Here are the Democratic Members of the House IP Subcommittee for the 118th Congress

“[Ranking Member Hank] Johnson has shown interest in addressing some of the concerns that continue to attach to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).… Rep. Lofgren has [also] been an influential voice in patent and intellectual property law during her time in Congress.”

DemocraticShortly after the Republican membership of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet was announced, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the Democratic rosters for each subcommittee. Below, we profile the Democrats who will occupy the House IP Subcommittee during the 118th Congress, including Representatives hailing from a well-known research district in North Carolina and a California lawmaker whose home district lays claim to a major space R&D laboratory.

Ranking Member Hank Johnson (GA-04)

Born October 2, 1954, Congressman Hank Johnson has represented the 4th District of Georgia since 2007. Prior to that, Johnson was an associate judge of DeKalb County Magistrate Court from 1989 to 2001 and then as a member of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners from 2001 to 2006. Johnson is a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and previously served as the Chair of the IP Subcommittee during the 116th Congress which convened in 2019. The biography page on Johnson’s official House website lists digital inclusion and open Internet as technology issues the now-Ranking Member of the IP Subcommittee has championed in the past.

In recent years, Rep. Johnson has shown interest in addressing some of the concerns that continue to attach to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In a House IP Subcommittee hearing on the PTAB last June, Johnson said that it was “a natural time to evaluate the impact of the PTAB’s work” and submitted testimony from inventor Molly Metz, whose fight to protect her intellectual property rights from invalidation by infringing parties at the PTAB is emblematic of many similarly situated independent inventors. Johnson has also questioned the U.S. Supreme Court’s ability to handle issues with the PTAB in statements given during a November 2019 IP subcommittee hearing about the problems raised by the Federal Circuit’s ruling that year in Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew.

Ted Lieu (CA-36)

Born March 29, 1969, and emigrating to the United States from Taiwan at three years of age, Congressman Ted Lieu joined the House of Representatives in 2015 and currently represents the 36th District of California. Lieu previously served in both the California State Senate, from 2011 to 2014, and in the California State Assembly, from 2005 to 2010. Lieu is among the highly ranked within the Democratic Party, having recently been elected to serve as the Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. His biography page lists cybersecurity, cloud computing and innovation matters as issues of interest for Lieu and it notes that he is one of the few members of Congress with an undergraduate degree in computer science.

Along with Ranking Member Johnson, Rep. Lieu is an original co-sponsor of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act, which established the Copyright Claims Board as a cost-effective alternative to U.S. district court proceedings for handling small copyright infringement claims. Previous coverage of Lieu by The Atlantic has painted him as overly sympathetic to tech giant Google, a company which has taken great efforts to push patent reform in ways favorable to its bottom line for at least a decade.

Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)

Born December 21, 1947, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren has served 13 terms in the House of Representatives, which she first joined in 1995 after serving 14 years on Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors. A previous member of the House IP Subcommittee, Lofgren also serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and is the elected Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation. Among Rep. Lofgren’s innovation and tech policy credentials on her official House biography include her opposition of the Stop Piracy Online Act (SOPA) and the use of surveillance technology by government entities.

Rep. Lofgren has been an influential voice in patent and intellectual property law during her time in Congress. In 2018, Lofgren reached across the political aisle to join Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, then the Chair of the House IP Subcommittee, during a hearing to lambaste then-USPTO Director Andrei Iancu about the change in claim construction standard utilized by the PTAB during validity trials. Despite following up with a strongly worded letter to the USPTO about the need to retain the broadest reasonable interpretation standard as necessary to fend off so-called “patent trolls,” Lofgren was an original co-sponsor of the Innovation Act which would have accomplished the very change for which then-Director Iancu was so severely castigated.

Adam Schiff (CA-30)

Born June 22, 1960, Congressman Adam Schiff serves the 30th District of California and has been a member of the House of Representatives going back to 2001. After a six-year stint as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, Schiff was a member of the California State Senate from 1996 to 2000. Schiff’s official House biography page notes that his district contains the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In July 2018, Rep. Schiff made statements during a hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which Schiff then served as Ranking Member, indicating his concerns that China poses an increasing economic and national security threat to the United States by building an economy that has made that foreign rival a leader in manufacturing and technology industries. In 2019, Schiff was also a signatory to a letter by other then-members of IP subcommittees from both houses of Congress asking Google to make greater efforts to provide online tools for copyright owners to identify infringing recordings posted to YouTube.

Joe Neguse (CO-02)

Born May 13, 1984, to parents who emigrated to the United States from Eritrea, Congressman Joe Neguse has served Colorado’s 2nd District in the House of Representatives since 2019 following a two-year stint as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. The biography page on his House website notes that Neguse served as the Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, and he was ranked among the top 10 most effective lawmakers by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.

During the 117th Congress, Rep. Neguse was a member of the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law where he has been a vocal critic of Facebook. In a July 2019 hearing on online platforms and market power, Neguse pushed Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Development to acknowledge that the social media giant maintains a near-monopoly status in the social networking world. In November of that same year, Neguse indicated at another online platforms and market power hearing that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission should have obtained more than a $5 billion settlement with Facebook in July 2019 over the company’s violation of an earlier consent order surrounding deceptive claims on user privacy tools.

Deborah Ross (NC-02)

Born June 20, 1963, Congresswoman Deborah Ross has served the 2nd District of North Carolina since first being elected to the House of Representatives in 2019. Ross spent 10 years in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 2003 to 2013 and then served for three years as the legal counsel for the Raleigh-area regional transit authority GoTriangle. Her House website biography notes that Ross also serves on the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology, where she has worked to advance legislation related to clean energy.

Rep. Ross’s district includes the Research Triangle area of Raleigh, NC, which contains Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University, each of which have very productive research programs. Among Ross’s clean energy bills include the Energizing Technology Transfer Act, which was incorporated into the major CHIPS and Science Act signed into law by President Biden last August. Ross was also on the House IP Subcommittee at the PTAB hearing last June where she questioned whether a parallel standard of proof should apply to PTAB proceedings when infringement proceedings between the parties is concurrently taking place in U.S. district court. Other legislative work by Ross includes sponsoring the House version of the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022, which was already passed by the Senate and would direct regional USPTO satellite offices to include outreach and retention activities targeted at underrepresented groups. 

Madeleine Dean (PA-04)

Born June 6, 1959, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean has represented Pennsylvania’s 4th District, including much of suburban north Philadelphia, since 2019. From 2012 to 2018, Dean served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and previously was the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association. Rep. Dean joined Rep. Ross as two of 14 Congressional lawmakers signing a letter addressed to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai regarding concerns over potential adverse impacts of a waiver to international IP obligations under the TRIPS Agreement for COVID-19 treatments, “such as hampering American manufacturing and shifting jobs to foreign countries.”

Glenn Ivey (MD-04)

Born February 27, 1961, Congressman Glenn Ivey is part of the freshman class of the House of Representatives and is currently serving his first term representing Maryland’s 4th District. From 2003 to 2011, Ivey was the State’s Attorney of Prince George’s County, Maryland’s second-most populous county. He has also worked as counsel on the staff of then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, for Senator Paul Sarbanes during Whitewater, and has also been on the staff of long-time Representative John Conyers.


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