This Week in Washington IP: Pride in Patent Ownership Hearing, Library of Congress Modernization Oversight and NASA’s Role in Low-Earth Orbit Space

By IPWatchdog
October 18, 2021 week in Washington IP events, the Senate IP Subcommittee convenes a hearing on Tuesday afternoon to debate the Pride in Patent Ownership Act, which would increase requirements on patent owners to disclose changes in patent ownership. NASA’s role in space, including the growing commercial space sector in low-Earth orbit, as well as in developing nuclear propulsion systems for deep space exploration, will be the focus of hearings by other Senate subcommittees. Modernization efforts at the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office will also be explored by the Senate Rules & Administration Committee. Elsewhere, the House Energy Subcommittee discusses opportunities for growing the domestic offshore wind industry, while ITIF closes the week with a look at President Biden’s executive order on promoting competition as part of the institute’s Dynamic Antitrust Discussion Series.

Tuesday, October 19

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

National Grades for the UN Climate Summit: Who Contributes the Most to Global Energy Innovation?

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

The acceleration of clean energy innovation is crucial if the global demand for energy is to be met while national governments continue to transition away from forms of energy contributing heavily to climate change. As world leaders prepare to visit Glasgow to take part in the climate discussions taking place at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) recently released the Global Energy Innovation Index to assess contributions in clean energy innovation at the national level. This event will feature a keynote address by Vavun Sivaram, Senior Advisor, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. This address will be followed by a presentation of findings from the ITIF’s Global Energy Innovation Index by David M. Hart, Senior Fellow, ITIF. Following this presentation will be a discussion with a panel including Amy Myers Jaffe, Research Professor and Managing Director, Climate Policy Lab, Tufts University; Peter Schniering, Founder, Future Cleantechs Architects; and moderated by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Global Energy & Climate Innovation Editor, The Economist.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Book Launch: The Digital Silk Road

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

Among several programs implemented by the Chinese government in order to spread that country’s influence beyond its own borders is the Digital Silk Road, which supports major infrastructure projects in developing countries in Africa and elsewhere. These developing areas benefit from improved Internet access and communications technologies, while China is able to continue growing the digital footprint that the nation plans to leverage to maintain technological domination over the U.S. and other rivals. This event will feature a discussion with Jonathan E. Hillman, Senior Fellow, Economics Program, and Director, Reconnecting Asia Project, and Author, The Digital Silk Road: China’s Quest to Wire the World and Win the Future; and Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, China Report, Axios.

American Enterprise Institute

Does the US Need a National Cybersecurity Strategy?

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

Despite work towards developing a comprehensive national strategy on cybersecurity, including recent proposals by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission on efforts that should be taken to secure critical U.S. networks, the federal government continues to operate without a cyber strategy. This event, which will explore whether the U.S. should develop such a national strategy as well as steps being taken by foreign rivals like China, will feature a discussion with a panel including James X. Dempsey, Senior Policy Advisor, Geopolitics, Technology, and Governance, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University; James Andrew Lewis, Director, Strategic Technologies Program, Center for Strategic & International Studies; Sujit Raman, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Diane Rinaldo, Senior Vice President, Beacon Global Strategies; and moderated by Shane Tews, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 3: Searching

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

This workshop, the third in the USPTO’s eight-part Trademark Basics Boot Camp series, is designed to teach small business owners and entrepreneurs about the importance of performing trademark searches prior to submitting a trademark application with the agency. Topics covered at this workshop include likelihood of confusion, use of the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System, as well as a summary of search principles.

Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

Pride in Patent Ownership: The Value of Knowing Who Owns a Patent

At 2:30 PM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

In late September, the leadership of the Senate IP Subcommittee introduced a pair of patent bills including the Pride in Patent Ownership Act, a bill that would increase transparency requirements regarding the ownership of U.S. patents. IPWatchdog President and CEO Gene Quinn remarked that the bill was “more one-sided nonsense that demands one-sided transparency from patent owners while trying to convince the public it will benefit small businesses.” The witness panel for this hearing will include Allon Stabinsky, Senior Vice President, Chief Deputy General Counsel, Legal Department, Intel Corporation; Abigail Rives, IP Counsel, Engine; Professor Robin Feldman, Arthur J. Goldberg Distinguished Professor of Law, and Director, Center for Innovation, University of California Hastings Law; and the Honorable David J. Kappos, Former Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

Wednesday, October 20

Senate Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

Accelerating Deep Space Travel With Space Nuclear Propulsion

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

In the final weeks of the Trump Administration, the White House issued a memorandum to promote the development of space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP) systems to maintain U.S. strategic leadership in space. This July, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that three reactor design concept proposals for a nuclear thermal propulsion system were each awarded $5 million to continue development of SNPP systems that could aid in deep space exploration. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Roger M. Myers, Co-Chair, Committee on Space Nuclear Propulsion Technologies, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Dr. Bhavya Lal, Senior Advisor for Budget and Finance, NASA; Greg Meholic, Senior Project Leader, The Aerospace Corporation; Michael French, Vice President, Space Systems, Aerospace Industries Association; Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz, Founder and CEO, Ad Astra Rocket Company.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Meet the Patent Experts: Class Four

 At 1:30 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

This online class, hosted by the USPTO’s Texas Regional Office, is the fourth in the agency’s five-part Meet the Patent Experts series. This particular class focuses on the components of provisional applications and features a discussion on claim interpretation and common pitfalls.

