This Week in Washington IP: Legislative Measures on Right to Repair, Protecting American Innovation at the NCSC, and Senate Judiciary to Vote on the JCPA

Washington IPThis week in Washington IP news, the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a vote on the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which has faced some stiff opposition in recent weeks, while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence takes a look at operations at the National Counterintelligence and Security Center designed to protect American innovation from being stolen by malicious actors. Over in the House of Representatives, the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process explores potential avenues for protecting the right to repair in the digital age. Elsewhere, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosts its second AI/ET Partnership Series meeting at its Silicon Valley regional office, and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation focuses on the EU’s Digital Markets Act and its possible negative impacts on innovation.

Tuesday, September 20

Senate Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights

Oversight of Federal Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws

At 3:00 PM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

A renewed focus on U.S. antitrust enforcement to address the perceived issues surrounding the market power of Big Tech companies has been drawing sharp battlelines in our nation’s capital during recent years. Over the past year, Big Tech stalwarts including Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook have spent about $95 million on lobbying efforts to derail the American Choice and Innovation Online Act introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chair of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Blockchain & IP: Truth over Trust

At 4:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Advances in several areas of authentication technology, including biometrics and geofencing, have reached a stage of development where small businesses in the field should be considering the intellectual property issues facing them in these sectors. Speakers at this webinar will include Dr. Jason Cross, Chief Strategy Officer, Rymedi; and Doug Kim, IP Attorney, Kim & Lahey Law Firm, LLC.

Wednesday, September 21

House Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process

Right to Repair: Legislative and Budgetary Solutions to Unfair Restrictions on Repair

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in H-313 The Capitol.

While technological protection measures (TPMs) enabling device manufacturers and software copyright owners to securely distribute their products were critical to the advancement of technology about a generation ago, when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed into law, more recently those federal statutes have proven trying for farmers and others whose traditional practices of repairing equipment are increasingly in tension with TPM use. Some states, such as New York, have either proposed or passed legislation that would require electronic device manufacturers to provide diagnostic data and tools to independent repair shops. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

House Subcommittee on Environment

Looking Back to Predict the Future: The Next Generation of Weather Satellites

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

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is engaged in long-term efforts to upgrade the weather prognostication capabilities of U.S. satellites to improve both civilian and military weather forecasts. This November, NASA plans to launch its Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, the second of three JPSS satellites that will include advanced weather and climate instruments. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Stephen Volz, Assistant Administrator, National Environment Satellite, Data, and Information Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; John Gagosian, Joint Agency Satellite Division Director, NASA; and Fred Meny, Assistant Inspector General for Audit and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

How Can Policymakers Encourage More Robo-Lawyers? 

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

The availability of digitally automated legal services could do a great deal to improve accessibility to the U.S. legal system by allowing machine learning systems to provide various document drafting and review services instead of an attorney charging billable hours. This event, hosted by ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation, will explore ways that national policymakers can encourage the new generation of tech-enabled legal services by addressing professional licensing restrictions and state laws. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including David Colarusso, Director of Legal Innovation and Technology Lab, Suffolk University Law School; Mark Hansen, Co-Founder and CTO, Upsolve; Erin Levine, CEO and Founder, Hello Divorce; Lucy Ricca, Director of Policy and Programs, Stanford’s Deborah L. Rhode Center on the Legal Profession; Miguel Willis, Innovator in Residence, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School; and moderated by Morgan Stevens, Research Assistant, Center for Data Innovation, ITIF.

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 

Protecting American Innovation: Industry, Academia, and the National Counterintelligence and Security Center

At 2:30 PM on Wednesday in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.

Established in early 2001, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) has been charged with defeating intelligence efforts being directed at U.S. interests and neutralizing intelligence activities being directed against the nation’s military forces. In August of this year, the NCSC issued a year in review in which it noted that the digital environment within which most of our governmental agencies are operating have created a host of unique counterintelligence challenges to deal with threats from foreign adversaries and non-state actors alike. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable William R. Evanina, Founder and CEO, Evanina Group, and Former Director, NCSC; the Honorable Michelle Van Cleave, Senior Advisor, Jack Kemp Foundation and Former National Counterintelligence Executive; Dr. Kevin Gamache, Vice Chancellor and Chief Research Officer, Texas A&M University System; and Robert Sheldon, Director, Public Policy & Strategy, CloudStrike.

Thursday, September 22

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Executive Business Meeting

At 9:00 AM on Thursday in 106 Dirksen.

