This Week in Washington IP: Cryptocurrencies Setting Millennials on FIRE, Increasing R&D for Fire Science Innovation, and Debating the CLEAN Energy Act week Washington IP news, the Senate remains quiet on Capitol Hill but several committee hearings in the House of Representatives will explore the state of federally-funded wildland fire science, millennials turning to cryptocurrency investments for gaining financial independence, and legislative efforts to reduce emissions in the energy industry as well as securing U.S. communication networks. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation explores manufacturing priorities under the Biden Administration and a new framework for international antitrust regulation at the World Trade Organization, while Hudson Institute hosts an event looking at the overlap between antitrust and intellectual property issues.

Tuesday, June 29

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

The State of Federal Wildland Fire Science: Examining Opportunities for Further Research and Collaboration

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

Wildfire emergencies have made national headlines in recent years but the first half of 2021 has seen a rapid increase in the number of reported fire events; the National Interagency Fire Center lists 30,076 reported fires in the U.S. as of this writing, the greatest total for the first six months of the year since 2011. With more Americans moving to areas of the country that are fire-prone, policymakers have debated ways to increase research and development in fire safety and prevention. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Craig B. Clements, Professor of Meteorology and Director, Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center, San José State University; Dr. Jessica McCarty, Assistant Professor of Geography and Director, Geospatial Analysis Center, Miami University; George Geissler, State Forester and Deputy for Wildland Fire and Forest Health and Resiliency, Washington Department of Natural Resources; and Fire Chief Erik Litzenburg (Ret.), Chair, Wildland Fire Policy Committee, International Association of Fire Chiefs.

House Subcommittee on Energy 

The CLEAN Future Act and Electric Transmission: Delivering Clean Power to the People

At 10:30 AM on Tuesday in 2123 Rayburn.

In early March, the leadership of the House Energy & Commerce Committee introduced the CLEAN Future Act, a bill that would direct retail electricity suppliers to obtain 100 percent of their energy from clean sources by the year 2035, and directs federal agencies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in industry sectors within their jurisdiction by the year 2050. Critics of the legislation point out that the bill will likely eliminate the United States’ standing as the world’s top energy exporter, harming the domestic economy and encouraging other countries to rely on energy reserves from foreign rivals like Russia and China. The sole witness for the first panel of this hearing will be Patricia Hoffman, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy. The witnesses for the second panel of this hearing will be Susan Tierney, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Analysis Group; Rob Gramlich, Founder and President, Grid Strategies, LLC; Lee Anderson, Government Affairs Director, Utility Workers Union of America; and Tony Clark, Senior Advisor, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

U.S. Manufacturing Priorities for the Biden Administration and 117th Congress

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

Recent Congressional efforts to improve American manufacturing competitiveness relative to foreign rivals have included several bills that would improve federal funding for research and development, including the Endless Frontier Act and the Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Policy Act. This event, hosted by ITIF in partnership with Brookings Institution and the American Manufacturing Communities Collaborative (AMCC), will explore the potential impact that recently proposed legislation can have on the American manufacturing industry with a panel including Jon Cardinal, Director of Economic Development, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer; Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF; Susan Helper, Senior Economist, White House Council of Economic Advisers; Mark Muro, Fellow and Policy Director, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program; Ronald Williams, Director of Strategic Entrepreneurship Center, Coppin State University; and moderated by Matt Bogoshian, Executive Director, AMCC.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 4: Application Requirements

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

This workshop, the fourth in the USPTO’s eight-part Trademark Basics Boot Camp series, teaches small business owners and entrepreneurs about the requirements for initial trademark applications including drawings, identification of goods and services, as well as specimens and ornamentation.

House Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems 

Department of Defense Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Information Assurance for Fiscal Year 2022

At 4:00 PM on Tuesday in 2118 Rayburn.

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) released a Digital Modernization Strategy for enhancing several areas of the DoD’s information technology efforts, including cybersecurity. The recent discretionary budget request of $715 billion for the DoD in fiscal year 2022 includes $23.3 billion earmarked for military intelligence, including cybersecurity missions of the National Security Agency (NSA). The sole witness for this hearing will be John Sherman, Acting Chief Information Officer, DoD.


