This Week in Washington IP: Raimondo Nomination Hearings Continue, the EU’s Path to AI-Enabled Healthcare and Open Source Tools Impacting the Future of Science

This week in Washington IP news, both the House of Representatives and the Senate remain quiet during these early days of the 117th Congress, although the Senate Commerce Committee will continue to consider the nomination of Gina Raimondo to serve as President Biden’s Secretary of Commerce. In policy institutes, The Wilson Center explores the potential of low-cost open source tools in improving the future of science while the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation focuses on the European Commission’s plans for incorporating emerging AI technologies in the healthcare sector. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office also hosts a few informational webinars on IP basics, trademark registration and protecting IP assets in China.

Monday, February 1

The Wilson Center 

Low-Cost and Open Source Tools: Next Steps for Science and Policy

At 3:30 PM on Monday, online video webinar.

While much of the world has been focused on the race to a COVID-19 vaccine between a number of the world’s biggest, most technologically sophisticated pharmaceutical makers, the pandemic has also demonstrated how DIY solutions from open source communities are having an impact on the globe’s COVID-19 response. This event, which will focus on how such cost-effective tools might factor into the future of science and healthcare, features a keynote speech from Ana Persic, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Following that keynote address will be a discussion with a panel on the promise of low-cost and open tools for accelerating science including Meaghan McCarthy, Program Lead, 3D Printing and Biovisualization, NIH/NIAID at Medical Science & Computing; Gerald “Stinger” Guala, Earth Sciences Division, Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA); Zac Manchester, The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University; and moderated by Anne Bowser, Deputy Director, Science & Technology Innovation Program, The Wilson Center.


Tuesday, February 2 

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 1: Fundamentals

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

This module is the first of an eight-part training workshop designed for business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in protecting their brand by applying for a federally registered trademark. Topics covered in this module include the definitions and types of trademarks, benefits of a federal registration, steps for selecting a trademark, filing, registration and information on additional resources for trademark applicants available through the USPTO.

Wednesday, February 3 

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation 

Executive Session

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 325 Russell Senate Office Building.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Commerce Committee will convene an executive session to discuss governing rules and a budget resolution to govern the committee during the 117th Congress. The committee will also examine the nomination of Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to serve as President Biden’s Secretary of Commerce. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last week with Raimondo, the Commerce Secretary nominee indicated that major tech issues she would focus on if confirmed would include reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, reaching an agreement on a new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and growing the role of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in setting standards for emerging technologies.

New America 

The Biden Administration’s Future Agenda

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

This event sponsored by Future Tense, a partnership on emerging technologies policy between New America, Slate and Arizona State University, will discuss proposals developed by Future Tense’s policy experts on various tech topics including regulating broadband Internet and improving global health during the pandemic. The event will feature a discussion with a panel including Representative Sean Casten (D-IL); Charles Kenny, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development and Author, The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease; Sarah Morris, Director, Open Technology Institute, New America; and moderated by Lizzy O’Leary, Host, What Next: TBD.

Thursday, February 4

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

How Can Europe Enhance the Benefits of AI-Enabled Health Care?

At 8:00 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

During the spring of 2020, the European Commission issued a report detailing the current and near-future applications of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the medicine and healthcare sectors. The report found that, while some drawbacks to the use of AI tech in healthcare exist, such technologies could support extended personalized medicine for better patient outcomes in clinical settings. This event, which will explore the Commission’s proposals on increasing AI use in healthcare and the development of a regulatory environment for facilitating access to patient data, features a discussion with a panel including Ander Elustondo Jauregui, Policy Officer Digital Health, European Commission’s DG SANTE; Elmar Kotter, Chairperson, ESR eHealth and Informatics Subcommittee; Maria-Manuel Leitão Marques, Member, Socialist Party (Partido Socialista, Portugal); Yiannos Tolias, Legal Officer, European Commission’s DG SANTE; Chris Walker, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Amgen; and moderated by Christophe Carugati, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

China IP Basics, Part 1: Protecting Your Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, and Copyrights

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

American business owners who are interested in leveraging the size of the Chinese consumer market can attend this IP webinar offered by the USPTO to learn the basics about how to protect various forums of IP that are important to their business interests in China. This webinar, the first in a two-part series, offers an overview of recent IP developments in China and a moderated discussion on a hypothetical case. Presentations during this webinar will be made by Christine Yang, Partner, Hamre, Shumann, Mueller & Larson, P.C.; Yinfei Wu, Attorney, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP; and Kenneth Ng, Client Liaison Principal, Davies Collison Cave.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Innovators and Entrepreneurs: Learn About IP Basics and Helpful Resources

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

This IP basics webinar offered by the USPTO is designed for business owners and entrepreneurs who have no familiarity with the various forms of IP including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. This webinar will cover topics including an overview of different types of IP, reasons why entrepreneurs should protect IP and resources available for innovators from the USPTO and other federal and local agencies.

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United States Capitol Building in Washington DC 


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