Senate Committee on Rules & Administration

Oversight of Library of Congress Modernization Efforts

At 3:00 PM on Wednesday in 301 Russell Senate Office Building.

The Library of Congress, which houses the U.S. Copyright Office, has been undergoing a major modernization project that has been increasing the use of digitized systems in that agency. This summer, the Library announced the establishment of the Copyright Public Modernization Committee, which will meet twice a year through 2024 to provide a public forum for the technology-related aspects of the Office’s modernization efforts. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Carla Hadyen, Librarian of Congress, Library of Congress; Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights and Director, U.S. Copyright Office; Dr. Mary Mazanec, Director, Congressional Research Service; and Jason Broughton, Director, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Library of Congress.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Wine & IP: Office of Policy and International Affairs on China IP & Wine

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

This event, geared toward professionals in the wine industry, features a discussion on the basics of brand protection in foreign countries with a focus on how to protect against trademark infringement and counterfeiting operations in China. This event will be hosted by Susan Anthony, Senior Trademark Attorney, USPTO; and David Foley, Enforcement Attorney, Office of Policy and International Affairs, USPTO.

Thursday, October 21

Senate Subcommittee on Space and Science 

International Collaboration and Competition in Space: Oversight of NASA’s Role and Programs

At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 253 Russell.

In late September, the House Space Subcommittee held a hearing on NASA’s plans for commercial low-Earth orbit as the U.S. space exploration agency prepares to transition away from the International Space Station as it nears the end of its service life. Although NASA has been transitioning towards working more closely with private entities to develop the commercial space program, some policymakers want to retain a role for NASA as a lead agency in space exploration. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Jim Bridenstine, Former Administrator, NASA; Mary Lynne Dittmar, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs, Axiom Space; Mike Gold, Executive Vice President for Civil Space and External Affairs, Redwire Space; and Dr. Patricia Sanders, Chair, NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel.

House Subcommittee on Energy

Offshore Wind, Onshore Benefits: Growing the Domestic Wind Energy Industry

At 10:30 AM on Thursday in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

The Biden Administration has set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy through the U.S. energy grid by the year 2030 and in recent days the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it would offer up to seven new offshore lease sales by 2025. In mid-October, the U.S. Department of Energy announced it would provide $13.5 million in funding to four projects to develop and analyze data that will improve siting for offshore wind projects. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

The Augmented and Virtual Reality Policy Conference

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

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies continue to leave the realm of science fiction as new commercial and industrial applications for those technologies arise. This half-day conference, hosted by ITIF in partnership with the XR Association, will focus on several policy issues for AR/VR deployment that must be navigated as the use of these technologies expand. A keynote address at this event will be given by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA), U.S. House of Representatives. Panelists at this event will include Noble Ackerson, President, CyberXR; Raul Carvajal, Director of Production and XR4C, Games for Change; Bill Curtis-Davidson, Co-Director, Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology; Jeremy Greenberg, Policy Counsel, Future of Privacy Forum; Elizabeth Hyman, President and CEO, XR Association; Jessica Outlaw, Research Director, The Extended Mind; Michael Preston, Executive Director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame; Susan Persky, Associate Investigator Director, National Human Genome Research Institute; Ash Richter, Senior Technology Architect, In-Q-Tel; Diane Hickey, SBIR/STTR Program Director, National Science Foundation; Erika Peace, Senior Industry Product Manager, Government Unity Technologies; Stephen Yadzinski, Senior Innovation Officer, Jobs for the Future; and Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer, e.Republic.

The Brookings Institution

Creating a Tech Equity Agenda to Advance American Democracy

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

Technological advancement promises great improvement to the quality of living for every generation, but the advent of new tech platforms often bring unintended consequences that policymakers must address so that innovation can help to eliminate various inequities from which our society suffers. This event, hosted by Brookings’ Center for Technology Innovation, will feature a discussion with Alondra Nelson, Deputy Director for Science and Society, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Nicol Turner Lee, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director, Center for Technology Innovation.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Path to a Patent, Part III: Patent Searching

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

This workshop, the third in the USPTO’s Path to a Patent series, is designed to teach prospective patent applicants about the basics of patent searching, including how to conduct preliminary searches as well as the suggested Seven-Step Strategy for searches.

Friday, October 22 

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

Dynamic Antitrust Discussion Series: Biden’s Executive Order on Competition

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

This July, the Biden Administration issued an executive order on promoting competition in the American economy by addressing consolidation in various industries, which the White House blames in part for reducing both the competitiveness of the nation’s labor market as well as opportunities for American entrepreneurship. This event, the ninth in ITIF’s Dynamic Antitrust Discussion Series, features a discussion on how to balance antitrust enforcement with innovation policy with a panel including Barak Orbach, Professor of Law and Director, Business Law Program, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona; Carl Shapiro, Transamerica Professor of Business Strategy, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley; and moderated by Aurelien Portuese, Director, Antitrust and Innovation Policy, ITIF.

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