This Week in Washington IP: The Case for Digital Age Antitrust Reform, Final Recommendations on Advancing U.S. AI and the Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act

By IPWatchdog
March 8, 2021

This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee convenes a hearing to discuss antitrust reforms meant to address increasingly dominant tech platforms, while House Subcommittees on Innovative Technologies and National Security will review the final recommendations recently issued by the National Security Council on Artificial Intelligence. Elsewhere, the Smithsonian Institute explores the innovative careers of Jerome Lemelson and InBae Yoon, the Brookings Institute discusses what role government should play in addressing algorithmic biases, and the week closes with a Center for Strategic & International Studies event introducing the Renewing American Innovation Project, which welcomes Former USPTO Director Andrei Iancu as a non-resident senior fellow.

Monday, March 8 

New America

Disruptive Innovation Where You Least Expect It

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

Most people tend to talk about “disruptive innovation” in terms of modern-day tech platforms which have displaced most traditional channels for purchasing retail goods or consuming news information. However, the disruptive force of technology in the U.S. can be seen at least as far back as the 19th century, when public universities and intercontinental railroads employed innovative models to bring our nation out of an agrarian society into an increasingly industrialized one. This event features a discussion on how these older institutions continue innovating in the face of a global pandemic with a panel including Dr. Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University, and Author, The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education; Lance M. Fritz, Chairman, President and CEO, Union Pacific Railroad; and moderated by Ann-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America, and Author, The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World.

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Tuesday, March 9 

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Full Committee Markup of H.R. 144

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

H.R. 144, the Supporting Early-Career Researchers Act, was introduced into the House of Representatives on January 4 by original co-sponsor Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Frank Lucas (R-OK). If passed into law, the bill would authorize the National Science Foundation to establish a two-year grant program to support independent research projects carried out by early-career researchers at American higher education institutions.

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Cybersecurity Challenges and Opportunities for Small and Medium Businesses

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

While headlines about data breaches tend to focus on large corporations having major consumer bases, small- and medium-sized enterprises have very unique cybersecurity concerns, especially those that are involved in critical infrastructure or national security operations. This event begins with a fireside chat on promoting cyber risk mitigation measures for small and medium businesses with Representative James Langevin (D-RI), Chairman, House Armed Services Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems, and Member, Cyberspace Solarium Commission. Following that chat will be a discussion on advancing cybersecurity resiliency among small and medium businesses with a panel including Robert Mayer, Senior Vice President for Cybersecurity, USTelecom, and Chair, Communications Sector Coordinating Council; Ola Sage, CEO, CyberRx; Debra Jordan, Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission; Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, CISA; Chad Kliewer, Information Security Officer, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative; and Clete Johnson, Senior Fellow, Strategic Technologies Program.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

#USPTOJobs | 2021 Patent Examiner Recruitment Open House

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

This virtual career fair hosted by the USPTO welcomes both college graduates and professionals with career backgrounds in various fields of engineering and science to learn more about becoming a patent examiner with the USPTO. Attendees will learn about the work of patent examining and get a chance to discuss salaries, benefits and other aspects of USPTO careers with agency recruiters.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 6: Registration Process Overview

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

This workshop is the sixth module in the USPTO’s eight-part series on trademark basics designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to learn more about how trademark registration can help their business interests. This module explores the overall trademark registration process from filing to registration, including overviews of both application workflow and timing as well as post-registration workflow.

Wednesday, March 10 

House Subcommittee on Homeland Security 

Modernizing the Federal Civilian Approach to Cybersecurity

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

Civilian agencies account for a major share of U.S. federal government operations and they rely upon intragovernmental programs such as the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to address cyber threats to information technology (IT) systems. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the SolarWinds government data breach that broke headlines late last year found that, of 23 federal agencies reviewed, none had implemented best practices for identifying and mitigating cyber risks to government IT systems. The witness panel for this hearing will include Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, CISA; and Brandon Wales, Acting Director, CISA.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

2021 Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium: Pathways to Invention, Entrepreneurship, and STEM Careers for K-12 and Beyond

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

Every Wednesday during Women’s History Month, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium will host expert panels on topics involving women career professionals in STEM fields. This week’s edition will focus on how to nurture girls’ confidence in entrepreneurship and opportunities for girls and women in computer science, invention and STEM. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Carol Dahl, Executive Director, The Lemelson Foundation; Rozalynn Goodwin, Mom, Inventor of GaBBY Bows, and Co-Founder, Confidence; Ruthe Farmer, Chief Evangelist, CSforAll; and moderated by Joyce Ward, Director, Office of Education, USPTO.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

The Army’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicle

At 2:30 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

The U.S. Army’s Next-Generation Combat Vehicle program is dedicated to efforts to develop advanced military vehicle technologies that incorporate emerging tech to improve fuel efficiency, precision weapons systems and other aspects strengthening the battlefield performance of such vehicles. In mid-February, the Army’s vehicular tech program announced that it had received a Robotic Combat Vehicle in Medium (RCV-M) variant which the program would begin testing for its capabilities in scouting and escorting other military vehicles. This event features discussion on the procurement approach of this Army tech program and the applications of next-generation vehicles in battlefield scenarios across Europe and the Indo-Pacific region with Brig. Gen. Richard Coffman, Director, Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, Army Futures Command; and Andrew Philip Hunter, Director, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and Senior Fellow, International Security Program.

Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation 

Innovative Lives: My Inventor Dad

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

The rise of massive research institutions and corporate R&D divisions through the 20th century have led many to believe that the days of independent inventorship are far behind us. However, this event sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center explores how independent inventors continue to produce technologies benefitting society. Documentaries shown at this event will detail the inventive processes of Jerome Lemelson and InBae Yoon, two notable independent inventors from the second half of the 20th century. Speakers at this event will include Dr. Robert Lemelson, Adjunct Professor, UCLA Department of Anthropology and Research Anthropologist, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA; and Cindy Yoon, Video Editor and Maker/Crafter, Potion.

Thursday, March 11 

Senate Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights 

Competition Policy for the Twenty-First Century: The Case for Antitrust Reform

At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

In early February, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, introduced legislation to reform U.S. federal antitrust law by increasing annual budgets for antitrust regulators, strengthen provisions of the Clayton Act and the Sherman Act, and create a division within the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to conduct market studies and merger retrospectives. Much of these proposals are meant to address growing antitrust issues posed by Big Tech as recent public remarks by Sen. Klobuchar make clear. The witness panel for this hearing will include Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, The Committee for Justice; George Slover, Senior Policy Counsel, Consumers Report; Barry Lynn, Executive Director, Open Markets Institute; Jan Rybnicek, Counsel, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP; and Nancy Rose, Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections

Clearing the Air: Science-Based Strategies to Protect Workers from COVID-19 Infections

At 10:45 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.

In mid-February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for schools to reopen nearly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread shutdowns of schools and other public and private facilities. Some researchers, however, have called upon the United States’ top health protection agency to develop requirements for improving ventilation in heavily staffed workplaces as research shows that such environments create a higher risk of viral transmission. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Friday, March 12 

Brookings Institution 

Should the Government Play a Role in Reducing Algorithmic Bias?

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

The incorporation of programmer bias into algorithms has been a major concern among policymakers in many of the world’s most powerful nations, with the United Kingdom taking the most forward approach in outlining the government’s role in addressing such biases to ensure fairness in predictive decision making. This event, hosting by Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation, focuses on governmental approaches to reducing algorithm bias among the UK, U.S. and the European Union, as well as whether approaches to AI bias should be universally applied. This event will feature a panel including Ghazi Ahamat, Senior Policy Advisory, Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director, Center for Technology Innovation; Lara McDonald, Senior Policy Advisor, Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; Adrian Weller, Programme Director for AI, Alan Turing Institute; and moderated by Alex Engler, Rubenstein Fellow, Governance Studies.

House Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems

House Subcommittee on National Security 

Final Recommendations of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

At 11:00 AM on Friday in 2118 Rayburn House Office Building.

On March 1, the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) issued a final report recommending actions that should be taken by the U.S. federal government to become AI-ready by the year 2025. The NSCAI hopes that these recommendations, including the creation of emerging technology committees within the White House and the U.S. Department of Defense, will allow the U.S. to stave off China in the international race for tech dominance in AI, which is important to ensure that such technologies do not serve the purposes of Chinese government ideals such as the surveillance state. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman, NSCAI; the Honorable Robert Work, Vice Chairman, NSCAI; the Honorable Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, NSCAI; and Gilman Lourie, Commissioner, NSCAI.

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Launching the Renewing American Innovation Project: A Conversation With Andrei Iancu and Walt Copan

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

In late February, CSIS launched the Renewing American Innovation Project which is dedicated to exploring ways in which the U.S. government can prioritize innovation programs in such a way that allows it to compete with increasing competition from state-controlled economies such as China. Serving the program as non-resident senior advisors will be Andrei Iancu, Former Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Walt Copan, Former Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This event features a conversation on patent reform, standards setting and other ways that the public and private sectors can cooperate on improving American competitiveness in innovation with Iancu, Copan and John J. Hamre, CEO, President and Langone Chair in American Leadership, CSIS.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

The Path to a Patent, Part VII: Learn How to File Your Patent Application Using EFS-Web

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

This workshop is designed to teach prospective patent applicants about the process of filing for a patent application through the USPTO’s Electronic Filing Service-Web (EFS-Web) system, as well as ways to manage applications using the agency’s Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system. Attendees will watch an interactive tutorial and learn more about resources available through the USPTO’s Inventor’s Assistance Program and Patent Electronics Business Center.

The Author

IPWatchdog

IPWatchdog

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