This Week in Washington IP: Honoring World Intellectual Property Day, Ensuring FDA User Fees Advance Innovation, and IP’s Role in Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic

This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Health Committee will host a hearing on Tuesday to address ways that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s user fee program can better advance innovation in medical products. In the House of Representatives, the Financial Services Committee will explore data privacy and consumer protection concerns that are related to the increasing available of digital wallets on mobile devices. Elsewhere, the Center for Strategic & International Studies partners with the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation to discuss the role of intellectual property in driving forward the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, while the U.S. Copyright Office, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and others celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on Tuesday with a focus on this year’s theme, IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future.

Monday, April 25

New America

Creating a Strong Public Interest Technology Project

At 2:30 PM on Monday, online video webinar.

Successful projects for deploying technologies that advance the public interest are often developed with a view towards enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion among the many stakeholders who are expected to benefit from the technology. This event on developing public interest technology projects will feature stories of projects that have incorporated diversity initiatives to bring communities closer together and suggestions on how project developers can expand upon their ability to achieve diversity and inclusion goals. The event will be moderated by Afua Bruce, Adjunct Faculty, Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, and Co-Author, The Tech That Comes Next: How Changemakers, Philanthropists, and Technologists Can Build an Equitable World.

Tuesday, April 26

U.S. Copyright Office

Engage Your Creativity: Copyright and IP for Young Professionals

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

The U.S. Copyright Office will celebrate World Intellectual Property Day starting on Tuesday morning and will feature stories of young artists and innovators who were able to turn their creative ideas into professional successes thanks to the strength of their intellectual property rights. Introductory remarks at this event will be offered by Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights. Other speakers at this event include Altaye Tedla Desta, Director, eLearning Program, World Intellectual Property Organization; George Thuronyi, Interim Head, Public Information and Education Office; Branden Ritchie, Senior Attorney, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Jaylen Johnson, Attorney-Advisor, Public Information and Education Office; and Christopher Kenneally, Copyright Alliance.

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions 

FDA User Fee Agreements: Advancing Medical Product Regulation and Innovation for the Benefits of Patients, FDA Center Directors

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

User fees paid by entities seeking market approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for medical device products, drugs and biologics augment Congressional appropriations to the agency and help ensure that the FDA can hire the staff necessary to review applications for new medical products. Earlier this month, the Senate Health Committee held a hearing that was also focused on FDA user fee agreements during which Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) discussed concerns regarding the FDA’s failure to meet agency product development goals despite major increases to the amount of fees collected by the FDA since the user fee program was first instituted in the early 1990s. The witness panel for this hearing will include Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA; Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA; and Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., Director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

IP Stories: Innovating for a Better Future

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

Intellectual property rights play a crucial role not only in incentivizing creators to disseminate their works and progress the state of science and the arts, but they also function as a critical mechanism for attracting the investment capital that enables the commercialization of those works. This Tuesday is World Intellectual Property Day 2022 and this year’s theme focuses on the impact that young people around the world have had in addressing global challenges through innovative developments. This event will feature a discussion on stories of individual artists and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have been able to succeed thanks to strong IP rights that are enforceable to prevent counterfeits and secure the markets that those creators deserve. The discussion panel at this event will include Amanda Colleen Williams, Singer/Songwriter, Entrepreneur; Fabrice Guerrier, Founder and CEO, Syllble; Jason Troutner, CTO, Teal Bio; Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, Committee for Justice; and moderated by Jaci McDole, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

World Intellectual Property Day 2022

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

The USPTO will kick off its celebration of World Intellectual Property Day 2022 on Tuesday afternoon with an event that will focus on how to improve IP protection in sustainable technology industries and current efforts in Congress to pass laws related to IP. The event will feature a fireside chat discussing ways to promote IP awareness among young innovators with Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO; Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and Director, U.S. Copyright Office; and Daren Tang, Director General, World Intellectual Property Office.

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, is designed to teach small business owners and entrepreneurs about the basic requirements for filing an initial trademark application. Topics covered during this workshop include drawings, identification of goods and services, filing bases, and specimens and ornamentation.

Wednesday, April 27

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Innovation and IP’s Role in Combatting the COVID-19 Pandemic

At 11:30 AM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

Calls for waivers to international IP obligations to inventions and technologies related to COVID-19 under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) have inspired pushback from many IP experts who note that, not only is there no evidence that patent rights provide a barrier to accessing medical treatments and vaccines, but patent rights actually solve access problems because they provide a mechanism for protecting investments into vaccines that are costly to develop but cheap to duplicate. The first panel at this event, jointly hosted by the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, will feature a discussion on the role of IP in facilitating COVID-19 vaccine production with a panel including Marco Aleman, Assistant Director General, IP and Innovation Ecosystems, World Intellectual Property Organization; Jayashree Watal, Honorary Professor, National Law University (India); Chris Hattingh, South African Institute of Race Relations; Carlos Felipe Escobar Roa, Institute INNOS (Columbia); and moderated by Andrei Iancu, Senior Advisor, Renewing American Innovation Project, CSIS. A second panel at this event will feature a discussion on the role of technology and innovation in developing COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics with a panel including Simon Tripp, Principal and Senior Director, TECONOMY Partners; David Adler, Senior Adviser, XA Investments; Jennifer Brant, Director, Innovation Council; Dr. Monique Mansoura, Executive Director, Global Health Security & Biotechnology, Mitre; and moderated by Stephen Ezell, Vice President for Global Innovation Policy, ITIF.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

AI and AVs: Implications in U.S.-China Competition

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

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are driving massive changes in many industries and in the automotive sector, AI is being deployed to obviate the need for human drivers and reduce the risk of driving mistakes leading to dangerous car accidents. In terms of economic competitiveness, securing dominance in AI technologies and autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be a focal point for both the United States and China as those two nations battle for control of the major technologies of the 21st century. This event will begin with opening remarks from Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), to be followed by a discussion with a panel including Admiral Dennis Blair, Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence; John Bozzella, CEO, Alliance for Automotive Innovation; James Andrew Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS; William Alan Reinsch, Senior Advisor and Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS.

Thursday, April 28

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

PTAB Inventor Hour – Episode 7

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

This workshop, part of the USPTO’s PTAB Inventor Hour series, will feature presentations on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s Pro Bono Program, including inventor eligibility, required qualifications for patent practitioner volunteers, and the process of matching inventors to pro bono patent practitioners. The workshop will feature a discussion on the PTAB Pro Bono Program with Janet Gongola, Vice Chief Judge, PTAB; Stacey White, Lead Judge, PTAB; and Brandy Zukanovich, PTAB Detailee.

House Committee on Financial Services 

What’s In Your Digital Wallet? A Review of Recent Trends in Mobile Banking and Payments

At 2:00 PM on Thursday in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building.

Digital wallet apps available on mobile electronic devices have been supplanting physical wallets in recent years, but the use of personal devices in retail transactions and digitalization of user financial information have created a myriad of data privacy and consumer protection concerns, many of which were outlined in a report on digital wallet technology issued last week by the Congressional Research Service. Further, the integration of consumer technology with financial services has given Big Tech firms another foothold in a rapidly developing sector of the economy, helping to entrench firms that many D.C. lawmakers have increasingly been targeting under U.S. antitrust law. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

The Path to a Patent, Part III: Patent Searching

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

This workshop, the third module in the USPTO’s Path to a Patent series, teaches prospective patent applicants about the basics of prior art searching and preliminary searching using the agency’s suggested Seven-Step Strategy.


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