This Week in Washington IP: Senate Set to Confirm Cunningham; Restoring American Leadership in Patent Law; and Supporting Cybersecurity by Stopping Ransomware

Capitol BuildingThis week in Washington IP news, the U.S. Senate will vote on Tiffany Cunningham’s confirmation to the Federal Circuit, replacing Judge Evan Wallach; and a pair of committees in the House of Representatives, as well as the Senate Energy Committee, explore avenues that federal lawmakers have to stop the scourge of cyberattacks and ransomware impacting our nation’s infrastructure. The House Science Committee will also hold a hearing to discuss wireless spectrum needs for U.S. earth and space science research. Elsewhere, The Heritage Foundation hosts an event on restoring American leadership in patent law with Former USPTO Director Andrei Iancu and Retired Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul Michel, and The Brookings Institution focuses on possible frameworks to replace the invalidated EU-U.S. Privacy Shield for cross-border data flows.

Monday, July 19

Tiffany Cunningham Confirmation Vote  

The full U.S. Senate will convene at 3:00pm and vote at 5:30pm to officially confirm Tiffany Cunningham as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Cunningham on Friday was approved in a cloture vote by 63-34. She has two decades of experience as an IP litigator and is a widely heralded nominee for the court. 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Don’t Burn Your Trademarks: Intellectual Property for Restaurants

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

This workshop about intellectual property concerns specific to the food industry is designed for owners of restaurants, food trucks or other food service establishments to learn about IP rights that are important for business success in that sector, especially trademark registration and enforcement.

Tuesday, July 20 

House Committee on Small Business

Strengthening the Cybersecurity Posture of America’s Small Business Community

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

This March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its Internet Crime Report for 2020, which showed that reported losses stemming from instances of cyber crime topped $4.2 billion last year, thanks in large part to an increase of 300,000 complaints over those received by the FBI in 2019. While small businesses may seem to be an unlikely target for the largest cyber attacks, these firms often lack the resources to make even minimal resources in protecting their business interests, which is especially risky for companies developing innovative products. The witness panel for this hearing will include Tasha Cornish, Executive Director, Cybersecurity Association of Maryland, Inc.; Sharon Nichols, State Director, Mississippi Small Business Development Center; Kiersten Todt, Managing Director, Cyber Readiness Institute; and Graham Dufault, Senior Director for Public Policy, ACT | The App Association.

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology 

Spectrum Needs for Observations in Earth and Space Sciences

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2318 Rayburn.

Although government policy concerning wireless spectrum has been mainly concerned with making bands of radio frequencies available for private commercialization, especially in growing 5G networks, there are various government operations that need dedicated spectrum for their operations. For example, the space science conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) often relies on sensitive receivers communicating with radio equipment over extraordinarily long distances. The witness panel for this hearing will include Andrew Von Ah, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues, Government Accountability Office; David Lubar, Senior Project Leader, Civil Systems Group, The Aerospace Corporation; Dr. Jordan Gerth, Honorary Fellow, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Bill Mahoney, NCAR Associate Director and Director of the Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research; and Jennifer Manner, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, EchoStar Corporation/Hughes Network Systems LLC.

House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

Stopping Digital Thieves: The Growing Threat of Ransomware

At 10:30 AM on Tuesday in 2123 Rayburn.

Ransomware, which encrypts sensitive files and information until a ransom can be paid to cyber attackers, has become a growing concern after a series of high profile breaches, including the Colonial Pipeline shutdown in early May. Last week, senior advisors to President Joe Biden met with Congressional lawmakers to discuss how the administration plans to deal with the specter of increasing ransomware attacks and address vulnerabilities in critical networks. The witness panel for this hearing will include Kemba Walden, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation; Robert M. Lee, CEO, Dragos; Christian Dameff, M.D., M.S., Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Biomedical Informatics, and Computer Science, University of California San Diego, and Medical Director of Cybersecurity, UC San Diego Health; Charles Carmakal, Senior Vice President and CTO, FireEye-Mandiant; and Philip Reiner, CEO, Institute for Security and Technology.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

How Can Countries Support Data Flows, Digital Trade, and Good Data Governance?

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

Although cross-border data flows are of critical importance to the increasingly global nature of the world’s economy, many countries are pursuing data localization policies under the guise of increased data protection. Some policy advocates have called for the development of new frameworks for supporting international data flows while taking meaningful steps on data privacy and law enforcement. This event will feature a keynote address by John Whittingdale, Minister of State for Media and Data, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, UK Government. Following his address will be a discussion with a panel including Alex Greenstein, Director, Privacy Shield Negotiations, U.S. Department of Commerce; Amy Murray Stuart, Director, WTO Digital Trade Section, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Ito Sadanori, Special Advisor & Director, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan, and Japan External Trade Organization New York; Jason Oxman, President and CEO, Information Technology Industry Council; and moderated by Nigel Cory, Associate Director, Trade Policy, ITIF.

