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This Week in Washington IP: The Future of EU-U.S. Data Transfers, Senate Judiciary Committee Looks at Section 230 Again, and Increasing Supercomputer Resources for AI Research

This week in our Washington IP events, the Senate Judiciary Committee convenes another meeting to discuss Sen. Graham’s bill to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Senate Commerce Committee also meets to explore the possible path forward for transatlantic data transfers after the EU’s highest court struck down the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield this July. The USPTO will host webinars on maintaining trademark registrations as well as a PTAB Boardside Chat featuring updated findings from the agency’s multiple petitions study.

Tuesday, December 8 

Brookings Institute

The Future of Automation and the Middle Class

At 11:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

While industrial automation powered by artificial intelligence will be a major boon to the world’s economy, there are many real concerns for the labor workforce which will not only experience a higher rate of job displacement but may find fewer opportunities for low- or middle-income level work. This event, hosted by Brookings’ Future of the Middle Class Initiative, will feature a pair of panel discussions on issues related to policies designed for an automated future. The first panel, which will discuss social insurance in an automated future, will include Marcus Casey, Nonresident Fellow, Economic Studies; Diana Farrell, Founding President and CEO, J.P. Morgan Chase Institute; Michael R. Strain, Director and Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy, Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute; Byron Auguste, CEO and Co-Founder, Opportunity@Work; 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 Director, Center on Children and Families. The second panel, which will discuss opportunity and equity, will include Peter Q. Blair, Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Kara Swisher, Columnist, The New York Times; Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director, Center for Technology Innovation; and moderated again by Reeves.

Cato Institute

Space Force: Ahead of Its Time or Dreadfully Premature?

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

Last December, the Trump Administration established the U.S. Space Force, the nation’s first new military branch since 1947 and the one tasked with managing national security risks that exist in outer space and near-Earth orbit. This Cato Institute event will explore a recent policy study from the think tank which concludes that the Space Force, while it will have access to many advanced technologies, was created prematurely by the U.S. government and may not accomplish the desired reorganization of the space capabilities owned by the U.S. Department of Defense. This event will feature a panel discussion including Robert Farley, Senior Lecturer, University of Kentucky; Kaitlyn Johnson, Deputy Director and Fellow, Aerospace Security Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning, Secure World Foundation; and moderated by Eric Gomez, Director of Defense Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Maintaining Your Federal Trademark Registration

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

This USPTO webinar will focus on required filings that trademark applicants must make in order to maintain their trademark after it has been registered by the agency. USPTO trademark officials will also discuss optional filings that can ensure long-term mark protection, examples of proof of use in commerce and what to expect during an audit process.


Wednesday, December 9

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

The Invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Future of Transatlantic Data Flows

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 253 Russell Senate Office Building.

This July, the Court of Justice for the European Union invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield in its Schrems II ruling, eliminating the legal framework that had existed for American-based Internet companies that collected personal data from customers in the EU. As of late November, news reports indicated that government officials in Europe and the U.S. were getting close to beginning formal negotiations to create the framework that will eventually replace the Privacy Shield. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Noah Phillips, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission; Victoria Espinel, President and CEO, BSA – The Software Alliance; James Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, International Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Commerce; and Peter Swire, Elizabeth and Tommy Holder Chair of Law and Ethics, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, and Research Director, Cross-Border Data Forum.

New America

Pathways Through the Portal: Field Scan of Emerging Technologies

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

2020 has been a year of massive social changes and this New America event will explore ways that emerging technologies can be harnessed to serve the public interest during this time of social upheaval. Participants at this event will include Berhan Taye, Researcher; Micah Sifry, Co-Founder, Civic Hall; Sasha Constanza-Chock, Faculty Associate, Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University; Matt Stempeck, Technologist in Residence, Cornell Tech; Diana Nucera, Founder and Former Director, Detroit Community Technology Project; and Alberto Rodriguez, Senior Program Manager, New Practice Lab and PIT University Network, New America.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

How the Digital Markets Act Could Reshape the EU’s Digital Economy

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

In December, the European Commission plans to introduce two bills that will have major impacts on the way that the digital economy operates throughout Europe. The Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) are a pair of legislative proposals currently being drafted by European Commission members that would clarify the responsibilities and potential liabilities for digital service providers and create obligations on large online platforms to refrain from certain anticompetitive behaviors. This event, hosted by ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation, will explore the potential effects of the DSA and the DMA especially as they relate to competition and innovation in digital markets as well as their impact on consumer choice. Speakers at this event will include Eline Chivot, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation; Ricardo Castanheira, Digital Counselor, Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union; Deirdre Clune, Member, European Parliament; Carel Maske, Senior Attorney, Microsoft; and Bartlomiej Telejko, EU Public Policy Manager, Google.

Thursday, December 10

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Executive Business Meeting

At 10:00 AM on Thursday in G50 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

On Thursday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will convene a business meeting to discuss a series of nominees to serve judgeships in U.S. federal courts including Thomas L. Kirsch II, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit; Charles Edward Atchley, Jr., and Katherine A. Crytzer, both to be U.S. District Judges for the Eastern District of Tennessee; Joseph Dawson III, to be U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina; and Zachary N. Somers, to be Judge for the Court of Federal Claims. The committee will also markup S. 4632, the Online Content Policy Modernization Act. Introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the bill would narrow liability provisions for online platform providers currently available under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The bill would also amend Title 17 of U.S. Code to create an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) pathway for copyright small claims.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

PTAB Boardside Chat

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

This event will feature a presentation on updates to the study of multiple petitions at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) presented by PTAB Lead Judge Bill Saindon. PTAB Lead Judges Jessica Kaiser and Michelle Ankenbrand will present preliminary findings of the motion to amend pilot program. Lead Judge Ankenbrand will also discuss a pair of new submission forms for SOP-2 related matters, including a form for nominating PTAB decisions for precedential or informational status and another form to request or urge denial of review of a PTAB decision by the Precedential Opinion Panel.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

How the Federal Government Can Increase Access to Supercomputing Across America

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

Researchers working with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies need access to high-performance computing systems, often referred to as “supercomputers,” to use AI for solving complex computational modeling problems. This event, hosted by ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation, will explore ways to address the lack of supercomputer resources in states with a heavy presence of AI research projects, as well as plans for addressing supercomputer funding shortfalls that have developed at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in recent years. The moderator for this event will be Hodan Omaar, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation, ITIF.

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