This Week in Washington IP: Marking Up the American Music Fairness Act, Licensing Patents in the Internet of Things, and Exploring Chinese Patent Licensing and Enforcement Policies

Washington IPThis week in Washington IP news and events, the House Judiciary Committee convenes a hearing Wednesday afternoon to mark up a new copyright bill that would require AM/FM radio stations to pay copyright royalties to music creators. Over in the Senate, the Agriculture Committee explores the research and innovation programs that could be funded through the next iteration of the Farm Bill that will pass Congress next year. Elsewhere, the Hudson Institute pushes back on misguided claims that patent licensing will prevent innovation in the Internet of Things, while the Center for Strategic & International Studies invites USC Gould School of Law Professor Jonathan Barnett for a discussion on patent licensing and enforcement policies in the People’s Republic of China.

Monday, December 5 

Hudson Institute

Licensing and the Internet of Things

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

The development of new and incredibly valuable technologies often spurs a lot of misguided arguments that the need to respect patent rights somehow gets in the way of implementing new technologies. With the Internet of Things (IoT) expected to reach $650.5 billion USD by the year 2026, now is a critical time to push back on spurious claims that a growing number of patent rights somehow hinders innovation. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Bowman Heiden, Director, Center for Intellectual Property, Executive Director, Tusher Center for the Management of Intellectual Capital, UC-Berkeley; Monica Magnusson, Vice President, IPR Policy at IPR & Licensing, Ericsson; Richard Varey, Partner, Bird & Bird; and moderated by Adam Mossoff, Chair, Forum for Intellectual Property and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute. 

Brookings Institution

Unpacking the White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights

At 2:00 PM on Monday at Brookings Institution, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

In early October, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a blueprint for an artificial intelligence (AI) Bill of Rights, which supports a series of guiding principles that OSTP advocates for the development and deployment of automated systems. However, there is a good deal of confusion surrounding how OSTP’s blueprint will be adopted by private companies and public institutions and how the blueprint could be enforced against companies who willfully use AI systems in discriminatory ways. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Harlan Yu, Executive Director, Upturn; Alex Engler, Fellow, Governance Studies; Jerome Greco, Digital Forensics Supervising Attorney, The Legal Aid Society; Sorelle Friedler, Assistant Director for Data and Democracy, White House OSTP; and moderated by Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director, Center for Technology Innovation.

Tuesday, December 6

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry

Farm Bill 2023: Research Programs

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 328A Russell Senate Office Building.

The omnibus agriculture and nutrition legislative package known as the Farm Bill is up for reauthorization in 2023, giving Congress the ability to reassess various research programs sponsored through the legislation. Under the 2018 version of the Farm Bill, priority areas for research funding included agriculture technology, bioenergy, animal health and plant health. The sole witness on the first panel appearing at this hearing will be the Honorable Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Witnesses on the hearing’s second panel will include Dr. Jason Rowntree, CS Mott Chair of Sustainable Agriculture, Director, MSU Center for Regenerative Agriculture, and Professor, Michigan State University; Dr. Felecia Nave, President, Alcorn State University; Dr. Katy Rainey, Associate Professor, Purdue Soybean Center, Purdue University; Steve Ela, Partner and Manager, Ela Family Farms; and Dr. Deacue Fields, Vice President for Agriculture, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Inclusive Innovation: Challenges and Paths Forward

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

In recent years, advocates for the United States’ innovation economy have called for a higher degree of inclusivity among groups who are traditionally underrepresented among America’s inventor class. Addressing talent gaps in the American workforce to ensure that a wider degree of the country’s population is able to pursue their creative ideas, which ultimately benefits society when a wider degree of invention can be reduced to practice by a more diverse pool of creators. A first panel at this event focused on the challenges of inclusion will feature a discussion with Dr. Almesha Campbell, Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Jackson State University, and AUTM Chair-Elect; Dr. Catherine Ashcraft, Director of Research, National Center for Women & Information Technology; Victor Hwang, Founder and CEO, Right to Start; and moderated by Tom Guevara, Director, Indiana University Public Policy Institute, and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. A second panel focused on patenting as an inclusive innovation strategy will feature a discussion with Dr. John Miller, Senior Corporate Counsel, Pfizer; Barbara Fiacco, Partner and Co-Chair of the Patent Litigation Practice, Foley Hoag LLP; Dr. Michelle Saksena, Senior Research Economist, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; and moderated by Andrei Iancu, Former Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Senior Advisor, CSIS.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

How AR/VR Can Revolutionize the Way Businesses Market and Sell Products

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

As mobile devices continue to advance in capabilities, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) immersive experiences are increasingly being leveraged by companies looking to attract the attention of consumers. However, the commercial use of AR/VR technologies raises various legal questions surrounding licensing the intellectual property rights to those technologies and the use of private consumer data collected by AR/VR systems. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Will Duffield, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; Ugonma Nwankwo, Senior Associate, Global Counsel; and moderated by Juan Londoño, Policy Analyst, ITIF.

