Improving Patent Quality to Protect Real Innovation, Legislative Markup of Big Tech Antitrust Bills and Promoting Rural Businesses in the SBIR/STTR Programs



[ad_1] week in Washington IP news, the Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee hosts a hearing on Tuesday afternoon regarding efforts to improve “patent quality”, a buzzword that has closely followed the patent reform debate for more than a decade, while the Senate Aviation Subcommittee on Wednesday explores changes to the country’s aviation infrastructure to accommodate air travel innovations of the 21st century. Over in the House of Representatives, the House Judiciary Committee hosts a markup session Wednesday morning to consider several bills being advanced to increase antitrust regulation on Big Tech, and the House Rural Development Subcommittee debates ways to improve access to the SBIR and STTR research and development funding programs for rural and underserved businesses. Elsewhere, the Center for Strategic & International Studies takes a look at areas for cooperation between the U.S. and South Korea for securing critical tech supply chains, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday afternoon will look at myths involving patents and econm

Monday, June 21

Center for Strategic & International Studies 

Economy Disrupted: The View from Oklahoma City

At 11:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.

This month’s edition of CSIS’ Economy Disrupted series, which focuses on the disruptive forces in innovation that are shaping the U.S. economy city by city, will focus on Oklahoma City, which in early 2020 was ranked by real estate marketplace Zillow as the top market for tech expansion in the United States. The city also ranked high on a 2019 ranking of up and coming markets for tech talent in a listing released by commercial real estate firm CBRE. This event will feature a discussion with David Holt, Mayor, Oklahoma City; Matthew P. Goodman, Senior Vice President for Economics, Simon Chair in Political Economy, CSIS; and Sarah Ladislaw, Senior Associate (Non-Resident), Energy Security and Climate Change Program, CSIS.

Tuesday, June 22

Senate Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy 

Renewable Energy – Growth and Opportunities for Our Rural Economies

At 9:30 AM on Tuesday in 562 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Federal funding for renewable energy projects in rural communities is facilitated by the Rural Development division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and last Friday, the White House announced that President Joe Biden had selected former Representative Xochitl Torres Small to serve as Undersecretary of Rural Development at the USDA. The witness panel for this hearing will include Shannon Schlecht, Executive Director, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute; the Honorable Katie Sieben, Chairwoman, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission; Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy; Bill Cherrier, Executive Vice President and CEO, Central Iowa Power Cooperative; and Matthew Mancuso, Dean, Industrial Technology, Iowa Western Community College.

Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

Protecting Real Innovations by Improving Patent Quality

At 2:30 PM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen.

Improved patent quality has long been a purported goal of the patent reform movement and efforts at improving quality were a major focus of former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Michelle K. Lee, despite the fact that patent quality is a metric that is difficult to measure. The witness panel for this hearing will include Bridget Asay, Partner, Stris & Maher LLP; Julio Garceran, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Cree, Inc.; Troy R. Lester, Vice President Patents, Acushnet Company; and Jorge L. Contreras, Presidential Scholar and Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah.

Wednesday, June 23

Center for Strategic & International Studies

100-Day Supply Chain Review: Opportunities for U.S.-Korea Cooperation

At 8:30 AM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

In late February, the White House under President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling for a 100-day review of supply chains for four products critical to America’s innovation economy, including semiconductor manufacturing, advanced batteries, active pharmaceutical ingredients and critical minerals. In early June, the White House announced a series of initiatives meant to address supply chain vulnerabilities affecting those four key areas to improve U.S. competitiveness with foreign rivals. This event, which will focus on ways that the U.S. and South Korea can cooperate to secure supply chains related to batteries and semiconductors, will feature a discussion with a panel including Eun Kee, President, Ultium Cells; Jimmy Goodrich, Vice President, Global Policy at the Semiconductor Industry Association; Naomi Wilson, Vice President for Asia, Information Technology Industry Council; and Matthew P. Goodman, Senior Vice President for Economics, Simon Chair in Political Economy, CSIS.

House Committee on the Judiciary

Legislative Markup Session

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

On Wednesday morning, the House Judiciary Committee will convene a legislative markup session to consider a series of six bills that are being advanced as part of an agenda to regulate anticompetitive behavior on online platforms dominated by Big Tech. These bills include H.R. 3843, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act; H.R. 3460, the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act; H.R. 3849, the Augmented Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act; H.R. 3826, the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act; H.R. 3816, the American Choice and Innovation Online Act; and H.R. 3825, the Ending Platform Monopolies Act.

House Subcommittee on Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Development 

Prioritizing Small Underserved and Rural Businesses in the SBIR/STTR Programs

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2360 Rayburn.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs make federal funding available for innovative small businesses through competitive grants. One of the foundational goals of both the SBIR and STTR programs is to encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, as well as those that are 51 percent women-owned. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Joshua A. Henry, President and Founder, GO Lab, Inc.; Nancy Min, Founder, ecoLong; Dr. Angelique Johnson, Founder and CEO, MEMStim LLC; Dr. David Green, CEO, Physical Sciences Inc.

Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation

Aviation Infrastructure for the 21st Century

At 2:30 PM on Wednesday in 253 Russell Senate Office Building.

The world of air travel is barely more than one century old but over the next 100 years, incredible advances in the world of personal mobility are expected to double the annual number of passengers traveling by air across the world between 2017 and 2036. The witness panel for this hearing will include Danette Bewley, President and CEO, Tucson Airport Authority; Paul Cullen, Vice President for Real Estate, Southwest Airlines; Paul Rinaldi, President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association; and Dr. Benjamin Miller, The RAND Corporation.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

History’s Hand: Inventor’s Mind – Five Myths About Patents and Economic Progress

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

This latest edition of the USPTO’s History’s Hand: Inventor’s Mind series, which features stories of famed inventors from years ago as curated by USPTO Historian Adam Bisno, will explore a series of supposed myths about patents and their impact on economic progress with Zorina Khan, Professor of Economics, Bowdoin College.

Thursday, June 24

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

How to Make U.S. Manufacturing Clean and Competitive in the Global Low-Carbon Economy

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

As of 2019, the industrial sector contributed 23 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions within the United States according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. While current carbon capture and related technologies are not well adept at addressing emissions created by manufacturing facilities, ITIF is releasing a new report coinciding with this event which details policy recommendations for integrating manufacturing innovation with climate goals. Keynote speakers at this event will include Jane Flegal, Senior Director for Industrial Emissions, White House Council on Environmental Quality; and Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY), Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives. This event will also feature a discussion with a panel including David M. Hart, Senior Fellow, ITIF; Henry Kelly, Senior Fellow, Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy; Jason Walsh, Executive Director, BlueGreen Alliance; and moderated by Dorothy Robyn, Senior Fellow, Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

China IP: Quarterly Legislation and Case Law Update

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

This workshop, the first in a planned series of quarterly updates on legal developments in China surrounding the topic of intellectual property, will focus on related legislative and case law developments in China during 2020 and the first half of 2021 for patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets and IP enforcement.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Design Webinar Series: Electronics and User Interfaces

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

This workshop is the latest in the USPTO’s Design Webinar Series, which is designed to educate business owners and entrepreneurs about the value of design patents within an IP portfolio. This particular event will focus on design patent issues specific to electronics and user interfaces including graphical user interfaces, animation, virtual reality, infringement challenges unique to user interfaces as well as emerging aspects of user interface technologies. This event will be hosted by Stephen Koziol, Acting Regional Director, Silicon Valley Regional Office, USPTO.


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