Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2015

Posts in "Intellectual Property"

March 23, 2015

The Week Ahead: Internet of Things, Net Neutrality and More

Members of the Federal Communications Commission are back on the Hill this week, with Chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioner Ajit Pai testifying in budget and net neutrality hearings. Hearings and events on the Internet of Things are also on tap in the week ahead.

Monday

Georgetown University holds a panel discussion on discrimination and big data.

Tuesday

The Brookings Institution hosts a discussion with Craig Silliman, Verizon’s general counsel and executive vice president for public policy, on updating communications law and regulations.

An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on the Internet of Things.

A House Appropriations subcommittee holds an FCC budget hearing.

A House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee holds a hearing on the James Webb Space Telescope.

A Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee holds a hearing on drones.

Wednesday

A House Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on abusive patent litigation.

The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

Thursday

The FCC holds an open meeting.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on spectrum policy.

Microsoft holds a panel discussion on the Internet of Things.

New America holds an event on mobile health data.

The Telecommunications Industry Association hosts an event on the Internet of Things.

March 17, 2015

The Lobbying Battle Over Patent Legislation

CQ Roll Call’s Shawn Zeller writes in the latest Roll Call Policy Focus that went online Monday:

As lobbying coalitions go, United for Patent Reform looks fierce as it wades into what’s expected to be one of 2015’s highest-profile lobbying duels in Congress.

Formed earlier this year to advocate for legislation that would make it tougher, and riskier to sue companies for infringing on a patent, United for Patent Reform includes a diverse array of firms and trade groups. Some are technology firms that own a lot of patents, such as Google, Facebook and Cisco.

Others are companies that mostly use technology to promote or run their businesses, such as Macy’s, the American Hotel and Lodging Association and the Newspaper Association of America.

He also writes:

But the reason Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte’s bill to rein in the suits stalled in the last Congress and will be difficult to pass again this year is that the opposition to his legislation is also full of high-powered advocates. They range from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, to venture capitalists and tech startups that say patents are the key to American innovation and deserve every possible protection.

Read the rest of the story here as well as a sidebar on the “high-wattage” lobbying firms that different firms and trade groups have hired and their ties to Republicans and Democrats here.

March 9, 2015

The Week Ahead: FirstNet, Music Royalties and Data Encryption

The week ahead include hearings and events on issues including FirstNet (which is tasked with building a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders), music royalties and data encryption.

Tuesday

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing titled “How Much For a Song?: The Antitrust Decrees that Govern the Market for Music.”

Wednesday

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley speaks at an event titled “Data-driven government: A new approach to governing” hosted by The Brookings Institution.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on FirstNet.

Thursday

The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus holds a panel event on data encryption.

The Brookings Institution hosts an event on mobile health in Africa.

The Heritage Foundation hosts an event titled “Standard Setting and Patents: Is Government Policy Harming Innovation?”

A Senate Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on NASA’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal.

March 2, 2015

The Week Ahead: American Cable Association Summit and Budget, Cybersecurity Hearings

The American Cable Association holds its summit and congressional committees hold cybersecurity hearings as well as budget hearings on NASA, the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department this week.

Monday

Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology discusses net neutrality at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Center for Strategic & International Studies hosts a panel event on the Internet of Things and the transportation industry.

The German Marshall Fund of the United States hosts an event titled “Internet Freedom 2.1: Lessons from Asia’s Developing Democracies.”

Tuesday

A House Appropriations subcommittee holds a Commerce Department budget hearing.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has a cybersecurity hearing.

Wednesday

The American Cable Association holds its summit, which continues on Thursday.

The Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Innovation Alliance, the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, and the National Venture Capital Association host a patent event.

A House Appropriations subcommittee holds a NASA budget hearing.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission: The FCC’s FY 2016 Budget Request.”

A House Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing titled “Industry Perspectives on the President’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Proposal.”

New America hosts an event on technology and disability.

Thursday

The House Intelligence Committee holds a cybersecurity hearing.

A Senate Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on NASA’s fiscal 2016 budget request.

Friday

USTelecom hosts a cybersecurity event.

February 24, 2015

Individual Universities Write to Judiciary Panel Leaders on Patent Legislation

As lawmakers make another effort to pass legislation targeting abusive patent litigation, universities are continuing to let them know they have problems with proposals they think go too far.

On Tuesday, more than 140 universities signed a letter to House and Senate Judiciary Committee leaders saying they’re “deeply concerned” that “much of the patent legislation currently being discussed in Congress, including the Innovation Act, H.R. 9, goes well beyond what is needed to address the bad actions of a small number of patent holders, and would instead make it more difficult and expensive for patent holders to defend their rights in good faith.”

The Association of American Universities and the Association of Public Land-grant Universities organized the letter and, according to a press release, most of the institutions that signed it are members of either or both groups. The two associations opposed House legislation during the previous Congress, saying it was too sweeping and would discourage legitimate patent rights enforcement. The two groups were critical of fee-shifting and joinder provisions in that measure and  Tuesday’s letter from the individual institutions continued raising concern about those two issues:

 Two such proposals – mandatory fee-shifting, where courts award attorney’s fees to the party that prevails in a suit, and involuntary joinder – are especially troubling to the university community because they would make the legitimate defense of patent rights excessively risky and thus weaken the university technology transfer process, which is an essential part of our country’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

 

February 23, 2015

The Week Ahead: FCC Vote on Net Neutrality Rules and More

It’s a big week in Washington with the Federal Communications Commission’s vote on net neutrality rules. A slew of events and congressional hearings are also on tap. Get ready for a busy, busy week, folks.

Monday 

New America hosts a day-long event titled “Cybersecurity for a New America: Big Ideas and New Voices.”

Tuesday

COMPTEL hosts a day-long policy summit.