The Heritage Foundation

Restoring American Leadership in Patent Law and Innovation Policy

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

Although the United States used to have the “gold standard” patent system, all three branches of the federal government have taken actions over the past decade and a half that have ceded our longtime lead position in secure and reliable patent rights to rivals in Europe and China. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including the Honorable Paul Michel, Former Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Andrei Iancu, Former Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Adam Mossoff, Visiting Intellectual Property Fellow; Laurie Self, Senior Vice President and Counsel, Government Affairs, Qualcomm; and moderated by John Self, Vice President, Institute for Constitutional Government.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 7: Keeping Your Registration Alive

This workshop, the seventh in the USPTO’s Trademark Basics Boot Camp series, is designed to teach small business owners and entrepreneurs about the process of keeping trademarks alive once they’ve been registered by the agency, including various types of mandatory and optional post-registration filings.

Wednesday, July 21 

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works 

Addressing Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Facing Our Nation’s Physical Infrastructure

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

A slew of cyber attacks on major energy systems and government networks has spurred a great deal of bipartisan cooperation on Capitol Hill among lawmakers who have various national security and consumer interest concerns moving them towards a quick compromise on these issues. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Engaging the Private Sector for Innovative Global Development 

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

As formerly impoverished societies in Asia, Africa and other parts of the globe continue to develop, the overwhelming majority of U.S. engagement with these developing economies is coming through the private sector. This event, hosted by CSIS in partnership with the Keough School of Global Affairs, will explore ways that traditional U.S. aid granting institutions can work with the increasingly important private sector to continue driving prosperity in these regions. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Jennifer Billings, Global Agriculture Development Leader, Corteva Agroscience; Richard Crespin, CEO, CollaborateUp; Sarah Glass, Senior Director for Private Sector Engagement, World Wildlife Fund; Melissa Paulsen, Associate Director of Entrepreneurship and Education Programs, University of Notre Dame; Paul Perrin, Director of Evidence and Learning, University of Notre Dame; and moderated by Daniel F. Runde, Senior Vice President, William A. Schreyer Chair and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, CSIS.

The Heritage Foundation

Revolutionary Technology for U.S. Dominance in Space

At 11:00 AM on Wednesday, online video webinar

The United States has managed to maintain dominance in space exploration but in recent weeks, news reports indicate that Russia and China have discussed partnering on several ambitious spaceflight projects that could raise national security concerns for the U.S. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Joe Laurienti, Founder and CEO, Ursa Major Technologies; Justin Johnson, Senior Vice President, Meta Aerospace; Stephen Rodriguez, Founder and Managing Partner, One Defense; and moderated by John Venable, Senior Research Fellow for Defense Policy, The Heritage Foundation.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

New Ways of Working at the USPTO

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

This workshop is designed for those individuals who want to learn more about the information technology transformation that has occurred at the USPTO in recent years, supporting organizational changes that allows the agency to focus on four different product lines: Enterprise Business, Enterprise Infrastructure, Trademarks and Patents. This Q&A roundtable event will discuss changes to cross-product planning, budget alignment and high-level procurement plans.

Friday, July 23

The Brookings Institution 

Transatlantic Data Flows: What’s Next After the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield?

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

In July 2020, the Court of Justice for the European Union issued its decision in Schrems II that invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which had previously governed cross-border data flows between European consumers and American tech companies offering Internet services, such as Facebook and Google. As negotiators from both the EU and the U.S. work to create a new, valid framework for international data transfers, this event hosted by the Brookings Institute will discuss issues regarding the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and data localization efforts with a panel including Barbara Cosgrove, Vice President, Chief Privacy Officer, Workday; Sharon Bradford Franklin, Co-Director, Security and Surveillance Project, Center for Democracy & Technology; Cameron Kerry, Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Distinguished Visiting Fellow, The Brookings Institution; Peter Swire, Elizabeth and Thomas Holder Chair and Professor, Georgia Tech; and moderated by Steven Overly, Reporter, POLITICO. A keynote address at this event will be given by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

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  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    July 19, 2021 03:54 pm

    “Stopping Digital Thieves: The Growing Threat of Ransomware”

    Rumor has it that — after more than 5 years of hard work — a small coterie of leading American programmers, computer scientists, and technologists have created a “flips convention on its head” breakthrough which will end the ransomware scourge forever.

    Three major problems are preventing them from moving forward:

    1. Given Alice / Mayo; the uncertainty of being able to obtain a patent in order to both obtain the venture financing they will need to bring their breakthrough to market and prevent others from stealing their invention.

    2. Even should they obtain a patent, their concern that — again given Alice / Many — that others will be able to easily steal their invention.

    3. Given its critical importance to virtually every government agency and company, would the Biden administration — as they’re trying to do to the American biopharma companies — order them to give their breakthrough away to whoever wants it.

    While they would hate to have to do so, their law firms are looking at filing for patents in China and Europe; where they’re confident they’ll be able to protect their breakthrough.