This Week in Washington IP: Resetting America’s Research Priorities, Section 230 Under Biden and Exploring the FCC’s Actions on 5G Spectrum

By IPWatchdog
January 11, 2021

Capitol BuildingThis week in Washington IP news, committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are quiet after a week of national turmoil, and as we get closer to the inauguration of Joe Biden to serve as the next President. Among D.C. area policy institutes, New America holds an event on the fate of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act under future President Joe Biden, the Center for Strategic & International Studies hosts a discussion with former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine on resetting America’s research priorities, while the American Enterprise Institute hosts a pair of events with members of the Federal Communications Commission, including Commissioner Brendan Carr and Chairman Ajit Pai, to discuss the FCC’s actions on 5G mobile spectrum policy. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also hosts a few training sessions on trademark fundamentals, basics of intellectual property and patent application filings through the agency’s Patent Center.

Tuesday, January 12 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Trademark Fundamentals

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

This interactive informational session hosted by the USPTO is designed to teach fundamentals of trademark rights, including how to register a trademark to individuals who already have a beginner to intermediate knowledge of trademarks. Attendees will be able to participate in a question and answer session following the presentation with trademark experts at the USPTO.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Intellectual Property 101

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

This informational session, hosted by the Washington Small Business Development Center, will focus on basics for several types of intellectual property including patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets. Topics during this session include an introduction to the activities of the USPTO, reasons why business owners should protect IP and how they can get started registering IP assets.

Wednesday, January 13 

New America

Free Speech Project: Section 230’s Fate Under the Biden Administration

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

Momentum has been growing on both sides of the political aisle to make substantial changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the statute which provides a shield to liability for interactive computer services when third-parties post content to their platforms. This event will explore the prospects for Section 230’s survival during the upcoming Biden Administration and discuss concerns raised by those who think online service providers should face more liability versus those who believe online platforms already censor too much political thought. This event will feature a discussion including Matt Perault, Director, Center on Science & Technology Policy, Duke University; Mike Godwin, Visiting Fellow, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, Member, Internet Society Board of Trustees, and Author, The Splinters of our Discontent: How to Fix Social Media and Democracy Without Breaking Them; Victoria McCullough, Director, Public Policy and Social Impact, Tumblr at Automattic; and moderated by Jennifer Daskal, New America ASU Future Security Fellow, and Professor and Faculty Director, Tech, Law, & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law.

Thursday, January 14

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Resetting the Priorities of Scientific Research in America

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

Strong federal funding of basic research has been a bedrock principle underlying American dominance in technological fields through the 20th century. In recent decades, however, this funding has been falling short of the level needed to bridge the gap between basic research and tech commercialization by companies. This event features a discussion on how the United States can and should reset its approach to scientific research with Norman Augustine, Former Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin, and Former Under Secretary of the U.S. Army; and John J. Hamre, President and CEO, CSIS, and Langone Chair in American Leadership.

American Enterprise Institute 

Spectrum Sharing and Maximizing Future Tech: A Conversation With FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr

At 10:30 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) played a large role in managing 5G mobile networking policy during the Trump Administration thanks to a series of auctions designed to free up mobile spectrum for commercial and government use. This event will explore how the future of 5G spectrum can be shaped by local and federal partnerships, new licensing proposals and the removal of regulatory barriers for improving spectrum efficiency. The event features a discussion with Brendan Carr, Commissioner, FCC; and Shane Tews, Visiting Fellow, AEI. Following that chat will be a discussion between a panel including Patricia J. Paoletta, Partner, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP; Peter Rysavy, President, Rysavy Research; Joel L. Thayer, Associate, Phillips Lytle LLP; and moderated by Tews.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Attend Patent Center and DOCX Filing Training

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

This training session will instruct attendees on tools available through the USPTO’s Patent Center, including how to file DOCX versions of patent applications with the agency. Demonstrations of Patent Center tools will be provided by experts on the USPTO’s eCommerce Modernization (eMod) team, who will also be available to answer questions after their presentations.

Friday, January 15 

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

A New Transatlantic Agenda: A Conversation With EU Director General of DG Trade, Sabine Weyand

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

In early December, the European Commission announced its plans to work with the incoming administration of President Joe Biden to develop a new transatlantic agenda on several issues, including technology governance and digital trade issues that will need to be worked out in the wake of the invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield this past summer by the Court of Justice for the European Union in its Schrems II decision. This event will feature a discussion on the EU’s new transatlantic agenda with Sabine Weyand, EU Director General of DG Trade; with moderators Bill Reinsch, Senior Advisor and Scholl Chair in International Business, CSIS; and Heather Conley, Senior VP for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic, Director of the Europe Program, CSIS.

American Enterprise Institute

Tough Choices: FCC Chairman Pai on Decisions That Reshaped US Communications Policy

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

The tenure of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has been filled with a series of difficult decisions, many of which, like Pai’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order, have been pursued despite a good deal of political pushback. This event will feature a keynote address from Pai, one of his last speeches as FCC Chairman before the Biden Administration takes over, which will reflect on many of the major decisions made during Pai’s tenure. Following that address will be a discussion with Pai and Jeffrey Eisenach, Visiting Scholar, AEI.


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