Marla Grossman is one of the country’s preeminent intellectual property, technology and trade government relations attorneys. As a partner at the American Continental Group, she helps her clients with strategic public policy planning and representation before the White House, U.S. federal agencies and the U.S. Congress. Before joining ACG, Ms. Grossman was a partner at PCT Government Relations, a lobbying firm focused on intellectual property and technology public policy matters. Prior to that, Ms. Grossman was a partner at the law firm of DLA Piper. From 1997-1999, Ms. Grossman served as minority counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where she was instrumental in the development of policy positions and legislative initiatives for current U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Before working on Capitol Hill, she served as the Assistant Director of Public Liaison and Director of Law Enforcement Outreach for the Clinton-Gore 1996 presidential campaign.
As we thankfully see 2020 fading into the rear-view mirror and all look forward to a hopefully much better 2021, we want to take a moment to reflect on what the past year brought us and how the stage is set for another very fluid and consequential year for intellectual property policy. In times like these, it is clear that leadership matters more than ever. During some of the most challenging times our country has faced, there were a number of places where we saw strong leadership result in tangible progress. This year has already shown us a dramatic first few days. Beyond the tragic events in the U.S. Capitol, we saw the somewhat unexpected shift of power in the Senate to Democratic control based on the election of both Rev. Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff in Georgia. It is clear that the new Congress and the new Biden Administration will face huge challenges before we approach anything close to “normal” in any sense. That said, when it comes to IP, what can we expect?
As the year draws to a close, we reflect on what mattered most in the world of intellectual property during 2019.?It was a particularly active year on IP issues, with important events in the courts, Congress, and agencies. Below we have highlighted a few of the most significant activities. Compare our list to yours and let us know what you think!?
Last year at this time, I wished for the passage of trade secrets legislation, resolution of the patent reform legislation stalemate in Congress, that the USPTO consider evidence of non-preemption during its initial determination of patent eligibility; and that the USPTO prioritize accuracy, completeness and accessibility of the public record as part of its Patent Quality Review… If a genie were to appear to grant me wishes for 2017, I would ask for two things in particular: First, that the USPTO not change the information printed on the front page of issued patents. Second, that the Commerce Department cease attempts to make the USPTO pay for the shared services initiative.
We know that not only are copyrights grounded in the constitution, but core copyright industries contribute approximately $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, and employ over 5.5 million American workers. At the same time, however, we are acutely aware that, unfortunately, copyright theft online is rampant, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has increasingly become ill equipped to address even flagrant, willful copyright infringement in the digital world. What we don’t know, however, is how President-Elect Trump and the Trump Administration will view copyright issues, and whether pro-creator copyright reforms will be on the President’s agenda come January 20, 2017. We can, however, make some educated guesses based on Trump’s entertainment industry ties, his potential Supreme Court nominees, and those he is surrounding himself with on his Transition Team and in a Trump Administration that is increasingly taking shape.
If Gene (the “genie”) were to grant me patent and IP wishes for 2016, I would ask for (in no particular order) the passage of trade secrets legislation, resolution of the current patent reform legislation stalemate in Congress, that the USPTO consider evidence of non-preemption during its initial determination of patent eligibility; and that the USPTO prioritize accuracy, completeness and accessibility of the public record as part of its Patent Quality Review.
During the first quarter of the 2013, Congressional attention will be focused on budget, appropriations and debt ceiling matters – along with a few other public policy issues that have recently taken center stage – such as gun control. That does not mean, however, that work on other important issues will cease, and lawmakers will have to contend with several other matters – including key copyright issues – during the 113th Congress.