This Week in Washington IP: Addressing Chinese Technological Threats, Bridging the Rural Broadband Divide and Building Data Literacy in College Students

Capitol buildingThis week in Washington IP news, both houses of Congress are quiet as they enter scheduled work periods. Among policy institutes focused on IP and tech topics, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation explores legislative efforts to fund broadband Internet infrastructure in rural America, New America discusses a new initiative at Georgia State University to encourage data literacy curricula nationwide, and the Center for Strategic & International Studies hosts a pair of events discussing threats to U.S. technological dominance posed by China’s Digital Silk Road and the control of 5G mobile wireless networks by Chinese firms like Huawei. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will also host the latest Innovation Chat by the National Council for Expanding American Innovation, as well as the agency’s inaugural Women Veterans Small Business Summit.

Monday, March 29 

American Enterprise Institute 

Free Speech in the Digital Age: Assessing the Values and Consequences of Free Expression

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

The growing role of social media platforms in the world of U.S. political discourse has been raising important questions recently about the ability for tech companies to censor viewpoints that they find distasteful despite a strong history of free speech protections in this country. Some have noted that the recent removal of Parler, a social media site predominately serving right-wing ideologues who find themselves ostracized from Twitter and elsewhere, is simply the first salvo in a growing tech civil war in the U.S. This event, which will explore the commercial control of speech and the impacts of speech controls on social vigor, will feature a discussion with a panel including David Freiheit, Attorney, Freiheit Legal; Pamela B. Paresky, Visiting Senior Research Associate, Stevanovitch Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, University of Chicago; Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita, New York Law School; and moderated by Mark Jamison, Visiting Scholar, AEI. 

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Global Networks 2030: Developing Economies and Emerging Technologies 

At 7:00 PM on Monday, online video webinar.

First announced by the Chinese government in 2015, the Digital Silk Road is a major part of that country’s ambitions to build technological infrastructure in many developing countries in order to gain influence in developing nations all over the world. As one of the major programs in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Digital Silk Road is expected to capitalize on growing demand for digital infrastructure throughout Asia and Africa, regions which experts predict will see 90 percent of the globe’s population growth through 2050. Set against this backdrop, this event will feature a discussion on strategic options for the U.S. to defend global networks through 2030 with a panel including Ken Watanabe, Director-General for International Affairs, Global Strategy Bureau, MIC; Diane Rinaldo, Executive Director, Open RAN Policy Coalition; Jonathan E. Hillman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Reconnecting Asia Project, CSIS; and moderated by Matthew P. Goodman, Senior Vice President for Economics and Simon Chair in Political Economy, CSIS.

Tuesday, March 30 

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Securing America’s Networks Against Chinese Security Threats

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

Chinese telecom entities, especially Huawei, have been making a major push to become leading tech developers in the emerging 5G mobile wireless space. This February, Huawei executives claimed that the company’s infrastructure has been used to build more than half of the world’s 140 commercial 5G networks that have been launched in 59 countries so far, and in March the company indicated that it would start pursuing licensing agreements with smartphone firms using 5G technology that the company has patented. This event will begin with a keynote address by FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, who will discuss the use of forced Uighur labor in China’s telecom supply chain and actions the U.S. can take to secure 5G networks. Following that keynote will be a discussion with a panel including Carr; Nury Turkel, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation; and James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Strategic Technologies Program.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Specimens Overview for Experienced Filers

At 3:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

This trademark webinar, which is designed for experienced trademark filers familiar with legal terminology and concepts, will cover topics including changes to specimens of use requirements, common issues with specimens and examiner review practices. Agency staff speaking at this event include Renee Servance, Managing Attorney, USPTO; and Mark Rademacher, Legal Policy Staff Attorney, USPTO. 

Hudson Institute 

US-Australia Series: China’s Techno-Authoritarianism, Political Interference, and Influence Operations (Part 3 of 3)

At 4:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Among the many reasons that policymakers around the globe ought to be concerned about the rise of China as a dominant player in global tech is the callous disregard Chinese officials have often shown in employing technologies to keep minority populations under surveillance or otherwise infringe upon internationally-recognized human rights. In recent years, China has also partnered with regressive regimes in Serbia and Uganda to improve their facial recognition technology infrastructure for government purposes. This event, the third in Hudson Institute’s series looking at China’s actions in information technologies and their impacts on the U.S.-Australia alliance, features a discussion with a panel including Dr. Samantha Hoffman, Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI); Harry Kresja, Cyber Policy Advisor, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Fellow, Center for New American Security; Dr. Charles Edel, Global Fellow, Wilson Center, and Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre at University of Sydney; Dr. John Lee, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; and moderated by Dr. Patrick M. Cronin, Asia-Pacific Security Chair and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Intellectual Property (IP) Workshop for K12 Educators

At 6:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

On Tuesday evening, the USPTO will host the most recent monthly installment of the agency’s professional development workshop for K-12 educators interested in integrating intellectual property topics, including invention activities, patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets, into a STEM/STEAM curriculum for the classroom.

