August 21st was the official celebration of Congressional Startup Day -- a unique opportunity for lawmakers to celebrate entrepreneurial excellence in their districts and states over the August congressional recess.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking up a bill today that would change copyright enforcement in the U.S. and open up startups and their users to new risks. The bill, the CASE Act (S.1273), would create a process for copyright holders to address online copyright infringement by establishing a Copyright Claims Board within the U.S. Copyright Office to adjudicate copyright infringement and award substantial financial damages without the traditional safeguards of federal court.
The Subcommittee on Intellectual Property of the Senate Judiciary Committee recently held a series of hearings on the topic of patent subject matter eligibility. That Subcommittee is considering potential amendments to 35 U.S.C. §101—the provision of the Patent Act that defines what subject matter is (and is not) eligible for patent protection. In our view changes to 35 U.S.C. §101 are not needed, and we submitted comments to the Subcommittee articulating our concerns.
This morning, on the one-year anniversary of the repeal of net neutrality, Engine released a letter signed by over 160 startups in support of H.R. 1644 / S. 682, the Save the Internet Act.
Last week, communities all across the country celebrated the 56th annual National Small Business Week (NSBW). With 30.2 million startups and small businesses across the United States employing 47.5 percent of the country’s private workforce, entrepreneurial endeavors represent the economic backbone of our country. That’s why policymakers from across the aisle strongly support small business innovation and growth across their districts and states.
Engine has joined an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review State of Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., which will determine the extent to which a state may exclude citizens from government works under copyright law.
“We are pleased that House lawmakers voted to advance H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, a bill that would fully restore the strong net neutrality protections that were enshrined in the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order. Net neutrality helps preserve the Internet as a level playing field for companies of all sizes, promoting competition and innovation.”
This afternoon, Engine released a letter signed by over 120 startups in support of H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act. The legislation would restore the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which allowed startups to grow and succeed by keeping the Internet a level playing field.
Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced their Startup Act, bipartisan legislation intended to encourage job growth and the creation of new innovative businesses. In 2017, the senators last introduced this legislation, which would accelerate the commercialization of university research, review and improve the regulatory processes at the federal, state and local levels, and modernize an Economic Development Administration (EDA) program designed to promote innovation.
Last week, United States Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu gave a speech to the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association, where he implied that patent trolls were not a real problem faced by innovators, but instead just a “narrative” made up to scare away innovators. Not only is this factually inaccurate, but it is troubling that Director Iancu would ignore the overwhelming data showing that low-quality patents have led to a rash of abusive patent litigation directed towards small companies and entrepreneurs over the past decade.
The Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) is deeply disappointing for startups across the country. The rule was enacted to create a pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs to build companies and create jobs in the United States. For an Administration that has promised to spur job growth, this decision is incredibly short-sighted and detrimental to our long-term economic prosperity.