This Week in Washington IP: Defending Against Chinese IP Theft, Evaluating the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and Vidal’s First PPAC Meeting

Washington IPThis week in Washington IP news, the Subcommittee on Environment in the U.S. House of Representatives starts the week with a look at challenges impacting the future of weather research. Over in the U.S. Senate, the Judiciary Committee will consider several judicial nominations made by President Joe Biden, including one nomination for a circuit judgeship in the Second Circuit, a regional circuit which hears many appeals in intellectual property cases. Elsewhere, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hosts the first PPAC meeting featuring Director Kathi Vidal, the American Enterprise Institute explores unfair Chinese practices including the theft of IP from Western countries, and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation takes a closer look at the main elements and potential impacts of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed into law last November.

Tuesday, June 14 

House Subcommittee on Environment 

What’s The Forecast: A Look at the Future of Weather Research

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

The ability to accurately forecast the weather is rather taken for granted in our modern world thanks in large part to major investments by the federal government into weather research projects at higher education institutions and national laboratories. However, a recent study published by the American Geophysical Union indicates that climate change could make it more difficult in the future for meteorologists to create long-term models that correctly forecast the weather. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Bradley Colman, President-Elect, American Meteorological Society, and Director of Weather Strategy, Bayer and The Climate Corporation; Dr. Kevin R. Petty, VP, Weather and Earth Intelligence, Spire Global, Inc.; Dr. Fred Carr, Professor Emeritus, School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma; and Dr. Scott Glenn, Board of Governors, Professor Center for Ocean Observing Leadership, Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University.

American Enterprise Institute 

Defending Western Economies Against Chinese Unfair Practices

At 10:30 AM on Tuesday in AEI Auditorium, 1789 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Although China is a member of the World Trade Organization and subject to many of its rules under international treaties, this major rival of the United States has taken advantage of globalized systems to take unfair advantage of membership in the global community. One of the most egregious wrongs committed by the Chinese government is the support of intellectual property theft from America and other developed nations to improve domestic industries in China and bolster state-owned enterprises in that country. This event features a discussion on efforts made by American and European lawmakers to counteract unfair economic practices by China with a panel including Darin LaHood, U.S. Representative (R-IL); James Palmer, Deputy Editor, Foreign Policy; Derek Scissors, Senior Fellow, AEI; and Adolfo Urso, Chairman, Italian Parliament Intelligence Committee. This event also features keynote remarks by Mike Turner, U.S. Representative (R-OH).

Brookings Institution

An Inclusive Future? Technological Change and Public Policy

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

Although technological advances over the past century have created great economic gains for many sectors of the global economy, inequalities created by the uneven distribution of economic opportunity has led to social and political problems in many countries including the United States. This event, which will include a presentation on a recent Brookings Institution report on addressing inclusivity issues posed by technological advances, features a discussion with a panel including David Autor, Ford Professor of Economics and Margaret McVicar Faculty Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Kaushik Basu, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, and Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies, Cornell University; Dani Rodrik, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; Laura Tyson, Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School, Professor Emeritus, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; and moderated by Zia Qureshi, Visiting Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

How States Can Make the Most of Broadband Funding

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

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed into law last November provides more than $60 billion in federal funding for broadband infrastructure projects across the nation. However, a late May report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that, although there are more than 100 federal programs across 15 agencies that could be used to expand broadband access, the patchwork system needs a national broadband strategy to synchronize those efforts. The following week, McKinsey & Co. released a report suggesting that many state governments lacked the administrative and planning capacity to make effective use of broadband funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This event will feature a discussion on government funding of broadband access projects with a panel including Evan Feinman, Director, Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce; Tamarah Holmes, Director, Virginia Office of Broadband; Paul Garnett, Founder and CEO, The Vernonburg Group; Alex Minard, State Legislative Council, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; and moderated by Joe Kane, Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

PPAC Fireside Chat With Director Kathi Vidal

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

On Tuesday afternoon, the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) will host a regular meeting to discuss patent operations at the federal agency. This PPAC meeting will be the first such meeting to including newly confirmed USPTO Director Kathi Vidal, who will be available to answer questions from stakeholders on patent-related policies, performance, budgeting and other items.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Hand of History – The Mind of the Inventor Session 2: Television

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

During June, the USPTO will be hosting a series of webinars entitled “The Hand of History – The Mind of the Inventor,” which will showcase major inventions of the 20th century, the patents protecting those inventions and the impact those inventions had on American economic progress. This episode will feature a discussion on Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of the television, led by Evan I. Schwartz, Author, Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker; and Adam Bisno, Historian, USPTO.

