Six years ago, Congress passed the America Invents Act to update the US patent system. As part of the Act, a new administrative body, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), and procedures were created within the US Patent Office where parties could challenge and possibly overturn unmerited patents. Yet, in just a few months, the Supreme Court might reverse this nascent progress--with potentially catastrophic effects for American innovation.
Educational technology leaders have expressed mixed reactions to the education spending bill for fiscal 2018 that was approved Thursday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill would provide an additional $50 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program under Title IV, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the section that supports STEM learning and technology in education.
The House passed a bipartisan driverless car bill on Wednesday, advancing what could become the first set of federal laws for the emerging industry. The “Self Drive Act” was unanimously approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July, before Congress left for August recess, and passed the full House on a voice vote.
While the status of the U.S. health-care system has divided Congress, there’s one reform provision that unites a bipartisan majority of lawmakers, including Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey: Repealing the innovation-crushing medical device excise tax.
Scientists in the United States are nervously watching from the sidelines as the annual budget skirmish heats up in Congress this week. Legislators are back in Washington DC from their August recess with an urgent list of tasks to complete before the country's fiscal year closes at the end of September. In addition to passing a budget to fund the government, they must also raise the debt ceiling so that the country does not default on its loans, and discuss providing emergency-relief funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
To help get bigger bang for the fund's considerably reduced buck, Congress gave states the option, for one year only, to give the money out through a competitive process, allowing for fewer, but more-ambitious projects. Most states, though, still opted to pump the money out through a formula that assures each district at least some of the pie...
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and longtime supporter of directed energy research, announced the $17 million investment during a news conference Wednesday inside a Boeing lab where many of the innovations were developed. The U.S. already has the ability to shoot down enemy rockets and take out other threats with traditional weapons, but Heinrich said it's expensive.
A strong manufacturing ecosystem that includes manufacturing engineering education is critical to ensuring the future vitality and innovation of manufacturing initiatives in the US. So it was welcome news to learn that the DOD is developing a new manufacturing engineering education (MEE) grant program, authorized by Congress with initial funding of $10 million for fiscal 2017.
The New Collar Jobs Act, sponsored by Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., and Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., would amend the IRS code to create a tax credit for businesses that enroll their workers in undergraduate or graduate programs that teach cybersecurity skills.
The Senate unanimously passed a $3 billion expansion to the G.I. Bill on Wednesday, paving the way for veterans to pursue STEM careers while bolstering existing benefits. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the measure, which the House passed last week, also in a unanimous vote. The original G.I. Bill was created after World War II, allowing returning veterans to receive an education in return for their service.