Wednesday, March 31 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES), “Lessons from successful innovative women”

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will join the final installment of the USPTO’s 2021 Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES), “Lessons from successful innovative women,” on Wednesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET. Other guest speakers will include Dr. Lisa Cook, Professor in the Department of Economics and in International Relations at Michigan State University and Edison Research Fellow, Office of the Chief Economist, USPTO; Janeya Griffin, Founder and CEO, The Commercializer; Rea Huntley, Founder and CEO, Lavii INC; Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Founder and CEO, Olive & June. The WES is presented by the USPTO’s Office of Innovation Outreach. 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Women Veterans Small Business Summit: Learn to Contract With the USPTO

At 9:00 AM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

This all-day business networking event, hosted by the USPTO in partnership with the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is the first-annual summit for women veterans who want to learn more about the procurement opportunities for small businesses at the USPTO and other federal agencies.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

35 U.S.C. 112(f) Training for Patent Practitioners

At 12:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

This workshop for patent practitioners will focus on means-plus-function claiming which is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 112(f), including a basic overview of the statute, how to invoke means-plus-function claiming in patent claim limitations, how those limitations impact claim interpretation, and examples of claims that either do or do not invoke means-plus-function claiming under the statute.

New America

Defining Data Literacy for College Students

At 12:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

The Public Interest Data Literacy (PIDLit) initiative at Georgia State University (GSU) Library, launched with support from New America and the Public Interest Technology University Network (PIT-UN), seeks to improve data science awareness and literacy among Georgia State students and other schools implementing the curriculum developed by PIDLit. A discussion on the goals of the PIDLit initiative, including ideas on how data literacy should be applied for the public good, will take place with a panel including Aakanksha Angra, Undergraduate Biology Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator, Head of Quantitative Literacy Faculty Teaching and Learning Community, GSU; Tiffany Grant, Assistant Director of Research and Data Services, UC Libraries, University of Cincinnati; Natalia Lopez, Lead Librarian for Data Instruction, North Carolina State University; and Chad Marchong, Assistant Director, Learning Analytics, Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Online Education, GSU. This discussion will be moderated by Ashley Rockwell, PIDLit Initiative Fellow, University Library, GSU; Bryan Sinclair, Associate Dean for Public Services and Co-Director, PIDLit Initiative, University Library, GSU; and Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, Team Leader for Research Data Services, and Co-Director, PIDLit Initiative, University Library, GSU.

Thursday, April 1 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

NCEAI Innovation Chat: Creating Innovators

At 12:00 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

This event in the Innovation Chat series hosted by the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI), a council tasked with aiding the USPTO develop a national innovation strategy, will discuss various policy actions that can be undertaken to encourage the creation of U.S. innovators. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, President, Iowa State University; Dr. Javier Diez, Ph.D, Inventor, CEO of SubUAS, LLC, and Professor, Rutgers University; Tiki Dare, Vice President, Trademark & Copyright, Oracle Corp.; and moderated by Wayne Stacy, Director, Silicon Valley Office, USPTO. 

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

How to Bridge the Rural Broadband Gap Once and For All

At 12:00 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

Close observers of the broadband Internet industry in America have noted that anywhere from 35 million to 40 million U.S. homes are currently unserved or underserved by broadband infrastructure. Many of these underserved U.S. households are situated in rural locations and many insiders believe that recent legislative funding bills, including many tied to COVID relief, may create an opportunity for rural broadband providers to increase their consumer base by connecting more Americans to the Internet. This event will feature a discussion on bridging the rural broadband gap with a panel including Burton Eller, Legislative Director, National Grange; Paul Garnett, Founder and CEO, The Vernonburg Group; Carol Mattey, Founder, Mattey Consulting LLC, and Former Deputy Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal Communications Commission; Marc. A Paul, Vice President of Policy, Charter Communications; and moderated by Doug Brake, Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy, ITIF.

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One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    March 29, 2021 05:23 pm

    “Intellectual Property (IP) Workshop for K12 Educators”

    Given today’s rampant jurisIMprudence (combined with our very own Congress’ failure to restore eligibility to all areas of innovation) when it comes to innovations requiring computers and / or the internet and / or medical diagnostics, it’s critical that the Patent Office be completely honest and upfront with American Educators that such inventions have little if any chance of obtaining patent-protection.

    That even should their students be able to someday obtain a patent on such inventions from the Patent Office, they won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on.

    That Big Tech will steal their innovations with impunity.

    That all their hard work will be for naught.

    That their American dream will be but a nightmare.

    Our nation’s 1,000s of classrooms are one of the worst places to be spewing the patent fairy tale.

    Congress: Stop the steal. The real steal. The steal that matters most.

    Restore patent eligibility to all areas of innovation.

    All. Areas.