This Week in Washington IP: Balancing the First Amendment and Trademark Law, Preserving Biopharmaceutical Innovation, and Evaluating AI-Generated Art

Washington IPThis week in Washington IP news, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will question the CEO of Moderna about the company’s potential price hike of the COVID vaccine. In the House, the Committee on Foreign Affairs will hear from Secretary of State Antony Blinken on competition with China. Elsewhere, the Hudson Institute is holding an event one day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case that could have big implications for trademark law.

Tuesday, March 21

Hudson Institute

Jack Daniel’s v. VIP Products Argument Preview: The Supreme Court Takes On Humorous Uses of Trademarks

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, online webinar

On Tuesday, the Hudson Institute will hold this event one day before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Jack Daniel’s v. VIP Products. While this case involving novelty dog toys may seem unimportant at first glance, it will have potentially wide-reaching implications on the First Amendment and trademark law. Hudson Legal Fellow Devlin Hartline and expert panelists Megan K. Bannigan, Ben Sheffner, and Vijay Toke will discuss this important case and how the Court can strike a balance between the First Amendment and trademark law. 

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

AI-Generated Art: Boom or Bust for Human Creativity?

At 11:00 AM on Tuesday, online webinar

On Tuesday, the ITIF will discuss the boom in interest in AI-generated art. The improving technology poses challenges and potential use cases for those working in creative industries. Some worry that AI-generated art will have a chilling impact on human creativity and others see it as a potential tool to add to their arsenal. The new technology has also thrown up lots of questions in the IP industry. All of this will be discussed by a panel of speakers at this ITIF webinar.

Wednesday, March 23

United States Patent and Trademark Office

China IP Road Show in Minnesota: Strategies for protecting intellectual property in China

At 8:30 AM on Wednesday, Training Center 330 Second Avenue South, 1st Floor, Minneapolis

On Wednesday, the USPTO will host a day-long event in Minneapolis to inform small and medium-sized companies how they can protect their IP in China. This free program will feature insights from experts from the U.S. government, IP attorneys, and local businesspeople. The event will also discuss recent IP developments in China and the importance of protecting a company’s IP in China even if you do not operate in the country.

Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Taxpayers Paid Billions For It: So Why Would Moderna Consider Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine?

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday, 216 Hart Senate Office Building and online livestream

On Wednesday, this committee will hear from Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel among others about the company’s future pricing plans for the COVID vaccine. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is chairman of the committee and has been very critical of the company after its CEO said it might quadruple the price of the vaccine. In a majority staff report for the committee published in February, Sanders wrote, “Moderna saw far greater returns from its COVID-19 vaccine, the company’s only approved drug and one that relied heavily on federally funded research with many of its executives becoming billionaires during the pandemic.”

Thursday, March 23

House Committee on Foreign Affairs

The State of American Diplomacy in 2023: Growing Conflicts, Budget Challenges, and Great Power Competition

At 10:00 AM on Thursday, U.S. Capitol, HVC-210 and online livestream

On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak in front of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs about the so-called Great Power Competition between the United States and China. Last month, the Secretary of State canceled a high-level meeting with Chinese diplomats after a balloon from China traversed the continental United States. While some foreign policy watchers believed tensions were potentially cooling ahead of the prospective meeting, they have now deteriorated.

House Subcommittee on Energy

Unleashing American Power: The Development of Next Generation Energy Infrastructure

At 2:00 PM on Thursday, 2318 Rayburn House Office Building and online livestream

On Thursday, this subcommittee will discuss three drafts of legislative bills that would authorize research, development, and demonstration activities in grid security, hydrogen, and pipelines. A variety of stakeholders will testify from the business and research world. Last week, President Biden approved the controversial Willow oil drilling project in Alaska.

Friday, March 24

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Preserving a Virtuous Cycle: The Economics of Biopharmaceutical Innovation

At noon on Friday, Hart Senate Office Building 902 and online livestream

On Friday, academics and industry experts will discuss a new report from ITIF that examines the economics of biopharmaceutical innovation and how the United States can maintain a supportive environment for this innovation. The ITIF panel will explore the different policy options available to maximally support life-sciences innovation. The panel includes David Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University, Sue Peschin, President and CEO of Alliance for Aging Research, and Neeraj Sood, Professor and Vice Dean for Research at the USC Price School of Public Policy.



Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of

Join the Discussion

One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    March 20, 2023 11:08 pm

    “Strategies for protecting intellectual property in China”

    In China?! China!?

    Instead of offering strategies for protecting intellectual property in the United States?!

    When inventors can’t even protect their IP here in America!?

    Really?! Really!?

    Welcome to a world turned upside down and inside out.

    Courtesy of your friendly neighborhood . . . U.S. Patent Office.

Varsity Sponsors

IPWatchdog Events

Patent Portfolio Management Masters™ 2024
June 24 @ 1:00 pm - June 26 @ 2:00 pm EDT
Webinar – Sponsored by LexisNexis
August 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
Women’s IP Forum
August 26 @ 11:00 am - August 27 @ 5:00 pm EDT
IP Solutions, Services & Platforms Expo
September 9 @ 1:00 pm - September 10 @ 2:00 pm EDT

From IPWatchdog