The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy hosts an event on rewriting the 1934 Communications Act.

The Hudson Institute hosts an event titled “American Broadband Under Title II.”

A subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a space exploration hearing.

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts an event on cross-border data flows.

Wednesday

A House Appropriations subcommittee holds an oversight hearing on the Justice and Commerce Departments and NASA.

A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing on the net neutrality proposal before the Federal Communications Commission.

The House Homeland Security Committee holds a hearing on the President’s cybersecurity information-sharing proposal.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing titled “FCC Process: Examining the Relationship Between the FCC and the White House.”

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts a panel discussion on net neutrality and network management.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing titled “Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance.”

Thursday

BakerHostetler hosts a day-long symposium on Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

The Federal Communications Commission votes on net neutrality rules and an order addressing two municipal broadband petitions.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on patent demand letters, which allege someone is infringing on a patent.

The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the U.S. Copyright Office.

The heads of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology testify beforeHouse Science, Space and Technology subcommittee on their fiscal 2016 budget requests.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker testifies beforeSenate Appropriations subcommittee on the department’s fiscal 2016 budget request.

Friday

A House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee holds a hearing on NASA’s commercial crew program.

February 9, 2015

The Week Ahead: Lincoln Labs Event and Internet of Things Hearing

Among this week’s events, Lincoln Labs hosts its Reboot Congress event, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the Internet of Things and the Technology Policy Institute holds an event on patent legislation.

Tuesday

The Cato Institute hosts an event on ridesharing and regulations.

Project GOAL hosts an event on Internet safety and older adults.

Wednesday

Lincoln Labs begins its Reboot Congress event, which continues through Thursday.

Public Knowledge and the R Street Institute host a Capitol Hill briefing on copyright law.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on the Internet of Things.

The Technology Policy Institute hosts an event titled “Patents in Theory and Practice: Implications for Reform.”

Thursday

A subcommittee of the House Education and the Workforce Committee holds a hearing on emerging technology and student privacy.

A subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on recent Supreme Court patent cases.

Some subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee hold joint hearings titled “Bridging the Gap: America’s Weather Satellites and Weather Forecasting” and “Can Americans Trust the Privacy and Security of their Information on HealthCare.gov?

New America hosts a congressional briefing on mobile broadband and net neutrality.

January 26, 2015

The Week Ahead: State of the Net, Data Breach Hearing & FCC Open Meeting

The State of the Net Conference, a House hearing regarding data breach legislation and the Federal Communications Commission’s January open meeting are on tap for this week.

Tuesday

The Federal Communications Commission hosts a “Small Business & Emerging Technologies Conference and Tech Fair.”

A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing titled “What are the Elements of Sound Data Breach Legislation?”

A subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee holds a cybersecurity hearing.

The Internet Education Foundation hosts its annual State of the Net Conference.

Wednesday

The American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy hosts an event on tech policy issues in 2015.

The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy hosts a panel discussion on media mergers and independent programmers.

A subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee holds a hearing on supercomputing.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing titled “Protecting America from Cyber Attacks: The Importance of Information Sharing.”

Thursday

The Center for Democracy and Technology holds an event titled “Always On: The Digital Patient.”

The Federal Communications Commission holds its January open meeting.

George Mason University School of Law’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property co-hosts a discussion on patents and startups.

January 23, 2015

Weekly Wrapup: SOTU, Net Neutrality and Patents

It was a short but busy week and your Weekly Wrapup includes posts on the State of the Union address, net neutrality hearings and patents.

  • President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address and in advance of the speech, Technocrat had a roundup of a few stories that at least touched upon social media and either White House strategy or lawmakers.
  • Among the issues that weren’t mentioned in Tuesday’ night’s address was patents, and  a couple proponents of legislation targeting abusive patent litigation said they were disappointedMichelle K. Lee, deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, later said it wasn’t a reflection of any change in priorities.
  • Lawmakers on the Hill held net neutrality hearings and Technocrat had a post on interesting quotes from a couple House Republicans showing their current approach to the issue.
  • Oh, and Valencia Martin-Wallace has been promoted to a newly-created job at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — deputy commissioner for patent quality.

January 22, 2015

USPTO Creates New Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality Post

Valencia Martin-Wallace has been promoted to a newly-created job at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — deputy commissioner for patent quality.

A few notes about Martin-Wallace:

  • Most recent gig: assistant deputy commissioner for patent operations.
  • Years worked at USPTO: more than two decades.
  • Education: Bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Howard University, law degree from George Washington University School of Law and certificate in advanced public administration from Syracuse University’s public administration school.

So, what’s the new job? If it’s not obvious from the title, it involves managing patent quality work.

Martin-Wallace’s bio says she’s “responsible for sustaining the high quality of the USPTO’s patent examination processes and products by implementing and maintaining a comprehensive quality management system.”

Her boss, USPTO Deputy Director Michelle K. Lee (who’s been nominated to be director and is currently the most senior USPTO official since the director post has long been vacant.) said at The Brookings Institution on Thursday that the new position would “focus exclusively on patent quality efforts at the PTO.”

“I wanted one person whose one and only job it is to think day in and day out on how to improve patent quality at the PTO,” Lee said.

As an aside, if you’ll recall, Technocrat had a post earlier this week about a couple proponents of legislation targeting abusive patent litigation saying they were disappointed that there was no mention of such legislation in President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union speech.

Answering a reporter’s question about Obama not mentioning patent legislation in his speech, Lee said it wasn’t an indication that the issue was a lesser priority for the administration.

“For patents to get two mentions two years in a row would be fantastic,” but the President has “obviously many competing demands” on his time,” she said, adding that it doesn’t reflect a change in priorities.

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