Posts Tagged: "climate change"

TRIPS IP Waiver Could Establish Dangerous Precedent for Climate Change and Other Biotech Sectors

While the discussions around waiving intellectual property (IP) rights set forth in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) are currently (and somewhat amorphously) limited to COVID-19 related drug and medical products, it is probably shortsighted to ignore the implications for other technologies critical to sustaining our environment and advancing a more healthful world. In fact, if we want to ensure continued investment in these technologies, we should be very concerned about the message conveyed by the international political tide: if you overcome a challenging scientific problem and your solution has the potential to save lives, be prepared to be subjected to intense political pressure and to potentially hand over your technology without compensation and regardless of the consequences.

This Week on Capitol Hill: Third Patent Eligibility Hearing, AI National Security Challenges, and NASA’s Science Mission

This week on Capitol Hill, the Senate IP Subcommittee will hold its third and final hearing on patent eligibility issues that currently exist in the U.S. patent system. Elsewhere in the Senate, hearings will focus on privacy issues posed by data brokers as well as Federal Communications Commission oversight. Hearings over at the House of Representatives will discuss topics including NASA’s science mission, sexual harassment issues within the scientific professions, and research leading towards increased use of renewable energy sources. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will also host an event to explore new tax models affecting U.S.-based Internet services companies.

This Week on Capitol Hill: Data Privacy and Competition, Building the Cybersecurity Workforce, and Reducing Algorithmic Bias

Tuesday and Wednesday are the only busy days this week for tech and innovation hearings on Capitol Hill. In the U.S. House of Representatives, subcommittee hearings on Tuesday will explore transportation innovations to address climate change and growing the talent pipeline for cybersecurity. In the U.S. Senate, the Judiciary Committee gets together on Tuesday to discuss data privacy and competition policy, while the Special Committee on Aging explores technological advances that help Americans with accessibility on Wednesday. Elsewhere in the Washington, D.C. area, The Brookings Institution looks at issues with potential biases in the use of machine learning algorithms and The Heritage Foundation dissects China’s goals for technological and international dominance.

This Week in D.C.: Iancu v. Brunetti, Think Tanks Discuss Data Privacy, Government Regulation of Social Media Content, Carbon Capture Innovations

This week on Capitol Hill, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are quiet for the next two weeks as the House enters district work periods and the Senate holds state work periods. However, various policy institutes around the nation’s capital continue to host events related to technology and innovation, and the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, Patent and Trademark Offce v. Erik Brunetti. The week kicks off early on Monday with an all-day event at the Internet Society looking at the prospects of federal legislation to improve consumer data privacy from various angles and the Brunetti oral argument. The Cato Institute will host events related to government regulation of social media, as well as the section of U.S. Internet law which largely eliminates legal liability for online service providers based on user-generated content. The week wraps up with an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which will look at U.S.-Australia cooperation in the digital economy, among other sectors. 

This Week on Capitol Hill: Clean Energy Innovation, More Debate on Prescription Drug Pricing and Technological Censorship of Free Speech

The Senate has a busy schedule related to tech and innovation topics for the week of April 8, including hearings on prescription drug pricing, broadband Internet coverage maps developed by the U.S. government, free speech on social media and tech platforms, and clean energy innovations to address climate change. The Senate Environment Committee also has a business meeting this week to discuss a piece of legislation that would support innovation in direct air carbon capture. This week’s tech and innovation lineup at the House of Representatives is a bit lighter, although there are hearings looking at a proposed bill to restore net neutrality, as well as a review of the 2020 budget request for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Elsewhere, the Brookings Institution hosts events on EU-U.S. digital data collaboration and the impact of automation on the future of work, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation explores funding issues for the National Institutes of Health and their impact on American biomedical innovation.

Don’t Be Fooled by His Patent Purge: Elon Musk is Just Another Hypocritical Tech Billionaire

In 2014, Elon Musk made Tesla’s patents available for anyone to use for free, stating that “technology leadership is not defined by patents.” Earlier this month, Musk announced again that he had released all of Tesla’s patents, promising the company “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” Musk believes patents only serve “to stifle progress” and that by releasing his patents he can help get progress moving again—and that progress will somehow win the fight against climate change. But do patents stifle progress, and will releasing patents really have this result? Patents are a trade with a government. The inventor agrees to disclose the invention to the public in exchange for a limited exclusive right to the invention. No one else can make, use, sell or import the invention without the inventor’s permission. The public interest is served because the invention is publicly disclosed, so anyone can improve the invention and patent that advancement. And anyone can design around it and patent that invention. If the invention has commercial value, no doubt many people will jump in and do one or both.

