This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Commerce Committee will be busy with a major hearing on Section 230 liability shields for tech platforms in light of charges of political censorship. Policy institutes hosting innovation-related events this week include the American Enterprise Institute, which kicks off the week with a closer look at the House Antitrust Subcommittee’s recent report on antitrust regulations in digital markets, and the Hudson Institute, which will dissect the oral arguments made in the Google v. Oracle Android software copyright case recently argued that the U.S. Supreme Court. The week will conclude on Friday with the regular quarterly meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee to examine recent trademark operations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Monday, October 26
American Enterprise Institute
At 1:00 PM on Monday, online video webinar.
On October 6, the House Antitrust Subcommittee issued a report discussing the need to increase antitrust regulation of digital markets, an incredibly popular subject among lawmakers during the 116th Congress. However, some critics of the subcommittee’s report note that the enforcement mechanisms suggested by the House report, which would give regulators a much stronger ability to take regulatory action, could serve to harm the important balancing of competitive and consumer interests which has marked the development of antitrust law in America. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Thomas W. Hazlett, H.H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics, Clemson University; Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Chair Global Antitrust and Competition Practice, Baker Bots LLP; D. Daniel Sokol, Professor of Law, Frederic G. Levin College of Law, University of Florida; and moderated by Mark Jamison, Visiting Scholar, AEI.
Tuesday, October 27
At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.
The international trade tensions that have heated up between the U.S. and China in recent years have led both nations to engage in efforts to decouple their technological ties which are aimed at promoting national security for either but are being pursued in an ad hoc fashion that has served to fracture shared systems focused on science and technological research. This event, which will discuss a comprehensive plan on technological decoupling that can mitigate the worst effects of this policy, will feature keynote remarks by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Following her remarks will be a discussion with a panel including Abigail Coplin, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Science, Technology and Society, Vassar College; Jennifer Daskal, Professor and Faculty Director of the Tech, Law, Security Program, American University College of Law and Scholar-in-Residence, New America; Samm Sacks, Cyber Policy, New America and Senior Fellow, Yale Law School Paul Tsai China Center; Naomi Wilson, Senior Director of Policy, Asia, Information Technology Industry Council; Yan Luo, Partner, Covington and Burling LLP; and moderated by Graham Webster, Editor-in-Chief, Stanford-New America DigiChina Project, Stanford University Cyber Policy Center.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
At 1:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.
This USPTO event is designed to offer resources to military veterans who are interested in learning more about how to contribute to the U.S. innovation ecosystem including learning best practices from innovators and entrepreneurs as well as helpful tips on protecting IP. This event will feature a keynote address by Florent “Flo” Groberg, Microsoft Principal Program Manager Azure Global Government Expansion, Medal of Honor Recipient 2015. Following her remarks will be a pair of panels focusing on networks and resources for entrepreneurship and invention promotion, as well as an overview of USPTO resources to provide support to inventors and small business owners.
American Enterprise Institute
At 4:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.
Over the past few decades, there are many examples of how broad policy visions by incoming American leaders have been derailed in large part because of administration failures in properly implementing the technology to support those policies. This event will evaluate the current technological capacity of the Executive Branch of our federal government and how crucial it is for the incoming administration, regardless who wins the November election, to use the first 200 days in office in ironing out any technological issues which could negatively impact policy goals. Keynote remarks at this event will be offered by Cassandra Madison, Acting Executive Director, Tech Talent Project. Following those remarks will be a discussion with a panel including Madison; David Almacy, Founder, CapitalGig LLC; Mina Hsiang, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, Devoted Health; Nicole Wong, Former Deputy Chief Technology Officer of the U.S.; and moderated by John P. Bailey, Visiting Fellow, AEI.
Wednesday, October 28
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in G50 Dirksen Senate Office Building.
At the beginning of October, the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously voted to subpoena the CEOs of a trio of major American tech firms to compel their appearance before the committee during Wednesday’s hearing, which will focus on whether the online platform liability shields under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act have outlived their usefulness by allowing powerful tech platforms to censor certain political views. The witness panel for this hearing will include Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter; Sundar Pichai, CEO, Alphabet Inc.; and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook.
At 12:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.
In early October, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Oracle v. Google, a major copyright case regarding the level of copyright protection that Oracle can claim for the software interface code used by Google to develop its Android mobile operating system. This is the first Supreme Court case in years that will ask the nation’s highest court to rule on a fair use defense and many commentators noted how in oral arguments the Supreme Court exhibited some skepticism of Google’s fair use defense. Speakers at this event will include Adam Mossoff, Senior Fellow & Chair of the Forum for IP, Hudson Institute; Steven Tepp, President & CEO, Sentinel Worldwide, and Professional Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School; and Tim Wilson, Director, Patents, SAS Institute.
Thursday, October 29
Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance
At 8:30 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.
With a network of more than 40 policy institutes and think tanks focused on issues of globalization and innovation, the Global Trade and Innovation Policy Alliance (GTIPA) hosts a major annual summit bringing together members of its network to explore creative solutions to international challenges. Panels at this years’ GTIPA summit will feature city mayors discussing the impacts of globalization, GTIPA member country responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the findings of a new GTIPA report on the importance of e-commerce and digital trade to member nations.
At 9:00 AM on Thursday, online video webinar.
Like many areas of the world, the Asia-Pacific region has seen great benefits from the digital transformation of many avenues of commerce, but low awareness of cybersecurity as well as lax regulatory enforcement have enabled many malicious cyber entities trying to take advantage of technological advances in this region. This event, hosted by Brookings’ Center for East Asia Policy Studies, will explore the evolving cyber landscape and risk environment for the Asia-Pacific region and how this area is being impacted by growing strategic competition between the U.S. and China. A keynote address at this event will be delivered by Bae Jongin, Ambassador for International Security Affairs and Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. Following those remarks will be a discussion with a panel including Mihoko Matsubara, Chief Cybersecurity Strategist, NTT Corporation; Elina Noor, Director, Political-Security Affairs and Deputy Director, Washington D.C. Office, Asia Society Policy Institute; Thomas Uren, Senior Analyst, International Cyber Policy Centre, Australian Strategic Policy Institute; and moderated by Jung H. Pak, SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies.
Friday, October 30
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
At 1:00 PM on Friday, online video webinar.
On Friday afternoon, the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) will convene its quarterly meeting to discuss policies, goals, budget and performance for the trademark operations of the USPTO. Speaking at the TPAC meeting will be USPTO Director Andrei Iancu; David Gooder, Commissioner for Trademarks; Shira Perlmutter, Outgoing Chief Policy Officer and Director of International Affairs; Branden Ritchie, Director, Office of Governmental Affairs; Kimberley Alton, Deputy Director, Office of Governmental Affairs; Jay Hoffman, Chief Financial Officer; Gerard Rogers, Chief Administrative Trademark Judge; Jamie Holcombe, Chief Information Officer; Eunice Wang, Acting TMNG Portfolio Manager; and Laura Peter, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director, USPTO.
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