Skip to navigation

This Week in Washington IP: Increasing Inventor Diversity, USCMA Implementation and EU Investments Into R&D

CoffyLaw, LLC Jan. 13, 2020

This week in Washington-based IP events, the Senate will host a series of committee hearings to explore the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) implementation bill recently passed by the House of Representatives, although political turmoil in D.C. is expected to delay the Senate’s passage of that legislation. The Senate Commerce Committee will also convene a hearing this week to focus on how the U.S. can maintain a competitive edge in several areas of innovation. Over in the House, the Small Business Committee will discuss findings on minority and women patenting rates in the recent SUCCESS Act study. Other House committees will focus on steps towards a carbon-free shipping industry, facial recognition technologies, and new frontiers in energy science research. Elsewhere in D.C., the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will look at ways that the EU is planning on funding research and development across Europe, and the Brookings Institution will host an event on the ethical use of AI algorithms.

Tuesday, January 14

House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation

The Path to a Carbon-Free Maritime Industry: Investments and Innovation

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.

In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization brokered the world’s first agreement among nations involved in the global shipping industry to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions attributable to shipping by 50 percent by the year 2050. Various innovations, including hydrogen fuel cells or rechargeable battery-powered propulsion systems, could be developed more quickly if funded by carbon emission taxes. The witness panel for this hearing will include Joshua Berger, Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead, State of Washington; John Butler, President and CEO, World Shipping Council; Dr. Lee Kindberg, Director, Environment and Sustainability, Maersk Line/Maersk Agency USA; Peter Bryn, Technical Solutions Manager, North America, ABB Marine & Ports; and Kathy Metcalf, President and CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America.

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Committee Business Meeting

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

In December, the House of Representatives approved a measure to adopt the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and enacting important intellectual property provisions in areas such as biologics. However, the Senate vote on implementing the USMCA could face delays due to the specter of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. This Senate Environment Committee meeting is the first of several in the Senate this week to consider passing the bill that would formally enact the USMCA.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Scaling Innovation: How the European Innovation Council Bolsters Europe’s Competitiveness

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 700 K St. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20001.

To promote research and development across the European continent, the EU has proposed creating a European Innovation Council (EIC) that would become fully effective in 2021. The agency is scheduled to receive 10 billion euros in funding between 2021 and 2027. This event will explore the potential impact of the EIC and how it might affect science discoveries and entrepreneurship across Europe. The keynote speaker for this event will be Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation, DG RTD, European Commission. The event will also feature a discussion with an expert panel including Jennifer Gerbi, Associate Director for Technology and Program Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E); John Kao, President, Institute for Large Scale Innovation; Nicholas Vonortas, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, George Washington University; and moderated by Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

The Brookings Institution

The Ethical Algorithm

At 3:00 PM on Tuesday at the Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.

The use of artificial intelligence technologies has been contemplated for uses across the spectrum of human living but there are certain areas, such as law enforcement or Internet commerce, where the use of algorithms could potentially reinforce racial or gender biases. This event will feature a discussion with the authors of The Ethical Algorithm: Michael Kearns, Professor and National Center Chair, Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania; and Aaron Roth, 1940 Bicentennial Term Associate Professor, Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania. That conversation will be moderated by Nicol Turner Lee, Fellow, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation.

Wednesday, January 15

House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Facial Recognition Technology (Part III): Ensuring Commercial Transparency & Accuracy

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2154 Rayburn.

The use of facial recognition technologies by law enforcement and security agencies has been a topic of controversy for local and state governments. This hearing will be the third such hearing focused on issues related to government use of facial recognition technologies held by the House Oversight Committee since last May. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Executive Session

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 216 Hart Senate Office Building.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Commerce Committee will convene an executive session to discuss the bill passed by the House of Representatives which would formally implement the USMCA as the international trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Industries of the Future

Immediately following executive session on Wednesday in 216 Hart.

The United States has traditionally been a world leader in many areas of science. This event will explore ways that the U.S. can maintain that economic edge during the advent of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and quantum computing. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Walter Copan, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce; the Honorable France Córdova, Director, National Science Foundation; the Honorable Michael Kratsios, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Office of Science and Technology Policy; the Honorable Michael O’Reilly, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission; and the Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission.

House Committee on Small Business

Enhancing Patent Diversity for America’s Innovators

At 11:30 on Wednesday in 2360 Rayburn.

In October 2018, Congress passed the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success (SUCCESS) Act into law. This hearing will discuss the findings of a report into patenting rates among women, minorities and veterans which the SUCCESS Act requires the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to complete. The witness panel for this hearing will include Andrea Ippolito, Program Director of W.E. Cornell, Cornell University; Dr. Rashawn Ray, David M. Rubenstein Fellow, The Brookings Institution; and Janeya Griffin, Managing Member and Principal Consultant, The Commercializer, LLC.

House Subcommittee on Energy

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science: Exploring the Next Frontiers in Energy Research and Scientific Discovery

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.

Within the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), the Office of Science serves the government’s research and discovery goals and is the largest supporter of U.S. basic research in the physical sciences. The Office of Science is involved in collaborating in a recently announced $625 million investment project in quantum science as well as DoE plans to build an electron ion collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The sole witness for this hearing will be Dr. Chris Fall, Director, Office of Science, U.S. DoE.

Thursday, January 16

Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Business Meeting

At 10:00 AM on Thursday in S-116 Capitol Building.

On Thursday morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will convene a business meeting to discuss the bill passed by the House of Representatives which would formally implement the USMCA as the international trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.