This Week in Washington IP: Using AI for Financial RegTech, New Copyright Challenges in Publishing, and How March-In Rights Can Harm American Universities week in Washington IP events, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary kicks off the week by returning to debate over Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, as well as another nominee selected for the Southern District of New York and its IP-heavy docket. Over in the House of Representatives, the Space Subcommittee discusses ways to work with private commercial firms to develop space situational awareness tools, while the House Task Force on Artificial Intelligence explores the pros and cons of the use of AI systems on RegTech operations within the financial industry. Elsewhere, the Center for the Study of the Presidency & the Congress hosts an event focused on the relationship between IP policy and U.S. innovation leadership; the Hudson Institute takes a look at new challenges to copyright law posed by the digital publishing industry; and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation looks to correct misconceptions in the advocacy for exercising march-in rights under Bayh-Dole as a price control mechanism for pharmaceuticals.

Monday, March 28

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Executive Business Meeting

At 3:00 PM on Monday in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.

On Monday afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene its latest hearing to discuss the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, currently a U.S. Circuit Judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to serve as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, continuing the debate from last week’s Senate hearings on her nomination. The Judiciary Committee will also consider the nomination of Jennifer H. Rearden to be a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, which hears a large number of the intellectual property cases filed in U.S. district court every year.

Tuesday, March 29 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Attend the Biotechnology, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership Meeting

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

On Tuesday morning, the USPTO will convene a day-long event designed to inform patent applicants from the biotech, chemical and pharmaceutical industries about claim drafting and patent prosecution considerations specific to those sectors. Topics covered at this event include claim constructing and the doctrine of equivalents, rationales for obviousness rejections under Section 103, systematic approaches to drafting specifications to comply with Section 112(b), and a practical analysis of statutory provisions governing patent infringement.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

How Using March-in Rights Would Threaten America’s Research Universities

At 9:30 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Since 1980, the Bayh-Dole Act has revolutionized the field of federally-funded university research by giving research institutions the ability to license intellectual property that is generated in projects supported by federal funding. In recent years, healthcare advocates seeking to reduce prices paid by consumers for pharmaceuticals have caused them to latch onto march-in rights under Bayh-Dole as a means of keeping costs low. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have dealt with continued calls to exercise march-in rights on certain drugs, despite their misguided interpretation of provisions that should only be exercised if the federally-funded pharmaceutical innovations are completely absent from the U.S. market and the harm that such legal maneuvering could do to the incredibly successful tech transfer system that has arisen under Bayh-Dole. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Ian McClure, Chair, AUTM; Kevin Walters, Public Affairs Analyst, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; Kirsten Leute, Partner, Osage University Partners; Dan Rizzuto, Founder and CEO, Nia Therapeutics; Steven Kelly, President and CEO, Carisma Therapeutics; and moderated by Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Innovation Through the Unexpected: Creating Butterflies From Pebbles

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

This webinar, part of the USPTO’s celebration of Women’s History Month, gives viewers a chance to hear from several successful businesswomen who have leveraged their knowledge of technology and intellectual property rights to create transformational opportunities for their companies. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Michele Connors, Assistant General Counsel for Cirrus Logic, Inc.; Neelu Sethi, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Reddy Ice; Gertrude Van Horn, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, NCH Corporation; and moderated by Molly Kocialski, Regional Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office, USPTO.

Center for the Study of the Presidency & the Congress

Maintaining Innovation Leadership and Protecting National Security through Intellectual Property

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

The Center for the Study of the Presidency & the Congress (CSPC) will host an online discussion featuring Deanna Tanner Okun of Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP and Brian A. Pomper of the Innovation Alliance about the relationship between intellectual property policies and innovation leadership, particularly with respect to technologies such as 5G and 6G networks, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. The Biden Administration’s 2021 Executive Order on Promoting Competition and recent Department of Justice policy statements on standard-essential patents (SEPs) will be a particular focus.

Wednesday, March 30

House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

Space Situational Awareness: Guiding the Transition to a Civil Capability

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

Over the past decade, the U.S. federal government and its main space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), have sought to find ways to collaborate with private entities as commercial partners to replace the now defunct Space Shuttle program and aid NASA’s mission of space exploration. This February, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which operates satellites providing environmental data for weather monitoring and other purposes, issued a request for information regarding commercial sources of space situational awareness (SSA) data that can help the agency better track debris and other spaceborne objects that could impact satellite operation. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

House Task Force on Artificial Intelligence 

Keeping Up With the Codes – Using AI for Effective RegTech

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2128 Rayburn.

