Posts Tagged: "Capitol Hill"

This Week in Washington IP: Advancing Innovation Through FDA User Fees, Modernizing the Postal Service’s Delivery Fleet, and Evaluating SBIR Support of U.S. Innovation

This week in Washington IP events, committee meetings at the U.S. House of Representatives focus on oversight of the Department of Defense’s cyber activities, fleet modernization efforts at the U.S. Postal Service and the innovation funding activities that have occurred during the 40 years since the Small Business Innovation Research program was established. Over in the U.S. Senate, the Health Committee looks at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s recent agreements on medical device user fees and how those funds can support further medical innovation. Elsewhere, the Hudson Institute has a conversation with Representative Mark Green (R-TN) regarding ways to rein in Chinese IP theft, and both the Brookings Institution and the Center for Strategic & International Studies explores ways to ensure that the coming generation of AI technologies is being responsibly developed to benefit human users from all walks of life.

NAPA to Take On Tillis’ Unified IP Office Study

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) has agreed to perform a study requested earlier this month by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) to explore “whether Congress should create a unified, stand-alone, and independent Intellectual Property Office.” NAPA President and CEO Teresa Gerton said its full-time research staff and Academy Fellows are well-positioned to do the work requested and that NAPA would begin discussions with the U.S. Copyright Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) immediately. However, Gerton expressed some skepticism, cautioning that “our success in these negotiations depends greatly on the willing participation of these two agencies and the level of funding they agree to make available for the work.”

This Week in Washington IP: Using AI for Financial RegTech, New Copyright Challenges in Publishing, and How March-In Rights Can Harm American Universities

This week in Washington IP events, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary kicks off the week by returning to debate over Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, as well as another nominee selected for the Southern District of New York and its IP-heavy docket. Over in the House of Representatives, the Space Subcommittee discusses ways to work with private commercial firms to develop space situational awareness tools, while the House Task Force on Artificial Intelligence explores the pros and cons of the use of AI systems on RegTech operations within the financial industry. Elsewhere, the Center for the Study of the Presidency & the Congress hosts an event focused on the relationship between IP policy and U.S. innovation leadership; the Hudson Institute takes a look at new challenges to copyright law posed by the digital publishing industry; and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation looks to correct misconceptions in the advocacy for exercising march-in rights under Bayh-Dole as a price control mechanism for pharmaceuticals.

SMART Copyright Act Would Broaden Definition of Copyright Protection Tools to Be Designated as Standard Technical Measures

Earlier this month, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Strengthening Measures to Advance Rights Technologies (SMART) Copyright Act into the U.S. Senate. The bill is designed to address shortcomings with some of the statutory provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which have failed to incentivize the development of new technical measures for preventing copyright infringement online the way that Congress originally envisioned when passing the DMCA in 1998.

Senators Tell Raimondo COVID Waiver Compromise Would Be a ‘Gift’ to China and Russia

Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) sent a letter yesterday to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo expressing their “grave concerns” with the compromise language agreed on recently in the ongoing talks to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-related technology under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. On March 15, the European Union, United States, India and South Africa announced the compromise language. The text is not final and still must get official approval from all 164 World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries.

This Week in Washington IP: Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains, Promoting Investments into Climate Innovations, and Establishing the Next Generation Telecommunications Council

This week in Washington IP news, in the Senate, the Commerce Committee will hold an executive session to debate the Next Generation Telecommunications Act and a hearing focused on actions Congress can take to secure critical supply chains in semiconductors. The Senate Environment Committee will also host a hearing to explore how investments in climate innovations can help to promote American energy security. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation looks at criticisms of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) increased antitrust regulatory authority, while the Center for Strategic & International Studies discusses the prospects of enhanced U.S.-Japan cooperation in key areas of emerging technology.

Tillis Forges Ahead with Effort to Create a Unified IP Office

In January of this year, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) sent a letter to Matthew Wiener, Acting Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), and Todd Rubin, ACUS Counsel for Congressional Affairs, asking that the ACUS “conduct a study on whether Congress should create a unified, stand-alone, and independent Intellectual Property Office.” But Wiener replied to Tillis’ letter on March 7, indicating that ACUS “has neither the expertise nor resources to conduct” such a study. Instead, Wiener suggested asking an entity better positioned to undertake the task, such as the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), which Tillis wrote to today.

This Week in Washington IP: Exploring Mobile Networking Beyond 5G, The SBA’s Role in Small Business Franchising, and Strengthening U.S. Leadership in Technical Standards

This week in Washington IP news, the House Science Committee hosts hearings discussing improving R&D activities in the bioenergy sector and increasing U.S. leadership in contributions to technical standards, while the House Communications Subcommittee explores the world of mobile networking innovations beyond 5G. Over in the Senate, the Small Business Committee debates the U.S. Small Business Administration’s role in facilitating franchising opportunities for small business owners. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts an event to discuss ways to reconcile the House and Senate versions of major innovation and competition legislation, while the Brookings Institution urges caution on proposals to limit Section 230 protections to liability for user-created content in light of the negative impacts of recent curbs to those limited liability provisions under the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.

