This Week in Washington IP: Licensing Week Virtual, the FCC’s Possible Section 230 Reforms and Pro-Innovator Patent System Reforms

By IPWatchdog
June 15, 2020

Capitol BuildingThis week in Washington IP events, the Senate Financial Services Subcommittee focuses on Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction oversight while the House Transportation Committee marks up a major transportation bill that would heavily impact research and development in that sector. In the realm of policy institutes, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation discusses President Trump’s executive order requiring the FCC to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, while the Brookings Institution explores workforce training programs in response to AI development as well as addressing racial biases in AI algorithms. This week also features a week-long event for licensing businesses to provide networking opportunities which have been extremely limited by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monday, June 15 

New America

How to Hack DC: What is the Future of Cybersecurity and Cyberthreats?

At 10:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.

Technological advances in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and digitized critical infrastructure have improved urban life in various ways, but their increased use has also increased cybersecurity risks across our society. Earlier this year, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission released a report detailing a layered cyber deterrence approach to cybersecurity that can produce a much more robust security response for the U.S. and its allies. This event will feature a panel discussion including Senator Angus King (I-MA), Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission; Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Co-Chair of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission; Peter Warren Singer, Strategist and Senior Fellow, New America, and Co-Author, Burn-In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution; and Nicole Perlroth, Cybersecurity Reporter, The New York Times. 

Global Licensing Group 

Licensing Week Virtual

At 11:30 AM on Monday, online video webinar.

This week-long series of events, hosted by the Global Licensing Group in conjunction with Licensing International, seeks to connect licensing businesses with potential partners in retail, manufacturing, media and other industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented much of the industry networking required for licensing deals. Daily events will be centered on themes including brands and lifestyle, character and entertainment, art and design, university licensing and on-demand content. The virtual convention will also include an inventor competition, a deal matchmaker platform for enabling licensing meetings and a digital floor show of major brands. Keynote speakers during the week will include Christopher Urban, the Kraft Heinz Company; Pam Kaufman, ViacomCBS; Michelle King, Netflix; and Jeff Lotman, Global Brands.

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Tuesday, June 16

Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government 

Oversight of FCC Spectrum Auctions Program 

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 124 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently concluded its largest ever spectrum auction earlier this year, awarding more than 14,000 licenses in the upper 37, 39 and 47 gigahertz (GHz) frequency bands. Recently, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has requested that Congress repeal provisions of law requiring the agency to conduct an auction of T-Band spectrum, which is often used for communications by emergency responders, while a collection of satellite companies are challenging the FCC’s C-Band auction set to begin this December. The sole witness for this hearing will be the Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC.

Wednesday, June 17 

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 

Markup of H.R. 2, the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act” or the “INVEST in America Act”

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.

On June 11, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced H.R. 2, the INVEST in America Act, into the House of Representatives. Provisions of this bill, which would authorize funds for federal highways and a wide range of related programs, are aimed at increasing funding for research and development programs as well as technology deployment activities focused on highly automated transportation, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, multimodal freight transportation and other areas. This markup hearing will also explore amendments to the bill proposed by Rep. DeFazio. 

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 

The FCC’s Role In Reforming Section 230

At 12:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

In late May, President Donald Trump issued an executive order on preventing online censorship which directs the FCC to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This particular statute limits liability to Internet companies for content posted to their online platforms by users; Trump’s executive order questions whether online platform providers no longer qualify for “good faith” provisions if they remove content over political disagreements. This event will feature remarks by Geoffrey Starks, Commissioner, FCC. Following those remarks will be a panel discussion including Eric Goldman, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law; Kate Klonick, Assistant Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law; and moderated by Daniel Castro, Vice President, ITIF, and Director, Center for Data Innovation. 

