This Week in Washington IP: Protecting State Venue Choices in Big Tech Antitrust Lawsuits, Designing Accessible Digital Public Infrastructure, and Addressing Climate Change and Food Security with Oceanic Tech Developments

Capitol BuildingThis week in Washington IP events, both houses of Congress are mainly quiet this week except for an executive business meeting hosted by the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss a pair of bills, including one that would protect venue choices by state attorneys general who have brought antitrust actions against Big Tech firms like Google. Elsewhere, New America discusses efforts to build digital public infrastructure to address access concerns raised during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Atlantic Council explores advances in data collection and technological developments that can help the scientific community gain a better understanding of the world’s oceans to address social problems like climate change.

Monday, August 9

New America

Designing Accessible and Inclusive Digital Public Infrastructure

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

As of the time of this writing, the U.S. Senate was set to continue debate on a massive $1 trillion bill to finance various improvements to U.S. infrastructure, including about $65 billion that would be earmarked for grants to states for improving broadband Internet access in rural locales and for low-income households. Some commentators advocate for an even greater development of digital public infrastructure given our society’s increased reliance on the Internet to reach government services during the COVID-19 pandemic, though others point out that most infrastructure developments during the Internet age and throughout U.S. history have relied on partnerships with private firms. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Cecilia Muñoz, Senior Advisor, New America; Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft; Deon Woods-Bell, Senior Advisor, Global Policy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Samantha Mack, Elections Language Assistance Compliance Manager, State of Alaska; Tomicah Tillemann, Executive Director, Digital Impact and Governance Initiative, New America; and moderated by Hila Levy, Fellow, Digital Impact and Governance Initiative, New America.


Tuesday, August 10

New America 

Stretch Your Impact: Building Pathways Towards Tech for Good Careers

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

The Stretch Your Impact Summer Series, hosted by New America in partnership with the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center, explores various ways that university-level students with technology backgrounds can utilize their skills to positively impact society. This event will feature a discussion on building career pathways in public interest technologies featuring a trio of Ph.D. candidates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including Serena Booth, Tan Zhi Xuan and Willie Boag. This discussion will also be joined by Milo Phillips-Brown, Professor, Oxford University.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 2: Registration Process Overview

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

This workshop is the second module in the USPTO’s eight-part Trademark Basics Boot Camp series, which is designed to teach the basics of trademark application and registration to small business owners and entrepreneurs who can benefit from trademark enforcement. Topics covered in this workshop include application workflow and timeline overviews as well as overviews on post-registration workflows.

Wednesday, August 11

Atlantic Council

The Future of Data, Oceans, and International Affairs

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

The vast ecosystems that thrive within the oceans of planet Earth are little understood by modern-day scientists but many recognize that a greater understanding of deep sea environments hold great promise for addressing many of society’s deepest issues, such as confronting climate change as well as ensuring food security. This event, part of the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Hour series that explores how data advances and new technologies impact geopolitics, will discuss current gaps in oceanographic data and what the importance of filling those gaps will be for addressing current social problems. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Thammy Evans, Nonresident Senior Fellow, GeoTech Center, Atlantic Council; Horst Kremers, Secretary-General, Senior Engineer and Information Scientist, and Information Systems Strategy Advisor, RIMMA CoE; Eric Rasmussen, CEO, Infinitum Humanitarian Systems; Sahil Shah, Co-Founder and Director, Sustainable Seaweed; and moderated by David Bray, Ph.D., Director, GeoTech Center, Atlantic Council.

Thursday, August 12

Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Executive Business Meeting

At 9:00 AM on Thursday in 216 Hart Office Building.

On Thursday morning, the full Senate Judiciary Committee will convene an executive business meeting to discuss a pair of proposed pieces of legislation, including S. 1787, the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act. Introduced into the Senate in late May, this bill would amend Title 28 of U.S. Code to prevent the transfer of legal actions arising under the antitrust laws in which a state is a complainant. As a recent letter from the leadership of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee to the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts indicates, this bill is designed with antitrust suits against Big Tech giants, especially Google, in mind so that state prosecutors can continue their cases in the venue of their choosing and not have to bring antitrust arguments to a venue preferred by the defendant on a motion to transfer.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Wine & IP: Resources and Policy From the United States Department of Agriculture

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

This latest installment of the Wine & IP series will focus on policies implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that can help wine producers expand their operations and enforce upon their IP rights covering their wine products. These wine producer resources include the USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) and how that program interfaces with the Wine Institute to make information available on better wine production practices and activities. Speakers at this event will include Sandi Dreisonstok, Senior Trade Advisor, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service; and Katherine Bedard, Director of International Public Policy, Wine Institute.


Image: Capitol Building
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