USPTO and WIPO agree to partner on dispute resolution efforts related to standard essential patents

WASHINGTON — The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) today agreed to undertake joint efforts to facilitate the resolution of disputes related to standard essential patents.

Standard essential patents, or SEPs, are patents that have been declared essential to a given technical standard. As part of the standards-setting process, patent owners may agree to license SEPs on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms. Standards touch all aspects of modern life and include video compression, wireless communication technologies, computer connection standards, automotive technology, and more.

“International standards, and the role of patents that are essential to them, play an important role in promoting a strong national and global economy,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director Kathi Vidal. “The USPTO is grateful that Director General Tang recognized the USPTO’s leadership role in advancing discussions on standard essential patent policies. Our work with WIPO underscores the USPTO’s view that SEP policy is an international issue of international importance. This agreement will leverage existing resources at both the USPTO and WIPO, supporting options to enhance the efficiency of licensing of standard essential patents, and promote resolution of disputes related to those standards.”

The signing of the memorandum of understanding occurred during a meeting this week between Director Vidal and WIPO Director General Daren Tang on the sidelines of WIPO’s General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

Under the terms of the agreement, the USPTO and WIPO will:

  • Cooperate on activities that will lend efficiency and effectiveness to the resolution of disputed standard essential patent matters by leveraging existing WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and USPTO resources, and
  • Engage in stakeholder outreach to raise awareness of the services provided by the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center through joint USPTO-WIPO programs.

The agreement will continue in operation for five years from the date of signing.

“We appreciate all the work Director General Tang and WIPO have done in this critical area. We look forward to a successful collaboration and engaging stakeholders to ensure we shape dispute resolution that will facilitate participation and implementation of standards by all innovators including small to medium-sized enterprises,” remarked Director Vidal.

“Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has time and again demonstrated its value in the efficient and timely resolution of commercial disputes. In the last few years, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center has been facilitating the resolution of SEP-related disputes and the new collaboration with the USPTO is an exciting development which will contribute to improving the efficiency of standard implementation,” noted Director General Tang.

Secretary Blinken and Secretary Raimondo Co-Host Supply Chain Ministerial

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will co-host a Supply Chain Ministerial Forum July 19-20, 2022, as part of ongoing work with key partner nations on supply chains.  Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago will welcome participants and deliver opening remarks on July 19.

This virtual event will bring together stakeholders from labor, industry, and civil society – including representatives of historically underrepresented communities – to identify solutions to reduce both short-term bottlenecks and longer-term supply chain challenges.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo Reestablishes the NACIE

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the appointment of 32 leaders and experts to the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE will be charged with developing a National Entrepreneurship Strategy that strengthens America’s ability to compete and win as the world’s leading startup nation and as the world’s leading innovator in critical emerging technologies.

“We must invest further in our entrepreneurs and innovators so that America continues to lead the world in discovering and commercializing critical technologies. At the same time, we must better ensure that more communities throughout the country are included in the ecosystems that will generate these critical innovations. The Biden Administration looks forward to tapping the expertise of the new NACIE members to build a better America and further strengthen our competitiveness on the global stage,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “I applaud these individuals – leaders in their respective fields of industry, workforce development, academia, technology and innovation – for their commitment to serve.”

“The new NACIE members are an impressive group of individuals from diverse backgrounds, regions and industries,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo, who will serve as one of NACIE’s two federal ex-officio co-chairs. “We have plenty of challenges and opportunities to tackle. I’m eager to get to work to ensure our tech and innovation economy prospers equitably for everyone across the nation.”

“The technological, societal and economic challenges that we face as a Nation today require even stronger bridges between discovery, innovation, and commercialization,” said National Science Foundation Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, who will serve as a federal ex-officio co-chair. “I’m excited to work with the NACIE to help advance the highly integrated research and innovation ecosystem, with a particular focus on expanding the geography of innovation by engaging with diverse communities all across the country.”

NACIE is charged with identifying and recommending solutions to drive the innovation economy, including growing a skilled STEM workforce and removing barriers for entrepreneurs ushering innovative technologies into the market. The council also facilitates federal dialogue with the innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce development communities.

NACIE is a federal advisory committee managed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. More than 260 nominees were received. Members will serve two-year terms.

The newly appointed NACIE members are:

Non-Voting Federal Ex-Officio Co-Chairs

  • Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration
  • Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director, National Science Foundation

Voting Non-Federal Co-Chairs

  • Steve Case, Chairman/CEO, Revolution; Co-Founder, AOL
  • Kristina M. Johnson, President, The Ohio State University