Wednesday, June 15

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

Children’s Privacy in Review: The Future of COPPA

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

Since its passage in 1998, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has created a framework by which regulators at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are able to restrict the ability of online service providers in collecting private information from individuals younger than 13 years of age. However, since the FTC last updated its rulemaking under COPPA in 2013, several consumer tech advances in smart devices and messaging apps have created new risks for children, leading many privacy advocates to call for new FTC rulemaking under COPPA. This event will feature a discussion on the prospects for new COPPA rulemaking with a panel including James Cooper, Associate Professor of Law and Director, Program on Economics & Privacy, George Mason University; Julia Tama, Partner, Venable LLP; Brian Scarpelli, Senior Global Policy Counsel, ACT | The App Association; and moderated by Ashley Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Patent Quality Chat: Sequence Listings Under ST.26 and New USPTO Rules

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

On July 1, the USPTO will officially implement Standard ST.26, a new standard for XML formatting of disclosures of amino acid or nucleotide sequences in patent applications that is being promulgated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This USPTO workshop will feature an overview presentation of the new standards and relevant changes by legal and technical experts at the federal agency, including requirements for submitting a Standard ST.26-compliant U.S. or Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent application.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Proud Innovation 2022, Part One: From Ideas to Innovations

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

This June, the USPTO will be presenting a Proud Innovation series of events to highlight members of the LGBTQIA+ community who have leveraged intellectual property rights to achieve success as inventors and entrepreneurs. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Arianna T. Morales, Ph.D., Staff Research Scientist, General Motors R&D Center; Suma Reddy, Co-Founder and CEO, Future Acres; David Taubenheim, Senior Data Scientist, NVIDIA; and moderated by Theodore “TJ” Ronningen, Ph.D., Chair, Out to Innovate, and Research Scientist, Ohio State University.

Thursday, June 16

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Executive Business Meeting

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

On Thursday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene an executive business meeting to consider several nominees selected by President Joe Biden to serve in the federal judiciary. Included among those nominees is Sarah A.L. Merriam, currently U.S. District Judge for the District of Connecticut, who would serve as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. This regional circuit covers the Southern District of New York, which receives many intellectual property case filings.

American Enterprise Institute 

Evaluating the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021

At 3:00 PM on Thursday in AEI Auditorium.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed into law last November is a massive piece of legislation that provides $1.3 trillion in federal funding over eight years to support an incredibly wide array of projects across the United States to maintain critical infrastructure and improve broadband access. This event will feature keynote remarks summarizing the bill and its potential impacts by Adie Tomer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution. Following those remarks will be a discussion with a panel including Jeff Davis, Senior Fellow, Eno Center for Transportation; Susan Howard, Director of Policy and Government Relations, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Patrick D. Jones, Executive Director and CEO, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association; and moderated by R. Richard Geddes, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI.

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Join the Discussion

2 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    June 13, 2022 08:53 pm

    What a surprise:

    What the Big Tech companies of his day did to Philo Farnsworth . . . is exactly what the Big Tech companies of today have done and continue to do to independent inventors and innovative small companies.

    From the Statue of Liberty:

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .”

    Just not your inventors.

  • [Avatar for Greg DeLassus]
    Greg DeLassus
    June 13, 2022 07:28 pm

    What does “theft” even mean in the context of IP? Does it refer to those incredibly rare instances where a burgler opens your safe and carries off the papers on which your trade secrets are written? “Theft”–by definition–deprives the rightful owner of the thing stolen (see, e.g., §155.05 of the NY criminal code, “[a] person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property…” emphasis added).

    If someone learns my secret knowledge, however, I have not lost that knowledge myself. Nothing is “stolen” and no “theft” has occurred.