This Week in Washington IP: Adjudication Issues at the PTAB, Regulating Government Access to Personal Data, and the USPTO’s Southeast Asia Intellectual Property Roadshow

Washington IPThis week in Washington IP news, the House Committee on the Judiciary’s IP Subcommittee takes a second look at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board after 10 years of existence, with a special focus on issues with adjudicating legal matters in an agency setting. The full House Judiciary Committee also hosts a hearing to explore government access to consumer personal data. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation debates ways that cultural changes at federal agencies can improve IT modernization efforts, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hosts a Southeast Asia Intellectual Property Roadshow to educate business owners on how they can leverage their IP rights for business success in that region of the globe.

Monday, July 18

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Southeast Asia Intellectual Property Roadshow

At 7:00 PM on Monday, online video webinar.

Many of the world’s most rapidly developing economies are located in the region of Southeast Asia and this two-hour seminar will focus on topics specific to doing IP-related business in Southeast Asia, including mechanisms by which small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are able to enforce their intellectual property rights. This event is hosted by the USPTO in collaboration with the U.S. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (U.S.-ASEAN), the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, and the U.S. Commercial Service.

Tuesday, July 19 

House Committee on the Judiciary 

Digital Dragnets: Examining the Government’s Access to Your Personal Data

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2141 Rayburn House Office Building.

As government agencies continue to modernize their information technology (IT) systems, civil liberties advocates have increasingly called upon officials, especially those in law enforcement, to exercise caution when conducting investigations that involve attempts to access the digital data of American citizens. Digital data from texting and other wireless or Internet communications often remains accessible even after a device owner has deleted that data, making it crucial that government officials are regulated in such a way that encourages responsible access of consumer data. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

Insights from Social Media for Safety in the Metaverse

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

The rise of the metaverse in recent months has led to early developments in a new kind of virtual reality known as extended reality (XR), offered primarily by social networking platforms and incorporating both virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. In mid-June, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba announced that it was creating a new XR business unit to be staffed by more than 300 employees. However, increased efforts by government regulators to rein in data collection practices of private companies have led to concerns that regulatory action could delay developments in XR technologies. This event will feature a discussion on user safety on social XR platforms with a panel including Jessica Outlaw, Research Director, The Extended Mind; Anne Hobson, Policy Manager, Reality Labs, Meta; Charlotte Willner, Executive Director, Trust & Safety Professional Association; and moderated by Juan Londoño, Policy Analyst, ITIF.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 3: Searching

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

This USPTO workshop, the third in the agency’s eight-part Trademark Basics Boot Camp series, is designed to teach important principles of trademark searching to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Topics covered during this workshop include likelihood of confusion, searching in Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and a summary of search principles.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Blockchain & IP: Intellectual Property Investigation of Protection in the Metaverse

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

Blockchain and other digital asset technologies are opening up business opportunities in what is being referred to as the “metaverse,” fully embodied virtual reality (VR) platforms that are being populated with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other technologies for an immersive VR experience. This event will feature a discussion with a Senior Director from Metaverse IP on effective techniques for branding in the digital space.

Thursday, July 21 

House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet 

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board After 10 Years, Part II: Implications of Adjudicating in an Agency Setting

At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 2141 Rayburn.

Near the end of June, committee hearings in both houses of Congress began a dialogue about some of the more controversial aspects of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) established a decade ago by passage of the America Invents Act (AIA). While the Senate IP Subcommittee’s hearing focused more on the potential impacts of the proposed PTAB Reform Act, the House IP Subcommittee’s hearing received testimony regarding the use of the PTAB by large technology firms to hinder the business prospects of smaller but more innovative competitors. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

American Enterprise Institute

Can Billions of Dollars in Federal Grants Solve Broadband Access and Availability Throughout the US?

 At 10:00 AM on Thursday in AEI Auditorium, 1789 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Among the many programs established through last year’s enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a massive piece of legislation aimed at major upgrades to critical infrastructure across America, is the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the BEAD program will administer $42.45 billion in federal funding to make grants available to individual states that are undertaking major broadband infrastructure projects. Broadband industry advocates, however, have argued that many restrictions placed upon state broadband projects receiving federal funding could actually make it more difficult to bridge the digital divide for underserved communities. This event will feature a fireside chat with Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission; Mark Jamison, Nonresident Fellow, AEI; and moderated by Shane Tews, Nonresident Senior Fellow, AEI. Following that chat will be a discussion with a panel including Jamison; Michelle P. Connolly, Professor of the Practice of Economics, Duke University; Cheryl Musgrave, Commissioner, Vanderburgh County, Indiana; Sarah Oh Lam, Senior Fellow, Technology Policy Institute; and moderated by Tews.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

Culture Modernization in Federal Digital Transformation

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

Lawmakers in D.C. have been focused on encouraging IT modernization efforts across the federal government’s Executive Branch agencies, but purchasing state-of-the-art IT systems won’t be able to make much positive impact if organizational cultures at these agencies aren’t themselves modernized to ensure that new technologies are being adequately adapted to achieve agency goals. While the federal government’s use of Agile project management principles for incorporating incremental software developments into agency workflows has had some effect in effectively managing agency IT needs, agency directors must be able to develop a dynamic and flexible work environment to make the most of modernization efforts. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Alexis Bonnell, Emerging Technology Evangelist for Government and Strategic Business Executive, Google; Jeneanne Rae, Former Specialist Executive, Deloitte Digital; and moderated by Eric Egan, Policy Fellow for e-Government, ITIF.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Path to a Patent, Part II: Drafting Provisional Patent Applications

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

This USPTO workshop, the second in the agency’s eight-part Path to a Patent series, is designed to teach prospective patent applicants about provisional patent applications and important considerations regarding them. Topics covered during this workshop include key differences between provisional and nonprovisional patent applications, filing requirements and different ways in which provisional patent applications may be filed.


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