This Week in Washington IP: Tech Antitrust During Biden, ADR for Copyright Small Claims and Cybersecurity in State and Local Governments

This week in Washington IP news, Senate committees will convene a series of business meetings, including one by the Senate Judiciary Committee to look at a proposed bill that would create an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) pathway for resolving copyright small claims. The Senate Environment Committee will also discuss a proposed legislative draft designed to restore American dominance in nuclear energy in part by supporting the licensing of advanced nuclear energy technologies. Elsewhere, the Brookings Institution will host a pair of events exploring the impacts of smart machines on the American labor force as well as the future of antitrust policy in the tech sector during the Biden Administration.

Tuesday, December 1 

Brookings Institution 

The Future of Tech Antitrust in the Biden Administration

At 11:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

In the United States and around the world, especially in Europe, government antitrust regulators have honed their focus onto a group of American tech firms who have become incredibly successful themselves in large part by building dominant online platforms that are protected by business practices that many find to be highly anticompetitive. This event, co-hosted by Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation and Duke University’s Center on Science & Technology Policy, will explore the potential antitrust reform roadmap for the incoming administration of President Joe Biden and pro-competition policies that could be implemented to address existing antitrust problems. The event will feature a discussion with a panel including Avery Gardiner, General Counsel and Senior Fellow for Competition, Data, and Power, Center for Democracy & Technology; Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director, Center for Technology Innovation; Leah Nylen, Technology Reporter, POLITICO Pro; Matt Perrault, Director, Center on Science & Technology Policy, and Associate Professor, Duke University; and moderated by Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director, Governance Studies, and Senior Fellow, Center for Technology Innovation.

Wednesday, December 2

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Committee Business Meeting

At 9:45 AM on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Environment Committee will convene for a business meeting to discuss an amendment to S. 4897, a bill introduced into the Senate on November 16 by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and co-sponsored by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). If passed as currently written, the bill would seek to reestablish U.S. global leadership in nuclear energy by revitalizing the domestic nuclear energy supply chain infrastructure and by supporting the licensing of advanced nuclear technologies.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

“The Perfect Weapon”: Cyber Policy and the Incoming Biden Administration

At 12:30 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

Cybersecurity challenges will be one of the major growing threats facing the United States during the upcoming administration of President Joe Biden. This is one of the themes explored by the recent HBO documentary “The Perfect Weapon” based on a best-selling book of the same name by David E. Sanger, National Security Correspondent and Senior Writer, The New York Times. This event will discuss patterns of escalating cyber attacks and reasonable policy responses with a panel including Sanger; Suzanne Spaulding, Senior Adviser, Homeland Security, International Security Program, CSIS; James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS; and moderated by H. Andrew Schwartz, Chief Communications Officer, CSIS.

Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management 

State and Local Cybersecurity: Defending Our Communities from Cyber Threats amid COVID-19

At 2:30 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

Cyberattacks continue to be a popular activity among malicious actors operating online to disrupt official government activities and a report issued in late August showed that instances of intrusion or fraud perpetrated against state, local and tribal governments have risen about 50 percent since 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many concerns related to cyber threats as social distancing and workplace shutdown orders have caused many state and local agencies to rely even more strongly upon their digital infrastructure. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Thursday, December 3

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Executive Business Meeting

At 10:00 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

On Thursday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene an executive business meeting to discuss potential amendments to S. 4632, the Online Content Policy Moderation Act. Introduced into the Senate in late September by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the bill would amend Title 17 of U.S. Code to establish an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program for copyright small claims and modify the scope of civil liability protections for online platform providers for “good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trends in Trademarks at the USPTO and the Israel Patent Office

At 10:00 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

This event, jointly hosted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Israel Patent Office, features a 90-minute webinar on current trademark trends at both offices with tips for prospective applicants about ensuring a smooth application and examination process at either agency. Speakers during this webinar will include Andrei Iancu, Director, USPTO; Ofir Alon, Director, ILPO; David S. Gooder, Commissioner for Trademarks, USPTO; and Anat Levy, Head of the Trademarks Department, ILPO.

Brookings Institution

Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines: A Conversation With Jamie Merisotis

At 10:30 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and other smart machine technologies have created a great deal of optimism over their ability to greatly advance productivity gains in a wide array of industrial sectors. However, one of the ethical concerns posed by smart machine adoption is the impact of those technologies on the existing labor force, much of which will be displaced by automation. This event, hosted by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, features a fireside chat with Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO, Lumina Foundation, and Author, Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines; and Amy Liu, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program.

Friday, December 4

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Executive Session 

At 10:00 AM on Friday in 325 Russell Senate Office Building.

On Friday morning, the Senate Commerce Committee will convene an executive session to discuss a trio of appointments that could have some small impact on areas of technology policy despite their taking place during the late stages of the current Presidential administration. These nominations include Greg Autry, to serve as Chief Financial Officer of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Daniel Huff, to be Assistant Secretary of the Department of Commerce; and Nathan Simington, to be a Member of the Federal Communications Commission.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

The Path to a Patent, Part V: Learn How to File Your Patent Application Using EFS-Web

At 1:00 PM on Friday, online video webinar.

This webinar will provide information to prospective patent applicants about filing their patent applications through the agency’s Electronic Filing System-Web (EFS-Web) filing portal, as well as tools for managing patent applications that are available through the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. Other patent applicant resources covered during this webinar including the Inventor’s Assistance Center (IAC) and the Patent Electronics Business Center (EBC).


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