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IP and Innovation on Capitol Hill: Week of February 25

This week on Capitol Hill, the newly revived Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property meets for the first time this term to discuss the 2019 “Annual Intellectual Property Report to Congress”; other Senate committee hearings will look at concerns related to drug pricing, the effects of the Made in China 2025 initiative on American industry and proposed legislation to support innovation in carbon capture technologies; U.S. House of Representatives committees hold hearings focusing on issues from cybersecurity in the nation’s surface transportation and defense agency to energy research funding programs and trade tensions between the U.S. and China; and elsewhere in the nation’s capital, the Heritage Foundation looks at issues related to the modernization of the United States’ nuclear submarine fleet and the Cato Institute holds a day-long event on Friday to examine the topic of regulating the activities of American tech giants like Facebook and Amazon. 

Tuesday, February 26

Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

Examining the 2019 Annual Intellectual Property Report to Congress

10:00 AM in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Earlier this month, the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), issued its Annual Intellectual Property Report to Congress detailing efforts within the Executive Branch to promote the protection of intellectual property rights both domestically and abroad. The report discusses engagement with U.S. trading partners on IP topics, U.S. use of legal authorities to protect IP, expanded law enforcement cooperation and various IP enforcement activities pursued by nine federal government agencies. IPEC Vishal Amin will be the sole witness appearing at this hearing, which will not be webcast. 

House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce

Protecting Consumer Privacy in the Era of Big Data

10:00 AM in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building

Political pressure on data privacy practices has been on the rise in the months since Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and stories of data leaks from Google and Amazon. Since January 2005, more than 11 billion records containing sensitive personal information have been involved in security breaches, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. This hearing will examine data privacy standards across the industry, questionable practices involving the use of consumer data and legal frameworks surrounding data privacy in the U.S. and other countries. The witness panel includes Brandi Collins, Senior Campaign Director, Media, Democracy & Economic Justice, Color of Change; Dave Grimaldi, Executive Vice President for Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau; Dr. Roslyn Layton, Visiting Scholar, American Enterprise Institute; Nuala O’Connor, President and CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology; and Denise Zheng, Vice President, Technology, Innovation, Business Roundtable.

House Subcommittee on Energy

The Future of ARPA-E

10:00 AM in 2318 Rayburn

Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy is responsible for funding research and development activities resulting in new technologies for generating, storing and using energy. So far this February, nearly $80 million worth of research funding has been announced for data-driven grid management, ultra-efficient power management and offshore wind energy products. The witness panel for this hearing includes Dr. Arun Majumdar, Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor, Stanford University; Dr. Ellen Williams, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland; Dr. John Wall, Retired CTO of Cummins, Member of the Committee on Evaluation for the 2017 National Academies Review of ARPA-E; Dr. Saul Griffith, Founder and CEO, Otherlab; and Mark Mills, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute.

House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation
House Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security

Securing U.S. Surface Transportation from Cyber Attacks

10:00 AM in 310 Cannon House Office Building

As the newest generation of vehicles, both automotive and rail, continue to be outfitted with wireless communication technology that enables communication with other vehicles and transportation infrastructure, concerns over the potential of cyber-attacks has grown. There are two witness panels for this joint subcommittee hearing. The first panel includes Sonya Proctor, Director for the Surface Division, Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security; and Bob Kolasky, Director of National Risk Management Center, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security. The second panel includes James Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Technology Policy Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies; Rebecca Gagliostro, Director of Security, Reliability and Resilience, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America; Erik Robert Olson, Vice President, Rail Security Alliance; and John Hultquist, Director of Intelligence Analysis, FireEye.

The Heritage Foundation

Modernizing the U.S. Sea-based Strategic Deterrent Force and the Need for 12 Columbia-class SSBNs

12:00 PM at the Heritage Foundation, Lehrman Auditorium, 214 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002

The current U.S. fleet of nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) carries 70% of the country’s deployed strategic nuclear warheads and will be the U.S. Navy’s longest serving ships ever when they retire. The upcoming fleet of 12 Columbia-class SSBNs are expected to serve into the 2080s and possess advanced stealth capabilities, although some critics have argued that fewer SSBNs will provide sufficient deterrent capabilities. The panel for this event includes Rear Admiral John Tammen, Director, Undersea Warfare Division Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, N97; Bryan Clark, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments; Dr. James Acton, Senior Fellow and Co-Director for Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; and Thomas Callender, Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs. The event will be hosted by Thomas Spoehr, Director, Center for National Defense.

