This Week in Washington IP: FTC’s Non-compete Proposal, Competition in Ticketing Services, and the Effectiveness of AI in Content Moderation week in Washington IP news, Congress is back in session with a light week of hearings including a Senate Judiciary hearing on competition in live entertainment. Elsewhere, there is a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) training session on the patent appeals process, and a discussion about President Biden’s tech agenda from the ITIF.

Tuesday, January 24          

Hudson Institute

The FTC, Labor Markets, and Agency Authority: A Discussion with Maureen Ohlhausen

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent proposal to ban non-compete clauses in employment contracts has left split opinions in the business and technology world. The FTC claims it will be a boon to employees and increase wages by $300 billion while helping stimulate innovation. However, if implemented it is likely to run into legal challenges from various state and federal institutions. Hudson Senior Fellow Harold Furchtgott-Roth is hosting this discussion with Maureen K. Ohlhausen, former FTC chairman.

Senate Judiciary Committee

That’s the Ticket: Promoting Competition and Protecting Consumers in Live Entertainment

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 226 and online

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding this hearing in response to Ticketmaster’s poor handling of Taylor Swift ticket sales in November of last year. The committee will look at the anti-competitive nature of the merger between two ticketing giants Ticketmaster and Live Nation and how it impacts consumers looking to purchase tickets to live events.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

SOaR Joint Voices: Featuring the patents appeal process and highlights from the USPTO Texas Regional Office

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar

This stakeholder training focuses on how to appeal a patent application decision in front of the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB). Additionally, the hosts will share resources with inventors and provide a general overview of the appeals process. Hope Shimabuku, Director of the Texas Regional Office (TXRO) will also share resources at the event for stakeholders in TXRO’s region.

Wednesday, January 25

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Should Congress Pass President Biden’s Tech Agenda?

At 10:30 AM on Wednesday, online video webinar

President Biden’s administration has set out an agenda to “tackle the shortcomings of Big Tech” by reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and increasing competition in the technology sector. The ITIF panel, featuring leaders from technology trade associations and think tanks, will discuss how feasible and desirable this agenda is.

American Enterprise Institute

Is Artificial Intelligence Effective at Content Moderation?

At 3:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar

Artificial intelligence is widely used for content moderation, ranging from removing illegal content to recognizing copyrighted material. This talk will look more broadly at how far AI should be deployed for content moderation purposes.

Thursday, January 26

The Path to a Patent, Part III: Patent searching

On Thursday, January 26 from 2-3:30 p.m. ET, the USPTO will hold part three of the Path to a Patent series, where topics including preliminary searching, the Seven-Step Strategy and resources for patent searching will be discussed. The Path to a Patent quarterly series offers training in IP basics for independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. More information is available at email [email protected] or [email protected].

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