This Week in Washington IP: House IP Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Arthrex; Other Committees Consider Flu Vaccine Innovation, FCC Spectrum Auction Oversight week in Washington, D.C., the House Intellectual Property Subcommittee will explore the  impact of the Federal Circuit’s recent Arthrex decision on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) administrative patent judges on Tuesday. Other House subcommittees look at small business contributions to smart construction projects and the National Institute of Health’s (NIH’s) efforts to improve flu vaccine innovation, while the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will explore FCC control over the upcoming 5G wireless spectrum auction. Elsewhere in the Senate, the Energy Committee will look at several bills related to energy innovation, including an ARPA-E reauthorization bill. Off of Capitol Hill, the American Enterprise Institute will look at how the adoption of automated technologies will affect the future of employment in the U.S. Army. 

Tuesday, November 19 

House Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure 

Smart Construction: Increasing Opportunities for Small Businesses in Infrastructure 

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2360 Rayburn House Office Building.

Safer, energy efficient buildings have become easier to construct thanks to innovations in proptech, 3D digital design software and GPS-enabled equipment. This hearing will explore the role that American small businesses can play in improving the nation’s infrastructure with the use of these technologies. The witness panel for the hearing includes Lennart Anderssen, RA, Director of Virtual Design, Construction & Operations (VDCO), LiRo Group, and Professor, Pratt Institute, testifying on behalf of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Construction Institute (CI), LiRo Group and Pratt Institute; Ryan Forrestel, President, Cold Springs Construction; Chris Shepard, Vice President, Construction Solutions Group, Trimble, Inc.; and Phillip Ogilby, CEO and Co-Founder, STACK Construction Technologies.

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 

Business Meeting to Consider Pending Nominations and Legislation

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The Senate Energy Committee will convene a business meeting to explore several bills related to technology and innovation. These bills include S. 2657, the Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act of 2019; S. 2668, the Solar Energy Research and Development Act of 2019; and S. 2714, the ARPA-E Reauthorization Act of 2019.

House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet 

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board and the Appointments Clause: Implications of Recent Court Decisions 

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday in 2141 Rayburn.

In late October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew which determined that administrative patent judges (APJs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) had been improperly appointed under the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, & Innovation

The Road to 2020: Defending Against Election Interference

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday in 310 Cannon House Office Building.

Last week, the Brennan Center for Justice issued a report showing that three private vendors control more than 80 percent of U.S. voting systems. Those private vendors operate with no federal government oversight, creating concerns that cyberattacks could threaten the security of American elections. The witness panel for this hearing will include General Frank Taylor (Ret.-U.S. Air Force), Former Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Board Member, US CyberDome; Richard Stengel, Former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. State Department; Matt Blaze, PhD, McDevitt Chair of Computer Science and Law, Georgetown University; and Ginny Badanes, Director, Strategic Projects, Defending Democracy Program, Microsoft.


Wednesday, November 20

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Fighting Flu, Saving Lives: Vaccine Science and Innovation 

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.

In late September, the National Institutes of Health announced the creation of a new medical research network known as the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers program. This network is designed to engage in a multidisciplinary effort to develop more durable, longer-lasting flu vaccines. The first witness panel at this hearing will include Dr. Daniel Jernigan, MD, MPH, Director, Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Dr. Anthony Fauci, MD, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health. The second witness panel at this hearing will include Dr. Sharon Watkins, PhD, State Epidemiologist, Director, Bureau of Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health and President, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists; and Dr. Robin Robinson, PhD, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, RenovaCare, and Former Director, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

House Subcommittee on Technology Modernization 

Go-Live March 2020: The Status of EHRM Readiness

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 210 House Visitors Center.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been preparing for a March 2020 rollout of a new electronic health record modernization (EHRM) system being developed by health information tech firm Cerner. In recent months, however, that date has been pushed back by several months at three VA medical centers. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology 

A Task of EPIC Proportions: Reclaiming U.S. Leadership in Weather Modeling and Prediction

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.

In mid-October, Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced S. 2597, the Learning Excellence and Good Examples from New Developers (LEGEND) Act of 2019. Among other things, the bill would require the Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC) to review innovations in weather models made outside of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and make those models available to the public to improve NOAA forecasts. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, performing the duties of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, NOAA; Dr. Clifford Mass, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington; Dr. Peter Neilley, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of Weather Forecasting Sciences and Technologies, The Weather Company, an IBM Business; and Dr. Thomas Auligné, Director of the Joint Center for Satellite Data Assimilation, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

Thursday, November 21 

House Task Force on Financial Technology 

Banking on Your Data: The Role of Big Data in Financial Services

At 9:30 AM on Thursday in 2128 Rayburn.

Tech platforms’ use of consumer data has been a hot topic of discussion amongst policymakers in recent years and that conversation is likely to get more heated after Google recently announced its plans to offer consumer checking accounts under a project known as Cache. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

American Enterprise Institute 

Uncle Sam Wants You – And Lots of Robots – For the US Army

At 10:00 AM on Thursday at AEI, Auditorium, 1789 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.

The U.S. Army’s adoption of robotics and artificial intelligence technologies has the potential to replace human soldiers in jobs ranging from logistics to reconnaissance. This event will explore the impact these innovations will have on future soldiers and ways that the Army will have to change its recruiting and retention activities. This event features a discussion with Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army, and Mackenzie Eaglen, AEI, followed by a question and answer session.

Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government 

Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission Spectrum Auction Programs, Part 2

At 11:00 AM on Thursday in 138 Dirksen.

In October, Senate Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) publicly supported the notion that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), and not a collection of private commercial satellite operators, is better situated to hold an auction for 5G wireless spectrum that makes the spectrum more readily available for public use. The witness panel at this hearing will include Julius Knapp, Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission; and Giulia McHenry, Acting Chief of the Office of Economics and Analytics, Federal Communications Commission.

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