Senate Committee on Finance

Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II

10:15 AM in 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

The impact of patents on the price of drugs was a major focus during a recent hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and it’s fair to assume that the topic may again rear its head during this Senate Finance Committee hearing. The witness panel for this hearing includes Richard Gonzalez, Chairman and CEO, AbbVie Inc.; Pascal Soriot, Executive Director and CEO, AstraZeneca; Giovanni Caforio, M.D., Chairman of the Board and CEO, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; Jennifer Taubert, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson; Kenneth Frazier, Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.; Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO, Pfizer; and Olivier Brandicourt, M.D., CEO, Sanofi.

House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities

Department of Defense Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Information Assurance

2:00 PM in 2212 Rayburn

Last September, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the agency’s cyber strategy which focuses on building a more lethal joint force, competing and detering in cyberspace, strengthening alliances and attracting new partners, reforming the DoD and cultivating talent. The witness panel for this hearing includes the Honorable Dana Deasy, Chief Information Officer, DoD; the Honorable Lisa Hershman, Acting Chief Management Officer, DoD; and Brigadier General Dennis Crall, USMC, Deputy Principal Cyber Advisor, DoD.

Wednesday, February 27

House Ways & Means Committee

U.S.-China Trade

10:00 AM in 1100 Longworth House Office Building

Trade tensions between the United States and China, which have increased during the administration of President Donald Trump, have brought attention to intellectual property issues, including Chinese theft of American IP, especially through forced tech transfer rules for American companies looking to participate in the Chinese economy. The sole witness for this hearing is Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative.

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Policy Principles for a Federal Data Privacy Framework in the United States

10:00 AM in 216 Hart Senate Office Building

The Senate Commerce Committee is responsible for oversight of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s primary enforcement agency on issues involving protections for consumer privacy and information security. This hearing will focus on Congress’ responsibility for addressing consumer risks and implementing data privacy protections for the U.S. population. The witness panel for this hearing includes Michael Beckerman, President and CEO, Internet Association; Brian Dodge, CEO, Retail Industry Leaders Association; Victoria Espinel, President and CEO, BSA – The Software Alliance; the Honorable John Leibowitz, Co-Chairman, 21st Century Privacy Coalition; Randall Rothenberg, CEO, Interactive Advertising Bureau; and Woody Hartzog, Professor of Law and Computer Science, Northeastern University School of Law.

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Hearing to Examine S.383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act, and the State of Current Technologies that Reduce, Capture, and Use Carbon Dioxide

10:00 AM in 406 Dirksen 

S.383, introduced into the Senate by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and eight original co-sponsors from both sides of the political aisle, is intended to support research into carbon dioxide utilization and direct air capture and to facilitate the development of carbon capture, utilization and sequestration projects. There are no panel witness that have been announced for this hearing.

Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Made in China 2025 and the Future of American Industry

2:30 PM in 428A Russell Senate Office Building

The Chinese government’s Made in China 2025 initiative involves heavy state subsidization of various high-tech industries. U.S. trade officials have indicated that forced tech transfer rules in China have helped China move towards technological dominance in those industries. The witness panel for this hearing includes Brad Setser, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation; Andrew Rush, President and CEO, Made in Space, Inc.; and Bonnie Glaser, Director, China Power Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Friday, March 1 

Cato Institute

Who’s Afraid of Big Tech?
8:00 AM at Cato Institute, Hayek Auditorium, 1000 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001

The 2016 election was a flashpoint in the discussion on whether American tech giants have too much corporate power and if federal regulations on data collection, political censorship and other activities should be considered. This day-long event, which features three panel discussions and two short lectures, will explore whether concerns about tech companies are legitimate and what regulations should be pursued. Along with Cato Institute, various panels will feature representatives from the Niskanen Center, TechFreedom, Georgetown University Law Center Institute for Public Representation Communications and Technology Clinic, Public Citizen, Open Markets Institute, International Center for Law and Economics, Institute for Free Speech, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Brookings Institution, Yale Information Society Project and Facebook.



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