Posts Tagged: "Congress"

Meet the New Republican Membership of the House IP Subcommittee

Following an incredibly contentious vote for Speaker of the House, it has taken some time for Congressional subcommittees to take shape. However, at least the Republican membership of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet has taken shape in recent days, featuring a couple of well-known politicians whose efforts on patent system reforms have represented the interests of either end of the world of IP system stakeholders. The House IP Subcommittee during the 118th Congress also contains several incoming Representatives, including a few that have had some engagement with IP matters prior to joining the subcommittee.

This Week in Washington IP: IPWatchdog Event to Review the State of the PTAB; US Inventor Protests in D.C.; and the House Considers Supply Chain Challenges

This week in Washington IP news, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is holding a hearing on the state of the country’s supply chains, IPWatchdog is hosting a two-day event on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at its headquarters, and an educator is sharing his experience implementing IP education as a STEM teacher and his current work with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

ITIF Report: The U.S. Underestimates China as an ‘Imitator’ Rather Than an Innovator at Its Own Peril

On January 23, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) published a report entitled Wake Up, America: China is Overtaking the United States in Innovation Output, which applies innovation and industrial performance metrics for comparing relative innovation outputs from foreign technological rivals China and the United States. The report, produced by ITIF’s Hamilton Center on Industrial Strategy, is the latest indicator that China is close to surpassing the United States in terms of innovation output per capita and calls upon U.S. policymakers to develop a national economic and technology policy to restore U.S. dominance in innovation.

Darrell Issa Doesn’t Understand That He is the Problem

US Inventor is publicly opposing the appointment of Representative Darrell Issa (R – CA) to Chair the IP Subcommittee due to Issa’s record of IP reforms that are harmful to independent inventors and startups. To accomplish these IP reforms, Issa squelches the voices of independent inventors and startups while amplifying the voices of Big Tech and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controlled multinationals. Now, in a recent statement, Issa argues that his IP reforms have made the patent system more fair for everyone, even as the facts show he is completely wrong. Issa is unfit to be IP Subcommittee Chair.

Issa is Not a Fit for IP Subcommittee Chairman

The House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee—Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet (IP Subcommittee) writes patent law and is responsible for other patent-related initiatives. A country’s patent laws directly affect its innovation economy. In a free-market economy, patent laws can boost or destroy incentives to invent and commercialize new things. As a result, patent law influences economic and job growth, social mobility, technological advances and national security. The 118th congress has begun. Currently, the Republican Steering Committee is selecting the Chairs for the various committees and filling the ranks with members. The next step is for the Chairs of the various committees to select their subcommittee chairs. In the case of the IP Subcommittee, Jim Jordan is the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, so he selects the IP Subcommittee Chair. Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) is the most likely candidate to be selected.

This Week in Washington IP: U.S.-China Competition, Microelectronic Supply Chains, and Creating a More Inclusive Workplace Culture

This week in Washington IP news, after a hectic week that saw the House take 15 rounds of voting to nominate new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, both the House and Senate will not be holding any hearings this week. Events to look out for this week include the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hosting a discussion on how companies can create a more inclusive culture, the Hudson holding a panel discussion on microelectronics in the U.S., and a talk on technological innovation from a former Google CEO hosted by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

This Week in Washington IP: Pride in Patent Ownership Bill Back on Senate Agenda, IPWatchdog Webinar Reviews Vidal’s Impact on PTAB, and USPTO Hosts Boardside Chat with Deputy Director

This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding an Executive Business Meeting in which they will discuss the Pride in Patent Ownership Act, while several Senate subcommittees hold hearings related to American manufacturing, diversity in entrepreneurship, and increasing access to capital in underserved markets. Elsewhere, IPWatchdog is hosting a webinar discussing USPTO Director Kathi Vidal’s tenure, the USPTO will host a virtual Boardside Chat with Deputy Director Derrick Brent, and the CSIS looks at the latest meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC).

Senate Judiciary Set to Consider Pride in Patent Ownership Bill Amid Opposition

As the Senate Judiciary Committee gears up for an Executive Business Meeting Thursday where members will in part consider S.2774, the Pride in Patent Ownership Act, co-sponsored by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), a number of patent advocacy organizations have sent a joint letter to the committee asking it to oppose the bill. The Pride in Patent Ownership Act (PPOA) is seemingly intended to ensure that the public has access to information about the true owner of a patent. But critics of the bill have noted that it focuses on ownership of patents, and does not seek to provide true transparency by identifying those funding and benefiting from Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) challenges, for instance. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) last year questioned the bill’s approach, which  would entail penalizing patent owners who fail to record accurate ownership information within 90 days after the issuance date.

