This Week in Washington IP: Energizing Technology Transfer, Case Studies in International Offshore Wind Innovation and Celebrating 75 Years of the Lanham Act

Washington IP - week in Washington IP news, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a series of bills that could limit pharmaceutical patent owners’ ability to enforce their patents against generic drug makers. Over in the House of Representatives, the House Science Committee will mark up a series of bills to support research and development as well as technology transfer and commercialization, while the House Europe Subcommittee will explore international case studies in offshore wind renewable energy innovation. Elsewhere, the American Enterprise Institute focuses on developments in the private commercial space sector, while the USPTO celebrates 75 years of the Lanham Act’s codification of U.S. trademark law this Tuesday. 

Tuesday, July 27

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

America Under Siege: Preventing and Responding to Ransomware Attacks

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Ransomware, a type of software used for cyberattacks that encrypts valuable and sensitive data until a ransom has been paid, typically in cryptocurrency, has been an increasingly popular tool among cyber thieves looking to disrupt major networks and grind infrastructure like the Colonial Pipeline oil pipeline system to a screeching halt. So far during the 117th Congress, about 115 bills have been introduced having to deal with cybersecurity issues, many of which have achieved bipartisan support. The witness panel for this hearing will include Richard Downing, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Bryan Vorndran, Assistant Director, Cyber Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; and Jeremy Sheridan, Assistant Director, Office of Investigations, U.S. Secret Service.

Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs 

Cryptocurrencies: What Are They Good For?

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 538 Dirksen.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been gaining more focus as these financial instruments have hit new highs in recent months and even Amazon has recently begun looking to hire a product leader to take on the development of a system for accepting cryptocurrency payments from customers. However, financial regulators continue to be wary of the largely unregulated financial sector and the volatility in the value of cryptocurrencies. The witness panel for this hearing will include Professor Angela Walch, Professor of Law, St. Mary’s University School of Law; Jerry Brito, Executive Director, Colin Center; and Martha Belcher, Chair, Filecoin Foundation.

House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy

The Promises and Perils of Central Bank Digital Currencies

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building.

While most cryptocurrencies are private ventures, more than 80 countries representing more than 90 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) are in some stage of considering whether to implement a central bank digital currency to be accepted as legal tender in their national financial systems. Although the Federal Reserve has announced its intention to study the impact of implementing a digital dollar system, regulators in the U.S. are still debating various legal issues, privacy concerns and technological hurdles that must be addressed to build such a system. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Julia Coronado, President and Founder, MacroPolicy Perspectives; Yaya Fanusie, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security Program, Center for a New American Security; Julia Friedlander, C. Boyden Gray Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Atlantic Council; Dr. Andrew Levin, Professor of Economic, Dartmouth College; and Robert M. Baldwin, Head of Policy, Association for Digital Asset Markets.

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology

Full Committee Markup

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2318 Rayburn.

On Tuesday morning, the House Science Committee will convene a full committee meeting to markup a series of bills that would support innovation in several areas of technology that are crucial for national security and economic success. These bills include H.R. 3858, the National Science and Technology Strategy Act; H.R. 4609, the National Institute of Standards and Technology For the Future Act; H.R. 4588, the Regional Innovation Act; H.R. 4606, the Energizing Technology Transfer Act; and H.R. 4599, the Steel Upgrading Partnerships and Emissions Reduction (SUPER) Act.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Report Launch: Mapping the Human Rights Risk of Facial Recognition Technology

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

Facial recognition technologies are employed by a growing number of private firms and law enforcement officials. Although these systems are often employed for public safety, many policy advocates have zeroed in on concerns that these systems could negatively impact fundamental rights like privacy. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Grecia Macias, Lawyer, R3D: Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales; Steve Crown, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft; Marti Flacks, Director and Senior Fellow, Human Rights Initiative, CSIS; and Amy K. Lehr, Senior Associate (Non-resident), Human Rights Initiative, CSIS.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Lanham Act 75th Anniversary Celebration

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

On July 5, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the Lanham Act into law, officially codifying trademark law into U.S. legal code. In honor of the passage of this landmark legislation, which has done much to support American commercial development over the past 75 years, the USPTO will screen a documentary on the Lanham Act produced by the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Speakers at this event will include Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA); Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Representative Ted Deutsch (D-FL); Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Duties and Functions of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO; and David Gooder, Commissioner of Trademarks, USPTO.