Senators Take Aim at Chinese Anti-Suit Injunctions with ‘Defending American Courts Act’

A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators have introduced a bill to amend Chapter 28 of Title 35 of the U.S. Code to include language that would “combat corrupt Chinese Courts from issuing ‘anti-suit injunctions,’” according to a joint press release issued by the senators today. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the bill on March 8. An anti-suit injunction is an injunction issued by a foreign court to limit the rights of parties to pursue litigation in U.S. courts.

I-MAK Defends Integrity of Its Patent Data in Response to Tillis Letter

The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) has responded to a letter it received from Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) in January asking the organization to address claims that its data on the effects of pharmaceutical patents on drug pricing is faulty. In the letter, I-MAK defended its underlying patent data and, in reference to the question of why the data differs significantly from public sources like the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Orange Book and court filings, explained that “relying on public sources and court filings is not an accurate methodology for identifying all patents on a drug.” I-MAK’s view is that the U.S. patent system creates patent monopolies that lead to the practice of “evergreening”, in which innovator pharmaceutical companies extend their rights beyond the original patent terms, preventing competition from generics, which in turn causes drug prices to remain high. As part of its mission, I-MAK has developed a database of patents covering key drugs. Its reports are often cited by academics, including in law journals, policymakers and in congressional hearings. As a result, I-MAK has become one of the most authoritative sources for information on patents in this space.

This Week in Washington IP: Overview of SBIR and STTR Programs, Securing American Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles, and AI Innovation’s Impact on Social Welfare

This week in Washington IP news, the House of Representatives will host committee meetings to consider the reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as ways that Congress can encourage more domestic manufacturing of the next generation of electric vehicles. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee discusses several judicial nominees by the Biden Administration, including a few that would serve in U.S. district courts important to IP law. Elsewhere, The Brookings Institute hosts a conversation with Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz on the potential impacts of AI innovation on social welfare, while the Hudson Institute explores ways that Japan and the U.S. can further collaborate on our 5G mobile networking future.

This Week in Washington IP: Confirmation Vote for Gigi Sohn to FCC, Legislating Greater Data Privacy Regulations Against Big Tech

This week in Washington IP news, the House Consumer Protection Subcommittee hosts a hearing to debate several bills aimed at regulating the consumer data privacy practices of Big Tech, while the House Space Subcommittee reviews the current status of NASA’s Artemis program. Over in the Senate, the Judiciary Committee discusses several judicial nominees to sit on the bench of a pair of U.S. district courts very important to the world of intellectual property, while the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a long-awaited vote on the nomination of Gigi Sohn to serve as an FCC Commissioner. Elsewhere, New America brings an expert panel together to debate NIST’s recent IoT cybersecurity labeling guidelines and how those can be translated into physical labels to inform consumers about IoT device security 

Big Tech and China, Inc. Rejoice in DOJ Draft SEP Policy Statement and FTC Speech

Last summer, I lamented how the Department of Justice – Antitrust Division (DOJ), without Senate confirmed leadership, was hastily pushing through policies that augmented the already-enormous power of Big Tech and benefitted China’s interests. Similarly, I uncovered how the App Association, a Big Tech-funded advocacy organization masquerading as a group of small app developers, was able to trick the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into inviting it to speak at its July 2021 Commission meeting alongside legitimate small businesses. This is the same association that supported Apple in its litigation against (real) app developers, issued a June 2021 press release against the House bills aimed at regulating Big Tech, and misses no opportunity to support Big Tech interests.

The SECRETS Act Adds a Critical New Defense Against IP Theft Threatening U.S. Tech Leadership

Intellectual property (IP) theft, especially of trade secrets, remains a significant threat to advanced U.S. industries, global competitiveness, and national security. It is foundational to the U.S. trade dispute with China, given state-sponsored efforts to steal as much American know-how as possible. Yet, instead of new laws and regulations, the United States has relied mainly on tariffs in an indirect effort to convince China to curb these illegal practices. That is, until now. As Congress and the Biden administration prepare to finalize competitiveness bills and set the country’s annual defense budget, they have an opportunity to advance another bill that will benefit American businesses and workers by combatting the Chinese threat to U.S. industries—the SECRETS Act, introduced last summer by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Todd Young (R-IN).

Thank You, Senator Tillis, for Recognizing the Need for Evidence-Based Policymaking in Patent Law

Earlier this month, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) sent a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), expressing concern about policymaking on drug patents and drug prices being driven by a narrative rooted more in policy goals than in actual data. He sent another letter to a policy organization, Initiative for Medicines, Access, and Knowledge (I-MAK), which has held itself out as go-to source for data on the number of patents covering drugs. I-MAK has become very popular; its drug patent numbers are invoked as fact by congresspersons, academics, congressional witnesses, and policy activists. Senator Tillis is to be commended for expressing serious concerns about the unreliability of drug patent numbers repeatedly invoked in the policy debates over drug prices in Washington, D.C. His letter to the USPTO and FDA requests that the agencies engage in an “independent assessment and analysis of the sources and data that are being relied upon by those advocating for patent-based solutions to drug pricing.”