This Week in Washington IP: DMCA Reforms, Google Antitrust Issues and Supporting the U.S. AI Workforce

By IPWatchdog
September 14, 2020

This week in Washington IP developments, events get underway with a few programs at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including the first day of a virtual road tour on federal funding of early stage innovative businesses and a look at recent changes to Chinese law on trade secrets. On Wednesday, the Senate IP Committee continues its efforts to modernize the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), focusing on potential reforms to Section 1201 of that law. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts events focused on collaborative approaches among nations to improve semiconductor innovation and the growing role of genomic editing in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee explores whether Google’s activities in online advertising should trigger regulatory action.

Monday, September 14

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Virtual Road Tour

At 9:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.

Hosted by the USPTO, the SBIR Road Tour connects innovators and entrepreneurs with resources related to early stage seed funding programs funded by the federal government including success stories, tips, one-on-one meetings with federal program managers, and other assistance. The virtual tour will begin Monday with a focus on resources in North Carolina, then on Tuesday the focus moves to South Carolina, then to Georgia on Thursday and Virginia on Friday. 

Tuesday, September 15

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Safeguarding Trade Secrets in China’s Changing IP Landscape

At 9:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Phase one of the U.S.-China trade deal includes important agreements between the two countries on various topics including trade secrets. This event will feature hypothetical case studies meant to explain recent developments in Chinese trade secret law from IP professionals with years of experience in China. Presenters at this event will include Michael Diehl, Senior Attorney, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO; Jing Liu, CEO, Skyroam, Inc.; Ruixue Ran, Partner, Beijing Office, Covington & Burling LLP; and Jerry Xia, Partner, Anjie Law Firm. Moderators at this event will include David Foley, Attorney Advisor, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO; and Michael Mangelson, Senior Counsel for China IP, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

Gene Editing for the Climate: Biological Solutions for Curbing Greenhouse Emissions

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

Federal R&D funding for research into eliminating greenhouse gas emissions have tended to focus on the science of physics and chemistry, but technological advancements in gene editing have created a new role for biology science in climate change mitigation through reduced methane emissions from cows or enhancing photosynthesis efficiency in crops. This event will feature a presentation of a recently completed report on gene-edited solutions for climate change by Val Giddings, Senior Fellow, ITIF; and Robert Rozansky, Senior Policy Analyst, ITIF. Following the presentation will be a discussion with a panel including Pamela Ronald, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center, UC Davis; Scott Knight, Head of Genome Editing and Yield, Disease & Quality Research, Bayer Crop Science; and moderated by David M. Hart, Senior Fellow, ITIF.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

Strengthening American Innovation: USA Launch of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020

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

At noon on Tuesday, ITIF will host an event in partnership with both the Portulans Institute and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to discuss the findings of WIPO’s Global Innovation Index 2020. This event will focus on the United States’ place in the global innovation economy and ways that the country can revitalize innovation to remain internationally competitive. Speakers at this event will include Robert D. Atkinson, Ph.D, President, ITIF; Soumitra Dutta, Founder and Co-Editor, Global Innovation Index, Professor of Management, SC Johnson College of Business, Cornell University, and President, Portulans Institute; Dr. John Kao, Chairman, Institute for Large Scale Innovation; Carolina Rossini, Co-Founder and CEO, Portulans Institute; and Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, Co-Editor, Global Innovation Index & Head, Section, Economics and Statistics Division, World Intellectual Property Organization.

Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights 

Stacking the Tech: Has Google Harmed Competition in Online Advertising?

At 2:30 on Tuesday in 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The antitrust investigations into Google’s control of the online search and Internet advertising markets and recent news reports indicate that the attorneys general of several mainly Republican-led states will likely join an upcoming antitrust lawsuit that many expect the U.S. Department of Justice to file in the coming weeks. The first panel for this hearing will feature Donald Harrison, President, Global Partnerships and Corporate Development, Google. The second panel will include Adam Heimlich, CEO, Chalice Custom Algorithms; David Dinielli, Senior Advisor, Beneficial Technology, Omidyar Network; and Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel, Netchoice.

Wednesday, September 16

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation

Executive Session

At 9:45 AM on Wednesday in 325 Russell Senate Office Building.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Commerce Committee will convene an executive session to discuss a series of transportation sector nominations as well as several proposed bills, including two related to technological infrastructure and development: S. 4015, the Rural Connectivity Advancement Program Act, which aims to increase the speed of deploying advanced communication infrastructure across America’s rural communities; and S. 4286, the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, which would authorize appropriations to offset the costs of reduced research productivity related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Committee Legislative Markup Session

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.