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

This 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.

Former Commerce, USPTO Heads Push for U.S. to Lead Opposition to Extending WTO’s COVID IP Waiver

In a webinar hosted today by the Council for Innovation Promotion (C4IP), the organization’s founders, Andrei Iancu and David Kappos, both former Directors of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), spoke with former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke, about the increased skepticism surrounding a plan to extend the waiver of intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics. According to Kappos, while World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries were supposed to decide on December 17 whether to extend the waiver, “given the rising opposition and other countries starting to raise their hands” with questions, “it’s seeming likely the WTO will defer its decision until the New Year.”

US Inventor Arguments for Opposing the Pride in Patent Ownership Act Fall Short on the Merits

Last September, a bipartisan pair of Senators introduced the Pride in Patent Ownership Act, which, if passed, would add greatly-needed transparency to our patent system. The legislation would require patent owners to disclose their identity to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when a patent issues and whenever it changes hands so that members of the public have easy access to information about who the true owners of patents are. Right now, inventors, businesses, and other interested members of the public often have to undertake time consuming and expensive litigation to determine who owns a patent. As Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) rightly pointed out when introducing the legislation, “Patents provide a limited term monopoly against the public, and it’s in the public’s interest and benefit to know who owns that monopoly.”

USPTO, Copyright Office Joint Study on NFTs Could Help Dispel Confusion About IP Ownership in Media Content Underlying Digital Assets

On November 23, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S. Copyright Office published a joint notice of inquiry in the Federal Register announcing that the two agencies would be collaborating on a study regarding intellectual property legal issues related to digital assets known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The announcement follows the dramatic rise in mainstream attention on NFTs due to their wildly fluctuating value, which has in turn created a great amount of confusion surrounding IP rights to NFTs and the underlying digital files used to create them.

This Week in Washington IP: Science Results from the James Webb Space Telescope, Measuring Innovation and Competitiveness in the U.S. and EU, and PPAC’s Next Regular Meeting at the USPTO

This week in Washington IP news, the House Space Subcommittee takes a look at the first few images and scientific measurements that have been captured by the James Webb Space Telescope, while the Senate Judiciary Committee vets several nominees to federal judgeships including a couple of judges chosen for appellate courts seeing much of the country’s IP appeals. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation releases the findings of a joint study on competitiveness and innovation in North America and Europe, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hosts the latest regular meeting of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and Brookings Institution discusses the role of state and local regulators in regulating digital assets and cryptocurrency.

With Decision Looming on Extension of TRIPS IP Waiver, House Dems Want More Info, Industry and Advocacy Groups Battle for Public Narrative

On November 10, a group of Democratic members of congress sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai expressing concerns about extending a waiver of intellectual property rights under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement to therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of COVID-19. The letter comes as talks are heating up at the World Trade Organization (WTO) about such an extension, with the technical deadline for a decision being December 19. The letter poses seven questions for Tai to consider and respond to as she formulates the U.S. position on waiver extension, including whether the current waiver of IP rights for vaccine-related technology has been effective, how “diagnostics” and “therapeutics” will be defined, and that she provide a list of countries that have expressed interest in gaining access to American IP for COVID-related diagnostics and therapeutics.

Tillis Bill Would Restore Needed Clarity and Predictability in Patent Eligibility Law

Over the last 15 years, the United States Supreme Court has mutated patent eligibility into an impossibly complex and confusing mess. The Court’s current eligibility test strays far from Congress’s original intent, erodes trust in predictability, and has left many remarking that innovation in the United States is falling behind due to uncertainty of patent eligibility law. Even more troubling, the resulting uncertainty of patent ineligibility for large swaths of innovation in critical technology areas, including artificial intelligence, poses significant risks to U.S. competitiveness, economic growth and national security. The Court has had opportunities to rectify its patent sinkhole but recently declined another chance to mend the chaos. When the Court denied certiorari in American Axle v. Neapco—despite the Solicitor General’s plea to hear the case—it became clear that Congress must step in to rescue U.S. innovation.