Wednesday, December 7

House Committee on the Judiciary

Legislative Markup Session

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building.

On Wednesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee will convene a meeting to markup several proposed pieces of legislation including H.R. 4130, the American Music Fairness Act. If passed into law, the bill would amend Title 17 of U.S. Code to require AM/FM radio stations earning more than $1.5 million in annual revenues to pay royalties for playing music over the air. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has submitted an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the bill.

Thursday, December 8

Center for Data Innovation

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

How Should the FTC Address Deceptive Endorsement Advertising Online?

At 11:00 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

Social media platforms have enabled the growth of influencers who are able to make a living representing branded goods online, but this new profession often runs afoul of advertising laws and regulations. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it and several state attorneys general (AGs) had taken civil action against Google and iHeartMedia over a deceptive advertising scheme in which thousands of advertisements recorded by radio personalities recommended Google’s Pixel 4 smartphone without ever receiving or using a Pixel 4. This event, hosted by ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation, will feature a discussion with a panel including Amanda Anderson, Government Relations Director, American Association of Advertising Agencies; Irene Ly, Policy Counsel, Common Sense Media; Christopher Terry, Professor, Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Minnesota; Po Yi, Partner, Advertising, Marketing and Media, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; and moderated by Becca Trate, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

The Path to a Patent, Part VII: How to File a Patent Application Using Patent Center

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

This workshop, the seventh module in the USPTO’s Path to a Patent series, is designed to teach prospective patent applications about using the agency’s online tools to file and manage patent applications online. Topics covered during this workshop include filing application documents in the proper format and Patent Center’s training mode for practicing patent application filings.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

What You Need to Sell Your Arts and Crafts Online: Create New Products and Expand Your Sales Through Merchandising

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

This Thursday marks the final monthly webinar hosted by the USPTO to teach craftspeople from Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian backgrounds how to shift the sales of their arts and crafts from trade shows to online e-commerce platforms. This event is presented by the USPTO in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Indian Arts and Crafts Board and Indian Dispute Resolution Services.

Friday, December 9 

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Hydrogen Development in Latin America: Varying Scenarios for Chile and Paraguay

At 8:00 AM on Friday, online video webinar.

The region of Latin America has taken a more active role in developing renewable energy systems that generate electricity from hydrogen sources. Over in Chile, the country aims to produce the cheapest energy from hydrogen sources in the world by the year 2040, and recently green energy company Atome Energy announced plans to double the capacity of its planned green ammonia project in Paraguay up to 120 megawatts. This event, hosted with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, will feature a discussion with a panel including Manabu Sugioka, Senior Adviser, Geothermal Development, Japan International Cooperation Agency; Juan Carlos Jobet, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Columbia University, Center on Global Energy Policy; and Daniel F. Runde, Senior Vice President, William A. Schreyer Chair, Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, CSIS.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

The China Innovation Challenge: A Conversation With Professor Jonathan Barnett

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

Though China and the communist government ruling that nation have had a spotty history when it comes to the respect of private property rights, China has made large strides in recent years in making available effective enforcement means for addressing patent infringement even among domestic firms. This event will feature a discussion on Chinese policies for patent enforcement, licensing and competition law with Jonathan Barnett, Torrey H. Webb Professor of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law; and Andrei Iancu, Senior Advisor, Renewing American Innovation Project, CSIS.

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Have U.S.-China Tensions Hurt American Innovation?: A Big Data China Event

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

U.S. lawmakers and regulators have strong national security motives to ensure that sensitive information isn’t stolen from American academic institutions, especially by Chinese nationals, but many policies meant to protect American IP can also impact the collaborative environment required for innovation. This event, part of CSIS’ Big Data China series, will feature a presentation of recent research conducted on this topic by Molly Roberts and Ruixue Jia, Professors at UC San Diego. Following that presentation will be a discussion with a panel including James Mulvenon, Scientific Research and Analysis, Peraton Labs; Deborah Seligsohn, Senior Associate, Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics, CSIS; and Abigail Coplin, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Science, Technology and Society, Vassar College.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Patent Public Search: Advanced Tips for Frequent Searchers

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

This workshop is designed to teach USPTO stakeholders how to use the agency’s Patent Public Search tools online to perform patent searches. Topics covered during this workshop include user-defined criteria for tagging patents, document annotations and viewing snippets of patents including search terms.


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