Wednesday, June 30

House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

America on “FIRE”: Will the Crypto Frenzy Lead to Financial Independence and Early Retirement or Financial Ruin

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

The value of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have been booming over the last decade alongside the growth of the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement popular among millennials. Although many FIRE-oriented individuals have turned to crypto investing as a means for achieving financial independence, violent downturns in cryptocurrency markets have led to consternation among D.C. lawmakers concerned about the effects of rapid loss of investment value on American consumers.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

A Vision for International Antitrust at the WTO

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

The increasingly globalized nature of the economy, especially for Internet-based and consumer technology firms, has led to a tension between national antitrust regulators competing for supremacy on enforcement efforts in ways that distort consumer markets. This month, ITIF and several members of the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA) introduced a framework for handling issues arising under national antitrust law under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Stefano da Empoli, President, I-Com; Natalia Gonzalez, Legal Director, Libertad y Desarrollo; Frederic Jenny, Chairman, OECD Competition Committee; Aurelien Portuese, Director, Antitrust and Innovation Policy, ITIF; and moderated by Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF.

House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

A Safe Wireless Future: Securing Our Networks and Supply Chains

At 10:30 AM on Wednesday in 2123 Rayburn.

On Wednesday morning, the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee will convene a hearing to discuss several pieces of proposed legislation related to securing various communication networks and supply chains important to American consumers, including H.R. 4029, the TEAM TELECOM Act; H.R. 4045, the FUTURE Networks Act; H.R. 4046, the NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act; H.R. 4055, the American Cybersecurity Literacy Act; H.R. 4067, the Communications Security Advisory Act; H.R. 2685, the Understanding Cybersecurity of Mobile Networks Act; H.R. 3919, the Secure Equipment Act; H.R. 4028, the Information and Communication Technology Strategy Act; and H.R. 4032, the Open RAN Outreach Act.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Beyond Registration: Taking Your Copyright and Trademark Rights to the Next Level

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

This workshop, offered by the USPTO in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is designed to teach small- and medium-sized enterprises how they can protect their intellectual property rights both domestically and in foreign consumer markets, including information about border enforcement efforts to keep infringing items out of the stream of U.S. commerce.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

History’s Hand: Inventor’s Mind – Invention as a Team Effort: Nikola Tesla, His Backer, His Lawyer, and His Boyfriend

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

This Wednesday features the latest installment of the USPTO’s History’s Hand: Inventor’s Mind series featuring stories of famed inventors curated by USPTO Historian Adam Bisno and lessons that the innovators of today can draw from the work of those inventors. This edition features background on Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla presented by W. Bernard Carlson, Joseph L. Vaughan Professor of Humanities, Chair of the Engineering and Society Department, Professor of History, and Director of the Engineering Business Programs, University of Virginia.

Thursday, July 1

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Accelerating U.S. Energy Innovation

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

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) is the lead agency for much of the U.S. federal government’s efforts to stimulate research and development in energy innovation. In late June alone, the DoE announced $61 million in funding for 99 projects related to advanced nuclear energy technology advancements as well as another $65 million, $35 million of which is funding provided by private sector firms, funding 68 projects accelerating the commercialization of new energy technologies. This event will feature a conversation between the Honorable David Turk, Deputy Secretary, U.S. DoE; and Nikos Tsafos, Interim Director and Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, CSIS.

Hudson Institute

Intellectual Property & Antitrust Laws: The Way Ahead

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

Antitrust regulatory efforts often overlap with the province of intellectual property as rights to exclude competitors from practicing technologies produce impacts upon both competitors and consumer pricing. In recent months, many entities have sought guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division regarding patent pools, many of which usually result in procompetitive effects that improve industry efficiencies and reduce IP licensing costs for industry players. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Christine Wilson, Commissioner, U.S. Federal Trade Commission; Maureen Ohlhausen, Partner and Section Chair, Antitrust & Competition Law, Baker Botts, and Former Acting Chair and Commissioner, U.S. Federal Trade Commission; and Urška Petrov?i?, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute.

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One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    June 28, 2021 05:54 pm

    As would be the case with many of Edison’s inventions, the eligibility buzz saw that is today’s CAFC would likely wipe out any patent protection Nikola believed he had earned.

    So very easy to crush the dreams . . of others.