RegTech, or the use of technological tools to manage regulatory activity and enforcement within the financial services industry, is quickly becoming a feasible option for many financial institutions thanks to advances in technologies like artificial intelligence. As an International Monetary Fund director remarked in a virtual workshop held last October, these advances could pave the way toward closed-loop AI systems in which the extension of credit, management of risk and compliance with regulatory regimes are all accomplished with algorithm-based processes. At the same time, many have voiced concerns that programmer biases could be worked into the code at the foundation of these AI systems and that data collected by RegTech AI should be publicly available to instill consumer trust in these systems. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Hudson Institute 

New Copyright Challenges in the Publishing Industry

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

Over the past few decades, the publishing industry has been completely transformed thanks to the digital revolution and the ease of disseminating e-book files as compared to printing physical books that are shipped to bookstores and consumers. However, these dramatic changes have thrown a host of traditional copyright rules, like the first sale doctrine, into doubt because the application of those rules is heavily premised on the idea that the work at issue exists in a physically printed form. This event will feature a discussion on digital issues the publishing industry needs to navigate in the coming years with a panel including Terry Hart, General Counsel, Association of American Publishers; Danielle Coffey, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, News Media Alliance; Umair Kazi, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Authors Guild; and moderated by Devlin Hartline, Legal Fellow, Forum for Intellectual Property, Hudson Institute.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Patent Trial and Appeal Board Presents Appeals 101

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

Despite the tremendous amount of news coverage that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) receives for the America Invents Act (AIA) patent validity trials conducted before the Board, ex parte appeals from patent applicants who are challenging examiner rejections make up a larger bulk of the PTAB’s proceedings. This ex parte appeals workshop will focus on tips for both written and oral advocacy during the appeal process as well as an overview of the Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP) used during such appeals at the PTAB. Speakers at this event will include Kalyan Deshpande, Senior Lead Administrative Patent Judge, and Amanda Wieker, Administrative Patent Judge.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, Part Three: From Inspiration to Commercialization

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

This third and final event in the USPTO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium focuses on stories of women innovators and entrepreneurs and lessons to be learned from their stories on how to encourage the next generation of successful businesswomen. The first panel at this event, which will focus on stories of innovations that were successfully commercialized by their inventors, will include Georgia Grace Edwards, CEO and Co-Founder, SheFly Apparel; Ceata E. Lash, Founder, Inventor and Co-CEO, PuffCuff LLC; and moderated by Hope Shimabuku, Director, Texas Regional Office, USPTO. A second panel at this event, which will discuss tips for enabling the next generation of women inventors to succeed, will include Abi Olukeye, Founder and CEO, Smart Girls HQ; Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; and moderated by Shirin Bidel-Niyat, Senior Advisor for the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

Thursday, March 31

House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

Connecting America: Oversight of the FCC

At 10:30 AM on Thursday in 2123 Rayburn.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plays a major role in effectuating White House policy on supporting broadband Internet and other telecommunications infrastructure. Last Friday, the FCC announced that it is ready to authorize more than $313 million in broadband deployment funding through the agency’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, a program which has provided more than $5 billion in funding across eight funding rounds for projects deploying broadband to a total of 2.8 million locations across the country. Advanced coverage of this hearing by Broadcasting+Cable indicate that the FCC’s broadband maps, which are developed to help lawmakers and federal officials target areas where broadband funding is needed, will be  a main topic of discussion. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Friday, April 1

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Artificial Intelligence Applications for Healthcare

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

In the healthcare industry, artificial intelligence (AI) systems are being developed to aid in many areas of patient care, from natural language processing systems to analyze unstructured notes on clinical documents to real-time analysis of medical information to produce more accurate patient diagnoses. This event, hosted by CSIS in collaboration with Crowell & Moring International, will feature a discussion on AI’s applications in healthcare with a panel including Wendy Nilsen, Program Director, Smart and Connected Health, National Science Foundation; Caoimhe Vallely-Gilroy, Global Digital Health, Healthcare Business of Merck KGaA; and James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS. 

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Dynamic Antitrust Discussion Series: “The Regulatory Revolution Against Mergers”

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

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Biden Administration has grown increasingly wary of mergers creating market consolidation, thanks in large part to the influence of Neo-Brandeisian thought leaders who feel that such consolidation has taken away the ability of much smaller firms to compete on the open market. Last September, the FTC voted to rescind vertical merger guidelines adopted in 2020 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice, indicating a complete overhaul of the agency’s approach to determining whether a proposed merger creates an unlawful monopoly. This event, hosted by ITIF’s Schumpeter Project on Competition Policy and the latest in ITIF’s Dynamic Antitrust series, features a discussion regarding what the current Neo-Brandeisian wave of antitrust regulators aren’t considering about the impacts of increased regulation on innovation and competition. This discussion will feature a panel including Kristen C. Limarzi, Partner, Gibson Dunn; Koren Wong-Ervin, Partner, Axinn; and moderated by Aurelien Portuese, Director, Antitrust and Innovation Policy, ITIF.


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