EPA regulation of aircraft emissions could hurt green innovation

A study of the economic impacts of air quality regulations on American manufacturing plants between 1972 and 1993 conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the economic cost of such regulations caused a decline of 8.8 percent of profits in the manufacturing sector. That’s $21 billion per year that did not go to employee wages and couldn’t be used on research and development. Reduced economic output in the face of rising population numbers also produces a drag on the overall economy and R&D initiatives are often the subject of the first budget cuts during economic downturns. All of this points to a downward spiral in which increased environmental regulations actually pose an obstacle to the development of the green economy in the United States.

Rain, rain go away! Is weather modification a real possibility?

Is weather modification, or control, a real possibility? If you search for patents dealing with weather controlling technologies, it seems like it’s more of a reality than at first thought. This study is known as Geo Engineering, a deliberate intervention in the Earth’s natural system to counteract climate change.

Reinventing our Climate Future

On Wednesday, June 29th, the United States Patent and Trademark Office hosted a panel titled Innovation to Power the Nation (and the World): Reinventing our Climate Future. This panel featured several important players involved in climate change within the United States. USPTO Director Michelle Lee delivered the keynote address while the panel was moderated by Amy Harder of the Wall Street Journal, who posed interesting and through provoking questions to the panelists. The panel comprised, Dr. Kristina Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Cube Hydro Partners, Dr. Bantval Jayant Baliga, Director of the Power Semiconductor Research Center at North Carolina State University, Bob Perciasepe, President of the Center or Climate Change and Energy Solutions, and Nathan Hurst, Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer at Hewlett Packard, Inc.

Biofuel Innovations Look to Sustainably Fuel the Future

Although the consequences posed by climate change could be dire, there’s no reason to believe that human ingenuity and innovation cannot provide a path forward to answer these challenges… Methods of developing fuel from biological sources on the earth is often a less energy-intensive process than mining for oil or natural gas deep below the earth’s crust, further reducing the production energy required and, subsequently, the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Private sector investment in biofuels has been increasing. In 2012, bio-based chemicals and biofuels were responsible for $96 billion in U.S. business-to-business economic activity, according to the National Research Council. Near the end of March, Colorado-based Red Rock Biofuels recently announced a $200 million biofuels refinery that it would be operating in Lakeview, Oregon; the facility will refine pine needles and sawdust into a jet fuel that will be used by Southwest Airlines.

Earth Day turns political with focus on climate change

To celebrate Earth Day we will profile green technologies and environmentally friendly innovations, like we always have. We will not, however, buy into the political rhetoric or hysterical claims pedaled by environmentalists as dogmatic fact. The truth is the predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists have never been accurate. Mainstream scientific publications are finally starting to recognize that for most of the last generation there is no evidence of global warming, the predictions made by environmentalists have been wrong and their factual claims to support their political agenda are false. For example, did you know that sea ice in Antarctic has been increasing, not decreasing?

Technology Solutions: In Support of a Clean Energy Economy

As global demand for energy continues to grow and the price of oil and gasoline continue to rise we must pursue solutions for cleaner, renewable energy. The technology that will ultimately support an alternative energy driven economy is not where we want it to be, if we do not aggressively pursue such technologies and build on early stage successes we will never get to the finish line. Complaining about the fact that the finish line is so far away and the technology incapable of providing a solution today is exceptionally myopic. Nothing worth doing is ever easy and without taking critical first steps the final celebratory steps are simply impossible to take.

Crowdsourcing Solutions: Embracing Open Source Innovation

The search for innovative ideas has never been easy, but the advent of crowdsourcing technologies and powerful players willing to embrace new methodologies seems to be paying dividends. Rather than rely on traditional innovation that comes from one individual or a small group of individuals or those working for or with a single entity or as part of a joint venture, crowdsourcing technologies take problems to millions of people and capture the most creative solutions, allowing them to be pursued and developed. “Opening up the conversation and searching for solutions among a broad, but qualified, audience has allowed us to find unique, innovative ideas in a short period of time,” said Matthew Bishop, U.S. business editor and New York bureau chief for The Economist.

Secretary Locke Promises Strongest IP Protection in the World

I am just getting back from two days at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, having attended the 14th Annual Inventors Conference.  There is much to report, and much to write about, and I will continue to digest, analyze and write about what I saw and my impressions in the days to come.  It is, however, undeniable that there…

Congress Urges Strong IP Stance in UN Climate Change Talks

As first reported by Bartholomew Sullivan of The Commercial Appeal, last week, on October 22, 2009, thirty-four members of Congress wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging her to steadfastly support strong intellectual property rights and not to given in to international demands that would weaken intellectual property rights, particularly patent rights. The concern expressed by these…