On Wednesday morning, the House Oversight Committee will convene a legislative markup session to consider several proposed bills, including two related to technology and innovation matters: H.R. 4774, the Internet of Things Cyber Security Training for Federal Employees Act, which would require cybersecurity training related to Internet-connected devices for employees across all federal agencies; and H.R. 5901, the Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act, which aims to improve the efficient planning and adoption of assisting technologies at federal centers dedicated to technology modernization in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and data analytics.

Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

Are Reforms to Section 1201 Needed and Warranted?

At 2:30 PM on Wednesday in 226 Dirksen.

Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) represents a compromise struck by lawmakers back when the DMCA was passed into law in 1998, balancing the desire of copyright owners to utilize technological protective measures (TPMs) to protect against the piracy of copyrighted media in new digital formats while recognizing fair use exemptions to the use of TPMs. Although the DMCA mandates that the U.S. Copyright Office consider new petitions for fair use exemptions to TPMs every three years, many petitioners seeking Section 1201 exemptions find the process to be broken and the Copyright Office itself supports changes to Section 1201 that would expand fair use exemptions under this statute. The first panel for this hearing will feature Regan A. Smith, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office. The second panel will include Vanessa P. Bailey, Global Director, Intellectual Property Policy, Intel Corporation; Blake E. Reid, Director, Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic, University of Colorado Law School; J. Matthew Williams, Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP; Seth D. Greenstein, Partner, Constantine Cannon LLP; Morgan Reed, President, ACT | The App Association; and Aaron Lowe, Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Auto Care Association.

Thursday, September 17

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Biotechnology, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical Partnership Meeting

At 9:00 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

This event is designed for agency stakeholders in the biotech, chemical and pharmaceutical fields and will cover topics related to Section 101 subject matter eligibility, expedited patent prosecution, written description requirements for antibodies and sequence searching.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

An Allied Approach to Semiconductor Sector Competitiveness

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

The importance of the semiconductor sector to the rapidly evolving digital economy makes it a prime target for national policies to subsidize and otherwise support innovation in this field. However, many policy analysts argue that more efforts should be undertaken for the collective support of semiconductor innovation across borders to counter Chinese mercantilist policies which are helping that country take the lead in this and other important tech sectors. The keynote speaker at this event will be Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). Following his remarks will be a discussion on semiconductor market policymaking with a panel including James Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Technology Policy Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies; John Neuffer, President and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association; and moderated by Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF. 

House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities 

Interim Review of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence Effort and Recommendations

At 1:00 PM on Thursday in 2118 Rayburn.

This July, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence issued a report calling upon Congress to establish a U.S. Digital Service Academy to recruit talent and build the AI workforce in order to prevent a “brain drain” of talent that could result from heavy government cuts to R&D funding in the AI sector. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman, National Security Commission on AI; the Honorable Robert Work, Vice Chairman, National Security Commission on AI; the Honorable Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, National Security Commission on AI; and Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, Commissioner, National Security Commission on AI.

Friday, September 18 

New America

Power, Policing, & Tech

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

The use of technologies like body-worn cameras have had a questionable impact regarding whether greater transparency in policing will lead to fewer instances of police brutality. At the same time, police departments have been making greater use of facial recognition and predictive policing technologies with very little oversight. This New America event marks the launch of the American University Washington College of Law Tech, Law and Security (TLS) and Future Tense Policing and Technology Project. The event will feature a discussion with a panel including Elizabeth Joh, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law; Rashida Richardson, Visiting Scholar, Rutgers Law School, and Senior Fellow, German Marshall Fund; and moderated by Andrew Ferguson, Professor, American University Washington College of Law.

American Enterprise Institute 

Securing US Technology and Communications Supply Chains 

At 12:30 PM on Friday, online video webinar.

Securing the supply chain for critical 5G infrastructure is one of many cybersecurity recommendations that were made earlier this year with the issue of the first report from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. This event, which focuses on national security concerns stemming from the increasingly important role of Chinese businesses in the 5G supply chain, begins with opening remarks from Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Co-Chairman, Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Following his remarks will be a discussion with a panel including Kathryn Condello, Senior Director, National Security/Emergency Preparedness, CenturyLink; Maryam Khan Cope, Director of Government Affairs, Semiconductor Industry Association; Robert Morgus, Senior Director, Cyberspace Solarium Commission; Robert Strayer, Executive Vice President of Policy, Information Technology Industry Council; and moderated by Shane Tews, AEI.

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IPWatchdog

IPWatchdog

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There are currently 1 Comment comments. Join the discussion.

  1. Pro Say September 14, 2020 2:50 pm

    Re: Strengthening American Innovation: USA Launch of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020

    “This event will focus on the United States’ place in the global innovation economy and ways that the country can revitalize innovation to remain internationally competitive.”

    Restore patent eligibility to all areas of innovation the way our Constitution and Congress have always instructed and intended — doing so without replacing the restoration with new restrictions on patentability.

    Problem solved.

    Revitalization accomplished.

    American innovation leadership restored.

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