF; Anthony Robbins, Vice President, North America Public Sector, Nvidia; and Frank Torres, Director of Consumer Affairs and a Senior Policy Counsel, Microsoft Corporation. The panel will be moderated by Daniel Castro, Vice President, ITIF, and Director, Center for Data Innovation.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Raising the Bar: Progress and Future Needs in Forensic Science

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building.

Forensic science is critical to the nation’s criminal justice system as it enables the courts’ ability to render judgments that are informed by state-of-the-art technologies and scientific analysis. However, in some cases, courts have allowed evidence based on questionable science to be entered and some fields of forensics are thought to be too subjective to properly render objective analysis. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Brookings Institution 

New Advances in Transportation and Service Delivery

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday at Falk Auditorium, Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Autonomous systems are transforming both transportation and service delivery in the United States, but these developments create a host of regulatory, privacy, security and safety concerns that need to be addressed. This event will feature a discussion with an expert panel including Mark Bathrick, Director, Office of Aviation Services, U.S. Department of the Interior; Darshan Divakaran, UAS Program Engineer, Division of Aviation, North Carolina Department of Transportation; and Margaret Taylor, Fellow, Governance Studies, Senior Editor and Counsel, Lawfare. The panel discussion will be moderated by Darrell West, Vice President and Director, Governance Studies, and Founding Director, Center for Technology Innovation.

House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities
House Subcommittee on National Security 

Securing the Nation’s Internet Architecture

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday in 2118 Rayburn.

Coming developments in the Internet of Things and 5G networks hold great promise for American economic development, but without the proper security measures these innovative infrastructures could pose great risks to our nation’s businesses and government. The witness panel for this hearing will include B. Edwin Wilson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; Jeanette Manfra, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency; and Diane Rinaldo, Acting Assistant Secretary/Administrator, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Wednesday, September 11

Brookings Institution 

Protecting Information Privacy: Challenges and Opportunities in Federal Legislation

At 9:00 AM on Wednesday at Falk Auditorium, Brookings Institution.

As calls for federal data privacy legislation have grown louder, this event will explore the current state of proposed legislation on the issue. The first panel, a live taping of the Lawfare Podcast, will discuss the legislation’s broader goals and potential effects on businesses and individuals. The first panel will include Sally Greenberg, Executive Director, National Consumers League; David Hoffman, Associate General Counsel and Global Privacy Officer, Intel Corporation; Cameron Kelly, Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Brookings Institution; and Lydia Parnes, Partner, Privacy and Data Protection, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Moderating the first panel is Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Editor-in-Chief, Lawfare. The second panel will explore more specific issues presented by legislation and the likelihood that legislation will be passed. The second panel will include Dylan Gilbert, Policy Fellow, Public Knowledge; Stuart Ingis, Chairman, Venable, LLP; Neema Singh Guliani, Senior Legislative Counsel, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU; Berin Szóka, President and Founder, TechFreedom; and Denise Zheng, Vice President, Technology and Innovation Policy, Business Roundtable. Moderating the second panel is Michelle Richardson, Director of the Privacy and Data Project, Center for Democracy and Technology. 

House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology 

Legislating to Connect America: Improving the Nation’s Broadband Maps

At 10:30 on Wednesday in 2322 Rayburn.

On August 1, the Federal Communications Commission issued a report and order that established the Digital Opportunity Data Collection initiative, an effort to improve the accuracy of the agency’s broadband Internet maps by collecting much more granular geospatial data on fixed service availability from Internet service providers. At this legislative meeting, the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee will consider five proposed bills aimed at improving data collection for broadband maps, including H.R. 2643, the Broadband Mapping After Public Scrutiny Act of 2019, and H.R. 3162, the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2019.

Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property 

Innovation in America: How Congress Can Make Our Patent System STRONGER

At 2:30 PM on Wednesday in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The latest iteration of the STRONGER Patents Act was reintroduced into both houses of Congress in July of this year. If passed, the bill would restore injunctive relief for patent owners against infringers, essentially overruling the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in eBay v. MercExchange. The witness panel for this hearing includes Tom Cotter, Briggs and Morgan Professor of Law, the University of Minnesota School of Law; Bradley Ditty, Vice President, General Patent Counsel, InterDigital Holdings, Inc.; Dan Lang, Vice President, Intellectual Property, Cisco Systems; Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; Josh Landau, Patent Counsel, Computer and Communications Industry Association; and Earl “Eb” Bright II, President, ExploraMed.

Senate Subcommittee on Energy 

Legislative Hearing

At 2:30 PM on Wednesday in 366 Dirksen.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy will meet to discuss several proposed bills related to energy technologies including S. 1821, the Marine Energy Research and Development Act, and S. 2300, the Clean Industrial Technology Act.

Thursday, September 12 

House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law 

Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 3: The Role of Data and Privacy in Competition

At 9:00 AM on Thursday in 2141 Rayburn.

This is the third hearing in a series focused on Internet competition held by the House Antitrust Subcommittee, after previous hearings related to the online free press and innovation and entrepreneurship. This hearing comes just as a group of state attorneys general announced their intent to launch antitrust probes into the business practices of Internet giants Google and Facebook. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

Prioritizing Productivity in Federal R&D Policy to Drive Growth

At 12:00 PM on Thursday in 2167 Rayburn.

Federal funding for American research and development activities has historically been a tremendous driver of economic growth but the last four decades have seen a great decline in funding levels as a share of the nation’s gross domestic product. This event will explore a productivity-focused agenda for U.S. R&D expenditures with an analysis that such spending will have on both the nation’s GDP and the federal budget. Research supporting that agenda will be presented by Robert Bixby, Executive Director, The Concord Coalition. The event will also feature a discussion with an expert panel including Celia Merzbacher, Associate Director of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium, SRI International; Marcus Peacock, Chief Operating Officer, Business Roundtable; Jeff Patterson, Chief Operating Officer, ASME; and Gilroy Vandentop, Director of Corporate University Research, Intel Labs. The panel discussion will be moderated by Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.


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