This Week in Washington IP: Examining the Drug Patent Policy Debate, the Future of Section 230 Protections for Online Speech, and Global Collaboration on Quantum Computing

Washington DC Capitol dome detail with waving american flagThis week in Washington IP news, both houses of Congress remain relatively silent during their scheduled work periods. On Thursday, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation partners with George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center to host an all-day conference exploring the potential for the dynamic innovation views espoused by Joseph Schumpeter to make a bigger impact on the current wave of antitrust enforcement against Big Tech. Elsewhere, the American Enterprise Institute discusses the future of Section 230 limited liability provisions protecting online platform operators, and the Center for Strategic & International Studies takes a look at efforts among national governments to establish networks devoted to improving research and development into quantum computing. 

Monday, April 11

American Enterprise Institute

The Future of Online Speech and Regulation: Section 230 and Beyond

At 9:30 on Monday, online video webinar.

The market power of online platforms operated by Big Tech companies has drawn the focus of lawmakers in recent years looking to hold those companies accountable for over-censorship of political viewpoints and the ability of malicious account owners to sell counterfeit items or foment misinformation campaigns. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides a shield for online platforms against legal liability for third-party posted content, has been a favorite target of legislators on either side of the political aisle, and anti-censorship laws have also been passed at the state level. This event will discuss balancing content moderation concerns with safeguards preserving an open Internet with a panel including Chris Cox, Member of the Board of Directors, NetChoice; Daniel Lyons, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI; Jeffrey A. Rosen, Nonresident Fellow, AEI; Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; and moderated by Shane Tews, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI.

Tuesday, April 12

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 2: Registration Process Overview

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

This workshop, the second module in the USPTO’s eight-part Trademark Basics Boot Camp, is designed to give small business owners and entrepreneurs an overview of the trademark registration process from filing through registration. Topics covered during this workshop include application workflow, timeline overview and post-registration timeline overview.

Wednesday, April 13

New America

The Tech That Comes Next: How Changemakers, Technologists, and Philanthropists Can Build an Equitable World

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

The recently published book The Tech That Comes Next explores the world of technological innovation, from the companies funding that development to the end users impacted by consumer technologies, and suggests models for equitable technological development that benefits a larger swath of society. This event features a conversation with the authors of that book: Afua Bruce, Adjunct Faculty, Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy; and Amy Sample Ward, CEO, NTEN. That conversation will be moderated by Dr. Latanya Sweeney, Daniel Paul Professor of the Practice of Government and Technology, Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Charlton McIlwain, Vice Provost for Faculty Engagement and Development, NYU.

Thursday, April 14

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center 

Joint Conference on Dynamic Competition and Public Policy: Reflecting on the Path Forward for Schumpeterian Antitrust

At 8:30 AM on Thursday at ITIF, 700 K Street NW, Suite 600.

Twenty years after the publication of Jerry Ellig’s book Dynamic Competition and Public Policy, a landmark work examining the intersection of antitrust and innovation, D.C. are working harder than ever to pass legislation increasing antitrust enforcement against Big Tech. This all-day conference, jointly hosted by ITIF’s Schumpeter Project on Competition Policy and George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center, will focus on the issues raised by Ellig’s work and how the views on dynamic innovation espoused in the early 20th century by German-Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter should be incorporated into the growing wave of antitrust regulation. An opening keynote address at this conference will be given by Patty Brink, Senior Counsel, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice. The conference will also feature several panels discussing topics including dynamic competition and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s rulemaking authority, a dynamic approach to mergers, precautionary antitrust versus dynamic antitrust, and innovation, IP and antitrust tools reconsidered. This event will close with a keynote address given by Mark Meador, Deputy Chief Counsel for Antitrust and Competition Policy, Senate Judiciary Committee.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

The Future of Quantum – A Closer Look at Global Collaboration

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

The importance of quantum computing technologies to national security, especially due to quantum’s potential to transform encryption technologies, has made that sector of innovation a priority among international security alliances. Recently, the AUKUS trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the U.S. established working groups focused on improving R&D in quantum computing. Over in Europe, many EU member countries also participate in the International Cooperation on Quantum Technologies network to facilitate a collaborative environment for developing quantum technologies. This event will feature a discussion on opportunities for global collaboration in quantum innovation with a panel including Zaira Nazario, Quantum Theorist, IBM Research; Andrew Houck, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Princeton University; Travis Humble, Interim Director, U.S. Department of Energy Quantum Science Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Trade Secret Protection in the United States

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

This USPTO workshop offers a presentation on the state of trade secret protections under U.S. law, with an emphasis on how the enforcement of trade secret rights can aid small- and medium-sized businesses. This presentation will be given by Jennifer Blank, Attorney Advisor, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Path to a Patent, Part II: Drafting Provisional Patent Applications

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

This workshop, the second in the USPTO’s eight-part Path to a Patent series, is designed to teach prospective patent applicants the basics about drafting provisional patent applications. Topics covered during this workshop include key differences between provisional and nonprovisional patent applications, filing requirements for provisional patent applications and filing fees.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

What You Need to Sell Your Arts and Crafts Online: An E-Commerce Primer for Native American Visual Artists and Craftspeople

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

The availability of physical and online markets offers economic opportunity to arts and crafts designers from Native American tribes. However, a heavy shift to online sales and away from live trade shows during the COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges making business success difficult for those creating works from traditional materials and art techniques. This workshop, hosted by the USPTO in partnership with the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and Indian Dispute Resolution Services, will discuss various online channels that Native American craftspeople have for marketing their goods, including online auction sites, artisan e-commerce sites and social networks like Facebook.

Friday, April 15

Hudson Institute

Drug Patents and Evidence-Based Policymaking in Patent Law

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

The potential impact of drug patents on healthcare prices has been a favored punching bag among D.C. lawmakers looking for ways to reduce the cost of medical care. Many of those conversations have been informed by data reported from the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), which has been criticized for a lack of transparency in its datasets along with factual discrepancies in data that I-MAK has published. On April 1, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) renewed requests to the directors of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to examine the claimed discrepancies. This event will feature a discussion on Congress’ policy debate over drug patents with a panel including David Kappos, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO; Erika Lietzan, William H. Pittman Professor of Law and Timothy J. Heinz Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law; Adam Mossoff, Chair, Forum for Intellectual Property and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, and Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University; and moderated by Urška Petrov?i?, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute.



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