This Week in Washington IP: FY2022 Budget Request for the NIH, The Role of IP Rights in Developing COVID-19 Vaccines and the DOE’s Science and Energy Research Enterprise

By IPWatchdog
May 24, 2021 week in Washington IP news, labor subcommittees in both the House and the Senate will review President Joe Biden’s discretionary funding request for the National Institutes of Health during the 2022 fiscal year. Other hearings in the House of Representatives will explore the science and energy research enterprise in the U.S. Department of Energy and ways that the federal government can improve security in software supply chains following the SolarWinds data breach last year. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation looks at the role that intellectual property rights have played in supporting investments in R&D for developing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, while both the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute explore what lies ahead in the coming months regarding reform of Section 230 immunities for online platforms.

Monday, May 24

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic

At 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM on Monday, Virtual Webinar

The Biden Administration has recently backed a proposal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive international agreements on COVID-19 vaccine patent rights in response to pandemic infection rate spikes in India and elsewhere, but there are arguments that no scientific evidence shows that patent rights have been a barrier to vaccine access internationally and that the patent waiver cannot solve problems having to do with a lack of vaccine manufacturing capacity in foreign factories. This event, hosted by ITIF in partnership with Geneva Network, featured a discussion with a panel including David Kappos, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Azrul Mohd Khalib, Head & Founder, Galen Centre for Health & Social Policy; Yogesh Pai, Assistant Professor, National Law University, Delhi; Philip Stevens, Executive Director, Geneva Network; and moderated by Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, ITIF.

Tuesday, May 25 

House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies 

FY 2022 Budget Request for the National Institutes of Health

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

The discretionary funding request for fiscal year 2022 recently sent by the Biden Administration to Congress includes significant funding increases for agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including a $9 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health up to $51 billion for fiscal year 2022. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

The Digital Markets Act in Europe: Precaution or Innovation?

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Among the European Union’s recent efforts to regulate massive online platforms is the Digital Markets Act (DMA), proposed legislation that would create criteria qualifying certain platforms as “gatekeepers” having certain responsibilities regarding third-party interoperability and not preferencing the gatekeepers own services over similar offerings from competitors. This event will feature a discussion on the DMA’s potential implementation and possible flaws that could harm innovation and small players in Internet ecosystems with a panel including Christian Bergqvist, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen; Michael König, Advisor Platform Regulation, DMA, European Commission; Aurelien Portuese, Director, Antitrust and Innovation Policy, ITIF; Thibault Schrepel, Assistant Professor and Faculty Affiliate, Utrecht University School of Law and Stanford University; and moderated by Elisa Ramundo, Senior Managing Director, Competition Policy International.

The Heritage Foundation 

Fighting Censorship from Big Tech: Section 230 and Beyond

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

Although President Biden, while on the campaign trail, called for efforts to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, Biden signed an executive order in mid-May that revoked certain executive orders passed by former President Trump, including one calling on federal agencies to explore instances of censorship of political speech on Internet platforms in potential violation of Section 230. This event will feature a discussion on the impacts of censorship on conservative viewpoints and remedies beyond Section 230 with Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission; and Lora Ries, Director, Center for Technology Policy. 

House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

House Subcommittee on Research and Technology 

SolarWinds and Beyond: Improving the Cybersecurity of Software Supply Chains

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

Last year’s security breach of network monitoring software provided to the U.S. federal government by SolarWinds has prompted government action for mitigating cybersecurity threats to government software supply chains. In recent weeks, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) published a document detailing software supply chain risks and providing frameworks for agencies and vendors to assess and mitigate risks. The witness panel for this hearing will include Matthew Scholl, Chief, Computer Security Division of the Information Technology Laboratory, NIST; Dr. Trey Herr, Director, Cyber Statecraft Initiative, Atlantic Council; Katie Moussouris, Founder and CEO, Luta Security; and Vijay D’Souza, Director, Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Government Accountability Office.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 7: Keeping Your Registration Alive

At 2:00 PM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

This workshop, the seventh module in the USPTO’s Trademark Basics Boot Camp, is designed to teach small business owners and entrepreneurs about the filings they need to ensure that a trademark remains registered. Topics covered in this module include required post-registration filings, optional post-registration filings and examination practices for post-registration filings.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 8: Question-and-Answer Panel

This workshop, the eighth module in the USPTO’s Trademark Basics Boot Camp, gives small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to speak directly with trademark experts and managing attorneys at the agency and get answers to specific questions regarding trademark registration at the USPTO.

