Grassley Statement at Executive Business Meeting on U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Nominee
Dec 14, 2017
Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
Executive Business Meeting
December 14, 2017
Good morning. Today, we’re considering several nominees and one bill.
The judicial nominees are on the agenda for the first time, and the minority has requested that they be held over, so the following nominees will be held over:
- Kyle Duncan, 5th Circuit
- David Stras, 8th Circuit
- Fernando Rodriguez, Southern District of Texas
Andrei Iancu, who has been nominated to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is also on today’s agenda.
Mr. Iancu has a proven record in the field of intellectual property law. He has an excellent academic and professional background in intellectual property law. He’s extremely knowledgeable about the patent system. He’s well respected in the legal community.
His intellectual property practice has covered a wide array of subject areas and he has represented many different kinds of clients. Mr. Iancu has demonstrated that he’s familiar with the issues that concern the various intellectual property stakeholders.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office plays a crucial role in fostering innovation and protecting intellectual property rights. Because intellectual property – patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets – is so important to our national economy, we need the Office to have a strong and accountable leader. I believe that Mr. Iancu will be a responsible leader and manager, and that he’ll be responsive to the various different IP stakeholders.
I’m pleased that Mr. Iancu has pledged to work with us to improve our intellectual property system, enforce the law, and boost intellectual property rights. I support Mr. Iancu’s nomination and I urge my colleagues to support him as well.
We will also vote on 5 nominees to be United States Attorneys.
S. 2152, the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act is on the agenda for the first time and will be held over at the request of the other side. This is a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Hatch and cosponsored by me as well as by Senators Feinstein, Cornyn, Klobuchar, Whitehouse, Tillis, and Blumenthal.
The bill is named after “Amy,” “Vicky,” and “Andy,” victims in some of the most widely distributed child pornography in the world. It also creates a better system for compensating victims of child pornography, and addresses the concerns raised in the Supreme Court’s Paroline decision in 2014. The Paroline decision came in Amy’s restitution case.
The bill will establish more relevant and useful standards for the victims of child pornography who seek restitution from criminal defendants. It gives victims the alternative of a one-time fixed compensation payment from the Crime Victims Fund. The bill also requires appointment of a guardian ad litem for victims and allows them access to the images depicting them, which can be important for victim identification, expert testimony, forensic review, and treatment. I look forward to reporting this bill out of committee at our next executive business meeting.
I’ll now turn to Senator Feinstein for her remarks.