Posts Tagged: "Capitol Hill"

This Week in Washington IP: More Debate on Stablecoin Regulation, Oversight Hearing for the NTIA, and Legislating New Climate Science Research Centers

This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing to discuss last November’s report on stablecoins by the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. Over in the House of Representatives, the Communications Subcommittee will conduct an oversight hearing of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), while the Energy Subcommittee debates a proposed bill that would create a series of climate research centers across the United States. Elsewhere, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee discusses its efforts to increase accessibility at the PTAB, while New America hosts an event to discuss the possibility that nuclear energy could be better adopted into national energy systems in order to meet climate goals.

Examining Tillis’ Proposal for a One-Stop IP Shop

North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis has raised the possibility of a combined patent, trademark and copyright office so as to improve the federal government’s approach to all aspects of intellectual property. On January 26, the Senator sent a letter to the Chairman and Counsel for the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) to undertake a study into whether there should be a unified, independent Intellectual Property Office. The Administrative Conference is an independent agency that makes procedural recommendations to the federal government. Tillis’ request is premised upon his view that currently there is a fractured approach to intellectual property in our federal government, with multiple IP functions spread across different agencies, leading to conflicting policy agendas and unnecessary bureaucracy. Tillis is the Ranking Member of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Intellectual Property.

Federal Circuit Gets New Blood as Senate Confirms Leonard Stark to Replace O’Malley

Judge Leonard Philip Stark was confirmed by the U.S. Senate yesterday to be the next judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, replacing Judge Kathleen O’Malley. O’Malley announced in July of last year that she will officially retire on March 11, 2022. Stark was confirmed by a vote of 61-35, which is reportedly one of the most bipartisan votes so far during President Joe Biden’s administration.

House Passes the America COMPETES Act as Response to Senate’s China Competition Bill

On February 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a major piece of legislation known as the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology, and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022, which is the House’s counterpart to the U.S. Senate’s United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. While both bills are designed to improve America’s competitiveness in several key technology areas over foreign economic rivals, especially China, some IP advocates are pointing out that the bill provides little more than lip service on protecting American IP rights against Chinese infringers.

This Week in Washington IP: Regulating Stablecoins and Digital Assets, Establishing ARPA-H for Biomedical Research, and Clean Hydrogen for U.S. Industries

This week in Washington IP news, committees in the House of Representatives will host a string of hearings focused on improving data innovation and R&D to stop human trafficking, recommendations for regulating stablecoins as they become a larger part of the universe of currencies accepted in the U.S., and efforts to establish an advanced research project for healthcare in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Senate, the Agriculture Committee will host a hearing on regulating digital assets like NFTs, while the Energy Committee will examine the possibilities for incorporating clean hydrogen technologies into various U.S. industry sectors. Elsewhere, The Hudson Institute debates concerns over Chinese companies heavily subsidized by that foreign government to acquire U.S. firms that are involved in sensitive areas of tech R&D. 

Bipartisan Groups of Administration Officials, Senators, Voice Opposition to New Joint Policy Statement on SEPs

Friday, February 4, marked the deadline for submission of comments on the latest iteration of the Joint Department of Justice (DOJ)-U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)-National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Policy Statement on Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary FRAND Commitments. The request for comments came on the heels of President Joe Biden’s July 2021 Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, which asked the three agencies to review the 2019 statement. In perhaps one of the most surprising submissions, a bipartisan group of former presidential administration officials jointly commented that the new version of the Policy Statement is “disconnected from the realities of SEP licensing,” “unbalanced,” and would “disadvantage the United States on the global stage.”

Senate Judiciary Moves Open App Markets Act Forward

On February 3, during an Executive Business Meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) proposed several amendments on the markup of S. 2710, the Open App Markets Act. The bill would apply existing U.S. antitrust law under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act or the Clayton Act for enforcement actions against companies that engage in anticompetitive practices in app stores, such as requiring app developers to use a favored in-app payment system for accessing consumers through that app store.

Tillis Wants More Info on I-MAK and Other Data Driving Anti-Patent Narratives Around Drug Pricing

Just over one week ago, Professor Adam Mossoff of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University published a Policy Memo with the Hudson Institute charging that some of the key data relied upon in the heated debate over the effects of pharmaceutical patents on drug pricing and access may be faulty. Now, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has written letters to the key organization providing that data, the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), expressing concern about the findings of Mossoff’s memo and requesting more information from I-MAK about its methodology.