Voting Members

  • Byron G. Auguste, Co-Founder/CEO, Opportunity@Work
  • Patricia Beckmann, Founder/Managing Director, BioStrategy
  • Melissa Bradley, Founder/Managing Partner/General Partner, 1863 Ventures
  • Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital
  • Christopher Chung, CEO, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina
  • Sherrese Clarke Soares, Founder/Managing Partner, HarbourView
  • Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
  • Lisa Feria, Managing Partner/CEO, Stray Dog Capital
  • Annette Finsterbusch, President/CEO, EnPower, Inc.
  • Brit Fitzpatrick, Chief of Staff, Stark
  • Aziz Gilani, General Partner/Managing Director, Mercury Fund
  • Orin Herskowitz, Executive Director, Senior VP of Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer, Columbia Technology Ventures
  • Neil Kane, Director, Curriculum and Capstone Advising, ESTEEM (Engineering, Science, and Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s) Graduate Program, University of Notre Dame
  • David Kenney, President/Executive Director, VertueLab
  • Wendy Lea, Co-Founder/CEO, Energize Colorado
  • Ian McClure, Associate VP for Research, Innovation & Economic Impact, University of Kentucky
  • Senofer Mendoza, Founder/General Partner, Mendoza Ventures
  • Rachel Meyers, Chief Science Officer, Faze Medicines
  • Nate Mook, CEO, World Central Kitchen
  • Bill Provine, CEO Delaware Innovation Space
  • Ryan Ramkhelawan, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, Lasting Machine Ventures
  • Aimée Rose, Executive Managing Director, Activate Boston
  • Laura Sachar, Co-Founder/Managing Partner, StarVest Partners
  • Peter Scher, Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Liz Shuler, President, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
  • Grace Simrall, Chief of Civic Innovation & Technology, Louisville Metro Government
  • Dug Song, Chief Strategy Officer, Cisco Security
  • Tamara Steffens, Managing Director, Thomson Reuters Venture Fund

U.S. Remains Top Destination for Foreign Business Investment for 10th Consecutive Year

WASHINGTONThe United States has been ranked as the top destination for foreign direct investment for the tenth consecutive year according to Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council’s 2022 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index.

The annual survey of global senior executives and investors found that the Unites States retained its position for a decade due to the innovation of the U.S. economy as the key indicator to driving growth through FDI long term.

Foreign investors look for established innovative markets that are financially strong and safe while also having strong governance and infrastructure. The ranking is testament to the attractiveness of the United States to foreign companies despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This ranking is cause for celebration and it reflects what so many in the global business community already know: the United States is unmatched not only in its economic power, but also in its appeal for businesses development through a strong culture of innovation and employment of a world-class productive workforce,” said Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “The Department of Commerce is committed to creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all Americans, including through foreign direct investment which creates jobs and contributes to economic development across the United States.”

“The United States retains the top position on Kearney’s 2022 FDI Confidence Index for the tenth consecutive year,” said Paul Laudicina, founder of the FDI Confidence Index. “Our findings suggest we are likely to see a continued shift in FDI to developed markets, with the U.S. being chief among them. Investors seek to capitalize on destinations marked by regulatory transparency and stability on the one hand and technological innovation on the other. Robust U.S. economic performance and bi-partisan action on the U.S. infrastructure initiative also obviously have helped restore confidence in the country’s longer term investment attractiveness, even as global geopolitical challenges persist.”

The United States rank in the FDI Confidence Index is supported by the work of the Department’s SelectUSA program that focuses on facilitating job-creating business investment into the United States and raises awareness of the critical role that economic development plays in the U.S. economy. Since its inception, SelectUSA has facilitated more than $105 billion in investment, creating and/or retaining over 138,000 U.S. jobs.  

As part of the national effort to attract foreign direct investment, Secretary Raimondo will host the 2022 SelectUSA Investment Summit June 26-29 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The annual investment summit is the highest-profile event in the United States dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment and provides prospects for investors from global markets and economic development organizations across the nation to interact and create investment opportunities.

U.S. Commerce Department Releases Strategic Plan to Boost America’s Competitiveness

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Commerce released its fiscal year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan laying out an agenda for innovation, resilience and equity to strengthen America’s competitiveness in the 21st century.  Along with the strategic plan, the Department also published the first-ever learning agenda, through which all bureaus will build rigorous evidence on program outcomes. 

“Everything we do at the Department is focused on increasing America’s competitiveness in the global economy.  With this plan, we are positioning America’s workers and businesses for success in the 21st century.  And all Americans, especially those that have been historically excluded, will share in our prosperity,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. 

The Department has revised its mission statement to underscore the connection between our programs and all Americans. As of today, the Department’s mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities.

The Department’s strategic plan has five goals: 

  • Drive American innovation and global competitiveness. By investing in resilient supply chains, advancing emerging and critical technologies, and engaging in strategic partnerships with allies, we will expand opportunities for American innovators, workers, and businesses. At the same time, improve cybersecurity, promote intellectual property rights, and vigorously enforce our trade rules.
  • Foster inclusive capitalism and equitable economic growth. By creating an economy that works for all Americans, we will translate short-term growth into long-term prosperity. Once in-a-generation investments in broadband and economic development will empower entrepreneurs in all regions of the country. Smart workforce development will align workers’ skills with industry needs and provide wraparound support so job seekers can successfully complete their training.
  • Address climate crisis through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts. By accelerating cutting-edge clean technologies advancing our collection and dissemination of climate data and investing in restoration and preparation, we will combat climate change, protect the ocean, and lead the world toward a clean energy future while creating millions of good-paying jobs. 
  • Expand opportunity and discovery through data. By leveraging our world-class scientific and statistical tools, we will establish a level playing field for American workers and businesses in the global economy. 
  • Provide 21st century service with 21st century capabilities. By deploying smart technology and modernizing our systems for hiring and procurement, we will ensure that across the Commerce Department’s 13 bureaus are focused on achieving results for the American people and American businesses.

The creation of the strategic plan was a collaborative effort involving staff from every Department of Commerce bureau and serves as a foundation for equitable economic growth and opportunity. The plan is in direct alignment with the President’s FY 23 budget request which reflects the Department’s role to drive U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad, and the Administration’s focus on economic growth and job creation. Department leaders and employees will use this plan to transform strategies into actions, and actions into results for all communities.