Wednesday, May 26

Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies 

National Institutes of Health’s FY22 Budget and the State of Medical Research

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in SD-562 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

This hearing follows a day after the House Labor Subcommittee explores the Biden Administration’s discretionary budget request for the National Institutes of Health. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Diana Bianchi, Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Dr. Ned Sharpless, Director, National Cancer Institute; Dr. Gary Gibbons, Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Dr. Eliseo Perez-Stable, Director, National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities; and Dr. Bruce Tromberg, Director, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

American Enterprise Institute 

What Lies Ahead for Section 230?

At 12:30 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has been the focus of reform efforts in recent months and legislation to limit Section 230 immunities and “Good Samaritan” protections has been introduced into both houses of Congress during the past few months. This event will feature a discussion on Section 230 reform efforts with a panel including Alan M. Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School; Daniel Lyons, Visiting Scholar, AEI; Matt Perault, Director, Center on Science & Technology Policy, Duke University; Kate Tummarello, Executive Director, Engine; and moderated by Mark Jamison, Visiting Scholar, AEI.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation 

Should Online Marketplaces Be Liable for Defective Products?

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

Recent rulings issued by California state courts have found e-commerce giant liable for defective and counterfeit products sold through its online retail platform even where Amazon did not manufacture or sell the product itself, reflecting a changing legal landscape surrounding the responsibilities of online retailers. This event will feature a discussion on recent rulings and legislative proposals in this space with a panel including Justin Brookman, Director, Consumer Privacy and Technology Policy, Consumer’s Union; Nathan Garnett, General Counsel, OfferUp; Jeremy K. Robinson, Partner, Chair of Motion & Appellate Practice, CaseyGerry; Catherine Sharkey, Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy, New York University School of Law; and moderated by Sujai Shivakumar, Associate Director, Center for Data Innovation.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

The Multilateral Cybersecurity Action Committee: Pursuing a Safer Digital World 

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday, online video webinar.

The Multilateral Cybersecurity Action Committee (MCAC) is a new initiative of the Center for Strategic & International Studies to bring together leading experts in cybersecurity fields to discuss what we’re learning about threats to our nation’s security infrastructure through data security breaches as well as how governments around the world are responding to the growing threat of malicious cyber activity. Speakers at this event will include Admiral Dennis Blair, Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence; Secretary Michael Chertoff, Former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; and Arthur Coviello, Former President and CEO, RSA Security.

Thursday, May 27 

House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology 

Overview of the Science and Energy Research Enterprise of the U.S. Department of Energy

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

Re-examining the federal government’s role in supporting scientific research and development has been a recent topic of interest at the House Science Committee; a hearing in mid-April on that subject explored concerns over increased innovation from China and possibilities to expand federal funding for late-stage R&D leading to commercialization. The sole witness for this hearing will be the Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

An Inventor’s Journey to the Hall of Fame: Online Fireside Chat With Frances Ligler

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

This event features a fireside chat with Frances Ligler, a biochemist and bioengineer who holds more than 30 U.S. patents in the field of portable optical biosensors used in industries like food production, pollution cleanup, homeland security as well as lab and clinical settings. Moderating the discussion with Ligler will be Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, USPTO.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Do You Know @USPTO – Celebrate National Inventors Month With USPTO Historian Adam Bisno

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

This event, part of USPTO’s observance of National Inventors Month throughout May, features a journey through time with USPTO Historian Adam Bisno as he explores the history of the USPTO as well as the larger U.S. patent system and the great amount of technological innovation which that system has incentivized. Subjects covered during this event include the role of a federal agency historian, aspects of USPTO history that are still being documented today, and what individuals can do if they find historic patent or trademark materials in their collections of family heirlooms.

The Author



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Discuss this

There are currently 1 Comment comments.

  1. Pro Say May 25, 2021 1:37 pm

    Here a workshop. There a workshop.

    Here a webinar. There a webinar.

    Here a hearing. There a hearing.

    Yet nothing from Congress about restoring our patent system to its formally world-leading status by exercising their constitutional authority to restore patent eligibility to all area of innovation.


    Not. One. Word.