The Hamilton Project 

How Innovation Can Power Economic Growth

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

Public policy regarding reforms to the patent system and research and development spending can help to spur the kind of technological innovations which promote long-term economic growth. This event hosted by the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative at the Brookings Institution, coincides with the release of a framing paper and various proposals on how to expand the innovation pipeline and improve the patent system to support innovators. Opening remarks will be offered by Paul Romer, Economics Professor at New York University and co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Following those remarks will be a panel discussion including Lisa D. Cook, Michigan State University; John Van Reenen, MIT Sloan School of Management; Heidi Williams, Stanford University; and moderated by Jay Shambaugh, The Hamilton Project.

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Promoting and Protecting Innovation in the Bioeconomy

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

Synthetic biology, involving the genetic redesigning of organisms to give them new, useful abilities, can drive economic growth and societal change by unlocking innovation in advanced microelectronics, nutrition and materials. This event, the third in CSIS’s Synthetic Biology: The Ongoing Technology Revolution series, will feature a discussion panel including Ian Watson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Acting Director, Office of Strategy, Policy, Planning, & Requirements, Department of Health and Human Services; Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine; Ed You, Supervisory Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Morgan Dwyer, Fellow, International Security Program and Deputy Director for Policy Analysis, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group; and Andrew Philip Hunter, Director, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and Senior Fellow, International Security Program.

Thursday, June 18 

Brookings Institution 

Automation, Training, and the Middle Class

At 1:00 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

As robotics and other automated technologies continue to disrupt labor markets across industries, workforce training programs are becoming an essential feature of policy discussions regarding the future of employment. This event, part of the Future of the Middle Class Initiative at Brookings Institution, will feature a series of panel discussions exploring the roles of community colleges and employers in retraining workers displaced by new technologies. The first panel, focusing on community college and reskilling, will include Riley Acton, Assistant Professor, Miami University; Lauren Pellegrino, Senior Research Associate, Community College Research Center; Scott Ralls, President, Wake Technical Community College; and moderated by Marcus Casey, Nonresident Fellow, Economic Studies. The second panel, focusing on workplace training, will include Annelies Goger, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program; Marian Negoita, Senior Associate, Social Policy Research Associates; Melanie Zaber, Associate Economist, RAND Corporation; Joel Branch, Vice President, AI Development, Lucd: Enterprise Artificial Intelligence; and moderated by Marcus Casey. The third panel, focusing on automation, retraining and reskilling after COVID-19, will include Robert Litan, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution; Stephanie Riegg Cellini, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brown Center on Education Policy; David Deming, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University; and moderated by Richard V. Reeves, John C. and Nancy D. Whitehead Chair, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Director, Future of the Middle Class Initiative, and Co-Director, Center on Children and Families. 

New America 

How to Protect Yourself from Online Abuse and Surveillance

At 4:00 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

The ability to connect with others across digital platforms has taken on a much greater significance during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of major protests against police brutality across the United States. This event, hosted by New America in partnership with PEN America and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, will include a cyber self-defense workshop that can help activists, journalists and others vulnerable to harassment protect their digital privacy. Speakers at this online event will include Harlo Holmes, Director of Digital Security, Freedom of the Press Foundation; and Viktorya Vilk, Program Director for Digital Safety and Free Expression, PEN America.

Friday, June 19 

Brookings Institution 

Race, Artificial Intelligence, and Systemic Inequalities

At 3:00 PM on Friday, online video webinar.

Artificial intelligence relies on the use of algorithms which are programmed by people who have various biases that can be reflected in the algorithms they create. Given the growing focus on addressing systemic inequalities in sectors such as employment, housing and credit, it’s important to address the potential that AI algorithms may unjustly reinforce racial biases in industries adopting those technologies. This event, hosted by the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings Institution, features a panel discussion including Fay Cobb Payton, Professor of Information Technology and Business Analytics, North Carolina State University; Rayshawn Ray, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, Governance Studies; Dariely Rodriguez, Director, Economic Justice Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; and moderated by Nicol Turner Lee, Fellow, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation.

 

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