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B School for Public Policy Monthly 90-minute sessions on Capitol Hill »

Policy Issues


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  • A presidential committee has voted to move forward with its cybersecurity “moonshot,” a daunting task aimed at mak... November 15 Trade tensions rise between US and EU negotiators

    Cybersecurity gets a new push in the White House; EU negotiators craft retaliatory measures in light of US auto tariff threats; Labor Market remains strong as Jobless Claims observes only a marginal rise; US retail sales surge due to Hurricane Florence relief efforts. 

  • Image: Large cargo ship transporting goods, Source: Pixabay November 15 What’s in a Trade War?

    It is almost impossible to open the news without reading about the intensifying US “Trade Wars.” Unfortunately, the coverage is often more sensationalist than substantive. Regardless of political perspective, the prevalence of sensationalist narratives undermines the ability of citizens and politicians alike to engage in productive discourse regarding the costs and benefits of trade. With the increasingly vitriolic dialogue swirling around the theme of trade and protectionism, it is worth taking a few minutes to review the basic theory underpinning trade policy.

  • Events

    Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, a popular 105-mile long roadway lined with signature rock walls important to pr... Nov19  Defunding America’s Future: The Squeeze on Public Investment in the United States 5:30pm - 7:00pm
    Location: Jon M. Huntsman Hall, Room G60*
    Current federal fiscal policies are cutting public investment in key areas such as education, infrastructure, and scientific research, all the while driving up the level of public debt. This panel event will explore the long-term economic implications and propose actions our elected leaders must take to avoid fiscal ruin—and sticking the youth of today with the bill!
  • uniform, healt care, doctor, health, hospital, medical care, medicine, ambulance, stethoscope, medical records, white coat November 14 Medicaid waivers granted to states to help fund long term opioid crisis relief

    The White House sanctions Medicaid waivers for states in order to reallocate more funds for long term issues stemming from the opioid crisis; US security might be at risk due to Chinese tech capabilities says Security Commission; Conflicts amongst Trump administrators regarding trade war; Consumer price index rises.

  • Small Business Optimism Index at a continued high. According to the Small Business Optimism Index, readings cont... November 13 New Program to combat Chinese Intellectual Property Theft adopted

    White House implements new strategy aimed at combating Chinese Intellectual property theft; Privacy Advocates urge legislatures to include certain provisions in new internet privacy law; Trump does not sign an international cybersecurity declaration; Small Business Optimism continues to perform at a historic high.

  • The New York Clipper, November 03, 1906 November 13 Useful Articles and Conceptual Separability Doctrine: Preserving the Free Flow of Ideas While Incentivizing Creative Endeavors

    This article will discuss the law of copyright, a familiar concept with broad applications for businesses. As the article will explain, copyright law is often less than straightforward; although copyright protections are often wide-ranging, there are several important limits to the scope of these protections. One of these limits involves so-called “useful articles” – creative works that have both creative and functional elements (for instance, an ornately-designed trash can that is displayed as a sculpture in a modern art museum). The concept of useful articles helps to delineate between copyright law – which is intended to protect creative expression – and patent law – which is intended to protect inventions or “functional ideas.” Useful articles contain both creative expression and functional ideas, so these items have an ambiguous status under intellectual property law. Several courts have attempted to clarify this ambiguity, but useful articles doctrine remains a nebulous legal concept. This article will introduce some of the relevant case law in useful articles doctrine, and then discuss the applications of that law on one example of a useful object – a lawyer’s work product.