American Enterprise Institute

The Future ? And Present ? of Space Commerce

At 1:30 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Recent flights toward the outer limits of planet Earth by billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have placed a new focus on private efforts to build the commercial space sector. While governmental space programs took the lead on space exploration decades ago, the commercial sector is expected to play a much greater role moving forward into the 21st century. Presentations on efforts to commercialize space technologies will be given by John Roth, Vice President, Business Development, Sierra Space; and Rich Boling, Vice President, Corporate Advancement, Techshot. Following those presentations will be a discussion including Roth; Boling; Matthew C. Weinzierl, Joseph and Jacqueline Ebling Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; and moderated by James Pethokoukis, Senior Fellow, AEIl

House Subcommittee on National Security

Defending the U.S. Electric Grid Against Cyber Threats

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday in 2154 Rayburn.

The ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline oil system in early May placed a new urgency upon efforts to ensure that critical U.S. energy infrastructure, especially the electric grid, remain safe from cyber attacks. Last week alone, the House of Representatives passed a series of five bills for funding cybersecurity initiatives, increasing requirements for reporting cyber attacks and mandating cybersecurity tests of critical infrastructure. The witness panel for this hearing will include Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Puesh M. Kumar, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy; and Joseph H. McClelland, Director, Office of Energy Infrastructure Security, on behalf of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 8: Question-and-Answer Panel

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

This workshop, the eighth and final installment of the USPTO’s Trademark Basics Boot Camp, offers small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to ask trademark-related questions and get answers directly from trademark experts and law office managing attorneys at the agency.


Wednesday, July 28 

House Subcommittee on Government Operations


At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2154 Rayburn.

On Wednesday afternoon, the House Government Operations Subcommittee will convene a hearing to discuss the results of the 12th scorecard on federal agency information technology (IT) acquisition progress under the provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). The witness panel for this hearing will include Clare Martorana, Federal Chief Information Officer, Office of Management and Budget; Keith A. Bluestein, Chief Information Officer, Small Business Administration; Sean Brune, Chief Information Officer, Social Security Administration; and Carol C. Harris, Director, Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Government Accountability Office.

Thursday, July 29

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Business Meeting

At 9:00 AM on Thursday in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.

On Thursday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene a business meeting to discuss several bills that would increase the authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take enforcement actions against various business activities in the pharmaceutical sector, including several issues related to patents such as pay-for-delay settlements in infringement proceedings as well as “product hopping.” These bills include S. 1425, the Stop Significant and Time-wasting Abuse Limiting Legitimate Innovation of New Generics (Stop STALLING) Act; S. 1428, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act; S. 1388, the Prescription Pricing for the People Act; and S. 1435, the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act.

House Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber

Renewable Energy Transition: A Case Study of How International Collaboration on Offshore Wind Technology Benefits American Workers

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

In late March, the Biden Administration announced a strategic plan to support offshore wind energy projects, including an effort to increase offshore wind energy production up to 30 gigawatts (GW) by the year 2030. This massive increase in offshore wind energy is expected to produce enough energy to power 10 million homes while reducing carbon emissions by 78 million metric tons. The witness panel for this hearing will include Giles Dickson, CEO, WindEurope; Heather Zichal, CEO, American Clean Power Association; and Lars Thaaning Pedersen, CEO, Vineyard Wind, and Co-CEO, Copenhagen Offshore Partners.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Path to a Patent, Part III: Patent Searching

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

This workshop, the third in the USPTO’s Path to a Patent series, is designed to teach prospective and current patent applicants about performing patent searches to determine prior art, including information on preliminary searches, the agency’s suggested Seven Step Strategy for patent searches and resources for conducting patent searches.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Do You Know @USPTO — July Edition: Patent and Trademark Resource Centers

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

This workshop designed for prospective patent and trademark applicants at the USPTO is designed to introduce the agency’s Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs), a nationwide network of libraries meant to aid applicants in conducting patent prior art and registered mark searches. Topics covered will include a demonstration of PTRC search tools, access to PubEAST and PubWEST examiner-based search systems, tools to research individual companies or nonprofits and assistance on historical research. This workshop will be led by Robert Berry, Manager, PRTC Program, USPTO.


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One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    July 26, 2021 04:43 pm

    “America Under Siege: Preventing and Responding to Big Tech Stealing Others Innovations; Including Via Alice”

    “Defending U.S. Innovation Against Big Tech Threats”

    If only.

    “Stop STALLING”

    What Congress is doing by not restoring patent eligibility to all areas of innovation.