This week in Washington, D.C., both houses of Congress will host a short hearing schedule as D.C. begins a slow return to some semblance of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Senate, committee hearings will focus on a recent governmental cybersecurity report as well as ways to improve broadband access during the COVID-19 crisis. In the House of Representatives, a joint hearing of the House Subcommittees on Health and Energy and Commerce will explore ways to promote the development of a COVID-19 vaccine without sacrificing scientific integrity. Elsewhere, the Brookings Institution will discuss the issues to space travel posed by orbiting space junk, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation discusses a new vision for promoting the commercialization of energy innovation. The week got started with the first day of the KnowIt IP conference, being conducted virtually, which will explore a bevy of IP topics over three days, including a FRAND/SEP roundtable on Monday that featured IPWatchdog President and CEO Gene Quinn.
Monday, May 11 – Wednesday May 13
Beginning 10:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.
The first annual KnowIt conference brings together a diverse group of IP professionals, creators and government officials for a three-day event beginning Monday morning, which will continue to take place virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Programming at the event will focus on developments leading to the 4th Industrial Revolution including cyber physical systems, Internet of Things and networks. Monday’s panel discussions focused on patent and trade secret issues, Tuesday events will explore data security and privacy, as well as trademark and copyright law, and Wednesday features an array of general IP topics. On Monday at 5:25 PM, IPWatchdog President and CEO Gene Quinn took part in a FRAND/SEP roundtable along with Jonathan E. Retsky, Partner, Deputy Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Group, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP; and Kim Chotkowski, Vice President, Head of Licensing Strategy and Operations, InterDigital, Inc.
Wednesday, May 13
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
At 9:30 AM on Wednesday, online video webinar.
In early March, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, established by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, issued a report including 75 policy recommendations for developing a more robust response to cyberattacks and further enhancing prevention. Among these recommendations are included reforms to fractured cyber jurisdictions, improved resiliency in the public and private sectors and assessments of cyber vulnerabilities in military systems. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Angus S. King, Jr., Co-Chair, Cyberspace Solarium Commission; the Honorable Mike Gallagher, Co-Chair, Cyberspace Solarium Commission; the Honorable Suzanne E. Spaulding, Commissioner, Cyberspace Solarium Commission; and Thomas A. Fanning, Commissioner, Cyberspace Solarium Commission.
Senate Committee on Science, Commerce, and Transportation
At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in G50 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on daily life, especially how it has forced many Americans to move to online remote platforms for work and study, has pushed lawmakers to become more adamant regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) responsibilities to improve broadband access across the U.S. A recent report from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai indicated that broadband deployment is progressing at a pace that doesn’t require additional intervention from regulators. The witness panel for this hearing will include Steven Berry, President and CEO, Competitive Carriers Association; Shirley Bloomfield, CEO, NCTA – The Rural Broadband Association; Gene Kimmelman, Senior Advisor, Public Knowledge; and Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO, USTelecom – The Broadband Association.
At 10:30 AM on Wednesday, online video webinar.
One of the challenges to space travel which has been increasing over time is the presence of space junk which orbits the Earth at high speeds and poses a tremendous risk of damaging space vehicles after they launch. This event features a discussion with a panel including Jer Chyi Liou, Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris, NASA; Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation; and moderated by Frank A. Rose, Senior Fellow, Security and Strategy, Foreign Policy.
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
At 12:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.
Established as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Technology Commercialization Foundation (ETCF) is dedicated to promoting the commercialization of innovative clean energy systems. Although the U.S. has strong funding support for energy research and development, the ETCF fulfills a crucial role in encouraging collaboration among innovators and helping them bring technologies to market. This event will include a presentation of a report outlining a new vision for the ETCF by the reports authors, David M. Hart, Senior Fellow, ITIF; and Jetta Wong, President, JLW Advising. Their presentation will be followed by a discussion with a panel including Adam Cohen, President and CEO, Associated Universities, Inc.; Jennifer States, Director for Blue Economy, DNV GL, Energy and Maritime North America, Project Director, Washington Maritime Blue; Paul Zielinski, Executive Director, Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.
Thursday, May 14
House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce
House Subcommittee on Health
At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.
Much of the world of medical science is focused on developing a vaccine or medical treatment which is effective against COVID-19, allowing the world to return to normal operations. However, many policymakers and pundits have cautioned against pushing medical developments at a pace that could compromise scientific integrity by creating gaps in clinical evidence or limiting peer review. A letter sent last month by Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, urged the passage of the Scientific Integrity Act, which would govern information that scientists can release to the media as well as other members of the scientific community. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.
At 11:30 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.
The nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed a large emphasis on the importance of contact tracing, which involves investigating the recent activities of infected individuals to find those who may have been in contact with that person in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. The development of contact tracing apps, which use Bluetooth technology to track a person’s activity through a connected device, are seen as a potential boon to public health officials for conducting contact tracing as regions begin to reopen for business, but they have raised concerns from privacy advocates. This event will feature a keynote discussion by Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota. His remarks will be followed by a discussion with a panel including Bennett Butler, Legislative Assistant, Office of Senator Ed Markey; Ali Lange, Public Policy Manager, Google; Lauren Sarkesian, Senior Policy Counsel, New America’s Open Technology Institute; and moderated by Sharon Bradford Franklin, Policy Director, New America’s Open Technology Institute.
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