This Week in Washington IP: Critiquing the DOJ’s SEP Policy Statement, Musician Royalties for Terrestrial AM/FM Radio Broadcasts, and Promoting Collective News Publisher Negotiations with Online News Aggregators

This week in Washington IP news, the House of Representatives hosts several committee hearings to discuss the American Music Fairness Act, which would require terrestrial AM/FM radio stations to pay royalties to musical performers and not only songwriters, and to navigate the safety concerns raised by aviation executives over the expanded rollout of 5G networks operating on frequencies close to those utilized by airplane safety devices. In the Senate, the Antitrust Subcommittee will explore the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which is designed to provide antitrust safe harbor for collective action by news publishers to negotiate royalties for reuse of news content by online news aggregators. Elsewhere, the Hudson Institute hosts former USPTO Directors Andrei Iancu and David Kappos for an event that critiques the DOJ’s recent draft policy statement on remedies for standard-essential patent owners.

On Final Day of PTAB Masters™ 2022, Iancu/Panelists Ponder the Road Ahead for USPTO and PTAB

The last day of PTAB Masters™ 2022 featured sessions on dealing with parallel litigation at the International Trade Commission (ITC) and district courts in Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings; life sciences and inter partes review (IPR); and the future of the PTAB. On the latter topic, speakers contemplated what lies in wait for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director nominee, Kathi Vidal, who is likely to be confirmed, as well as how certain the Restoring America Invents Act is to be passed, and what changes it may include.

Senate Judiciary Advances American Innovation and Choice Online Act to Ramp Up Antitrust Efforts Against Big Tech

On January 20, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary voted 16-6 to advance S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, out of committee and toward a full vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. If passed, the bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Attorney General and state attorneys general new powers to bring antitrust enforcement actions against major online platforms that are alleged to be engaging in discriminatory conduct by preferencing their own products and services over competing products and services that are also available on those platforms.

This Week in Washington IP: The Patchwork of State Data Privacy Laws, The Future of Digital Currencies and the TPAC’s Quarterly Meeting

This week in Washington IP news, both houses of Congress remain very quiet, as both the Senate and the House of Representatives enter scheduled work periods. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation explores the growing patchwork of state-level data privacy regulations and the drag it produces on the Internet economy. Also, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a chat with the Honorable Keith J. Krach and Gen. H.R. McMaster on the importance of building trust in networking technologies, the Center for Strategic & International Studies focuses on efforts to coordinate satellite operations to prevent collisions in space, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office closes the week by hosting the most recently quarterly meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee for public review of the agency’s trademark operations.

Mossoff Policy Memo for Hudson Institute Calls for Transparency from I-MAK on Data Used in Drug Pricing Debate

A Policy Memo published by the Hudson Institute and authored by Professor Adam Mossoff of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University has charged that some of the key data relied upon in the heated debate over the effects of pharmaceutical patents on drug pricing and access may be faulty. The memo, titled “Unreliable Data Have Infected the Policy Debates Over Drug Patents,” specifically targets the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), an advocacy organization that has become a “principal, go-to source” for data on the number of patents and patent applications covering pharmaceutical innovations.

Tillis to Garland/ Kanter: Pursuit of New Draft Policy on SEPs Shows a ‘Failure of innovation Leadership’

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) today sent a second letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assistant Attorney General – Antitrust Division at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Jonathan Kanter expressing concern over the process for releasing, and the substance of, a revised version of the Joint DOJ-U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)-National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Policy Statement on Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary FRAND Commitments. Tillis sent an initial letter on December 10, 2021, four days after the DOJ published the latest iteration of the Policy Statement for public comment.

This Week in Washington IP: America’s Sputnik Moment with China, Promoting Secure Transatlantic Supply Chains for Critical Tech, and the Energy Impacts of Crypto Mining

This week in Washington IP news, several committee hearings in the House of Representatives will focus on major tech issues. The House Oversight Committee on Thursday explores the energy impacts of cryptocurrency mining, while on Wednesday afternoon the House Europe Subcommittee will discuss ways to improve resiliency in transatlantic supply chains for critical technologies. Elsewhere, the Center for Strategic & International Studies will welcome former USPTO Director Andrei Iancu for a discussion regarding whether America’s tech policy is forcing the nation into another Sputnik moment in the race against China to build a strong domestic semiconductor industry.