On Thursday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene an executive business meeting to consider S. 673, the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (JCPA). This bill, sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), was withdrawn by Klobuchar in an earlier markup hearing during which Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) inserted an amendment limiting the ability of online platforms to moderate content. While the JCPA is intended to improve prospects for news publishers by providing a safe harbor from U.S. antitrust law for collective negotiations over royalties for republication of news articles by online platforms, some critics of the bill argue that the bill will not address the underlying problems facing the news industry.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

PTAB Inventor Hour – Episode 12

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

This webinar is the 12th episode in the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Inventor Hour series, which is designed to teach inventors and prospective patent applicants about ex parte appeals and America Invents Act (AIA) validity trials ongoing at the PTAB. This episode will feature a conversation with Carmine Denisco, United Inventors Association, as well as tips on crafting arguments in ex parte appeal briefs and discovery in AIA trials.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

AI/ET Partnership Series #2: AI & Biotech

At 9:30 PM Pacific (12:30 PM Eastern) on Thursday at Silicon Valley USPTO Regional Office, 26 S. 4th St., San Jose, CA 95112.

This is the second meeting in the USPTO’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Emerging Technologies (ET) Partnership Series, which brings together panelists from those industries to discuss intellectual property issues relevant to their sectors. This meeting, which will focus on AI in the biotech industry, will feature a discussion on considerations when drafting patent applications and claims in the AI and biotech space with a panel including Ernie Beffel, Managing Partner, Haynes Beffel & Wolfeld LLP; Lisa Hillman, Partner, DLA Piper; Erik Huestis, Partner, Foley Hoag LLP; and moderated by Charles Boudreau, Lead Administrative Patent Judge, USPTO. This panel will be followed by a presentation on the AI landscape in biotech by Nicholas Pairolero, Research Economist, USPTO. Following a break, a second discussion on trends regarding technologies converging in the life sciences space with a panel including Hogene Choi, Partner, Morrison Foerster; Theofanis Karaletsos, Vice President of Data Science and Machine Learning, Insitro; Allison Schmitt, Fellow and Director, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology Life Sciences Project; Karl Skowronek, Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO; and moderated by Nelson Yang, Senior Advisor and Director of International Patent Business Solutions, USPTO.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Path to a Patent, Part VIII: Common Mistakes and Post-Filing Support

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

This workshop is the final installment of the USPTO’s eight-part Path to a Patent series, which teaches prospective patent applicants about the basics of the patent prosecution process at the agency. This installment of the series will focus on common mistakes to avoid when filing a patent application as well as post-filing procedures requiring responses by patent applicants.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

The EU’s Digital Markets Act: A Triumph of Regulation Over Innovation?

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

The Digital Markets Act, which became effective this March in the European Union, increases regulatory oversight over “gatekeeper” online platforms and prohibiting those companies from engaging in anticompetitive or self-preferencing behaviors on core platform services such as search engines or social media. While the Digital Markets Act is premised on the idea that large companies must be reined in to promote consumer welfare, some pundits argue that its disproportionate obligations on gatekeeper companies will be economically detrimental and that its regulatory framework is highly fragmented and will be difficult to implement. This event, hosted by ITIF’s Schumpeter Project on Competition Policy, features a discussion on these issues with a panel including Guiseppe Colangelo, Associate Professor, University of Basilicata; Renato Nazzini, Professor of Law, King’s College London; Denis Sparas, Legal and Policy Officer, European Commission; Andras Toth, Chairman of the Competition Council, Vice President of the Hungarian Competition Authority, and Associate Professor, Karoli University of Budapest; Lea Zuber, Policy Officer, European Commission; and moderated by Aurelien Portuese, Director, Schumpeter Project on Competition Policy, ITIF.

Brookings Institution

Crypto, Digital Assets, and the Future of Payments System

 At 3:30 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

Despite the volatility of cryptocurrencies, there is a growing understanding among financial regulators that such digital payment systems will likely become a larger part of the global financial system. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a report on the future of money and payments in which the Treasury Department discussed potential designs for a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC) and recommended encouraging the use of instant payment systems among U.S. consumers. This event will feature keynote remarks from Nellie Liang, Undersecretary for Domestic Finance, U.S. Department of the Treasury. Following those remarks will be a discussion with a panel including Liang; Tonantzin Carmona, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Brookings Metro; Paige Paridon, Senior Vice President and Senior Associate General Counsel, Bank Policy Institute; Kristin Smith, Executive Director, The Blockchain Association; and moderated by David Wessel, Director, The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, and Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution.


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