This Week in Washington IP: SBA Innovation Programs for Creating New Jobs, Law Enforcement’s Use of Facial Recognition Tech, and Punishing Pay-for-Delay Agreements in the Pharmaceutical Sector

By IPWatchdog
July 12, 2021

This week in Washington IP news, committees in the House of Representatives will host several hearings related to appropriations for various agencies under the jurisdiction of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, as well as the use of facial recognition technologies by federal law enforcement and programs at the U.S. Small Business Administration funding commercialization of emerging new technologies. In the Senate, the Antitrust Subcommittee will host a hearing on Tuesday to explore anticompetitive practices in the pharmaceutical industry, including pay-for-delay agreements that prevent the market entry of generics. Elsewhere, The Brookings Institution looks at recent legislation to support regional tech hubs across America, and the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation discusses a new report on ways the U.S. federal government can support quantum computing research and development.

Monday, July 12

House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

Fiscal Year 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

At 3:00 PM on Monday in 2118 Rayburn House Office Building.

On Monday afternoon, the House Committee on Oversight’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will hold a markup session for an appropriations bill that will set fiscal year 2022 funding levels for agencies within the subcommittee’s jurisdiction. This includes the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other agencies performing important roles in facilitating research and development into emerging areas of technology.

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Tuesday, July 13

The Brookings Institution 

Leveraging Regional Tech Hubs to Advance Economic Inclusion

At 9:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

In early June, the U.S. Senate voted to pass the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, previously known as the Endless Frontier Act. Among the bill’s many provisions include provisions authorizing the U.S. Department of Commerce to create a regional technology hub program distributing $10 billion of funding between fiscal years 2022 and 2026 for funding workforce and entrepreneurial development programs and aid technology commercialization. This event, hosted by Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program, will feature a keynote address on how tech hubs can promote economic inclusion given by the Honorable Haley Stevens, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Research & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives (D-MI). Following her address will be a discussion with a panel including Sheri Gonzales, Vice President and Director, KC Rising, Kansas City Civic Council; L. Waymond Jackson, Jr., CEO, Ed Farm; Nashlie Sephus, Tech Evangelist, Amazon Web Services, and Founder, The Bean Path, JxnTechDistrict and KITT Labs; and moderated by Rodney Sampson, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program.

House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security

Facial Recognition Technology: Examining Its Use By Law Enforcement

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

Law enforcement agencies at both the state and federal level have made increasing use of facial recognition technologies in recent years. In early June, a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicated that, of 42 federal agencies employing law enforcement officers, nearly half of them used a facial recognition system and many such systems were used in response to episodes of civil unrest. Such technologies have raised public interest concerns and in recent weeks the state of Maine passed a law banning all forms of facial recognition technology use across state government except for a narrow exception for use in investigating serious crimes. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Trademark Basics Boot Camp, Module 6: Responding to an Office Action

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

This workshop is the sixth module in the USPTO’s Trademark Basics Boot Camp designed to teach basics of trademark registration to small business owners and entrepreneurs. In this workshop, attendees will learn about topics related to responding to office actions including response deadlines, how to file and tips for drafting a successful response.

Senate Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights

A Prescription for Change: Cracking Down on Anticompetitive Conduct in Prescription Drug Markets

At 2:30 PM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

On July 9, President Joe Biden issued an executive order on promoting competition in the American economy which identified several areas of intellectual property that certain federal agencies are directed to discuss their positions on issues, like the intersection of IP rights and antitrust, exclusive rights in seed and other input markets, and delays in market entry for generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. President Biden’s executive order has received backlash from many industry groups who have criticized the order for containing too many centralized government mandates and threatening to undermine U.S. innovation and consumer welfare while addressing competition issues that are based on false premises. The witness panel for this hearing has yet to be announced.

Wednesday, July 14 

Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources 

Business Meeting to Consider Pending Legislation

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 366 Dirksen.

On Wednesday morning, the Senate Energy Committee will convene a business meeting to discuss the latest draft of an energy infrastructure bill that was first introduced in late June by Committee Chair Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). If passed, the infrastructure bill would spur federal investment into several critical areas of technology including clean energy tech, carbon capture and smart manufacturing.

Information Technology & Innovation Foundation

How Can U.S. Policymakers Support the Development of Quantum Computing?

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

Several national governments, including those in the UK and China, have established research programs into quantum computing technologies to optimize their development and commercialization for sectors like health care, transportation and defense. While the U.S. tech development sector has some natural advantages over these programs, ITIF’s Center for Data Innovation recently released a new report supporting policy options the U.S. federal government could implement to ensure U.S. leadership in this field. This event will feature a discussion with a panel including Celia I. Merzbacher, Executive Director, Quantum Economic Development Consortium; Allison Schwartz, Global Government Relations and Public Affairs Lead, D-Wave; Rima Kasia Oueid, Commercialization Executive, Office of Technology Transitions, U.S. Department of Energy; Christopher Savoie, CEO & Co-Founder, Zapata Computing; and moderated by Hodan Omaar, Policy Analyst, Center for Data Innovation, ITIF.

House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access

Innovation as a Catalyst for New Jobs: SBA’s Innovation Initiatives

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

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is responsible for a number of programs designed to improve commercialization of innovative technologies by small businesses, much of which is administered through the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation. These include the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which require certain agencies to make a percentage of their research and development funding available to small businesses, as well as the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition for funding tech accelerators in areas of the country that suffer from entrepreneurial gaps. The witness panel for this hearing will include E. LaVerne Epp, Executive Chair, KU Innovation Park; Benjamin Robert Johnson, Chairman, Innovation Advocacy Council; Dr. Gabriel R. Burks, Vice President and Head of Research and Development, FrostDefense Envirotech Inc.; and Jeffrey Maguire, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Clearly Clean Products, LLC.

Thursday, July 15

Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Implementing Supply Chain Resiliency 

At 10:30 AM on Thursday in 253 Russell Senate Office Building.

In early June, the Biden Administration released key findings of a 100-day review of supply chains to identify vulnerabilities in critical technologies like semiconductors, large capacity batteries, critical minerals and advanced pharmaceutical ingredients. This 100-day review also outlined steps to be taken by the federal government, such as supporting more domestic manufacturing of these technologies. On the other hand, several economics analysts have noted issues with President Biden’s proposed actions, including the loss of economic resiliency that comes from diversified supply chains as well as increased tensions with countries from which supplies will likely reduce. The witness panel for this hearing will include Dr. Gary Gereffi, Founding Director, Duke Global Value Chains Center; Dr. James Lewis, Senior Vice President and Director, Strategic Technologies Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Dr. Dario Gil, Senior Vice President and Director, IBM Research; William “Lex” Taylor III, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Taylor Group; Richard Aboulafia, Vice President of Analysis, Teal Group; and John Miller, Senior Vice President of Policy and General Counsel, Information Technology Industry Council.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 

The Path to a Patent, Part II: Drafting Provisional Patent Applications

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

This workshop, part of the USPTO’s Path to a Patent series, will teach prospective patent applicants about provisional applications, key differences between those applications and nonprovisional applications, as well as filing requirements and fees.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Wine & IP: American Viticultural Area and Labeling With the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

At 4:00 PM on Thursday, online video webinar.

Wine labels often describe to consumers the particular characteristics of the growing region in which the wine was produced, also known as the American viticultural area (AVA), and how those characteristics contribute to the flavor and quality of the end product. At this workshop, a representative from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau will provide an overview of wine labelling requirements, including common labelling pitfalls and the process that must occur in order for a new AVA to be declared on wine labels from particular regions.

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