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OVERNIGHT TECH: Patent chief to face questions on 'troll' bill

THE LEDE: U.S. Patent and Trademark Director Michelle Lee will face questions Tuesday from House lawmakers on their bill aimed at thwarting so-called patent trolls. 

The hearing will give lawmakers a chance to pin her down on the specifics of their Innovation Act, which Lee has not yet endorsed. Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) has said he is "hopeful we can move quickly here in the House" on the legislation, which also passed last Congress.  

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The Obama administration and Lee, in particular, have endorsed a legislative fix to rein in companies accused of filing frivolous infringement lawsuits in the hope of winning a settlement. Lee has warned, however, that a bill needs to reflect recent changes to the patent system, stemming from the courts and the agency itself. 

Lee will give her first congressional testimony since being officially sworn in last month. The committee will hear from a second panel of witnesses after Lee, including representatives from Yahoo, Salesforce.com and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. 

TECH CHIEFS PRESS FOR MORE VISAS: A number of immigrant tech entrepreneurs are flying into Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to advocate for legislation that would increase the cap on the number of high-skilled visas the United States hands out per year. The trip is being organized by FWD.us, the advocacy group founded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and other tech executives. 

The business leaders will also hold a press conference with the National Immigration Forum and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who has sponsored the legislation. The current cap stands at 65,000 per year. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Monday that 233,000 new applications had been received in the first week of enrollment that started April 1. 

MUSICIANS STORM CAPITOL HILL: Musicians and artists will also storm Capitol Hill this week, advocating for a bill that would make broadcasters and satellite radio companies pay fair royalties to musicians for songs played. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), said more than 200 artists will begin making the rounds this week as part of the Grammy's advocacy day. "We need more than a few artists, we need a movement," he said. 

ONLINE DEBT BROKERS SETTLE WITH FTC: Two debt broker companies settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission after they posted tens of thousands of people's sensitive financial information, including credit card and bank account numbers, online for anyone to see. The settlement did not result in any fine but will require the companies to set up programs to protect consumer information in the future. 

EX-STEARNS, CANTOR AIDE TO PCIA: Former Glover Park vice president Matt Mandel is heading to PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association to become the head of legislative affairs, the trade group announced on Monday. In the new role, Mandel will work with the group to push federal, state and local officials to build out more infrastructure to drive people's cellphones and tablets. Mandel comes to the group after a few years at Glover Park and a decade on Capitol Hill, where he worked for former Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) during his time on the House Communications subcommittee as well as former Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.). He also previously worked for AIPAC, the prominent pro-Israel lobbying group. 

NO, THAT APP CAN'T DIAGNOSE YOUR MELANOMA: The Federal Trade Commission approved a final consent order against Health Discovery Corp. which it said made "deceptive" claims about its ability to judge people's melanoma. The company's MelApp promised that it could diagnose the risks of melanoma in someone's mole based solely on a picture from their smartphone, the FTC alleged in a February complaint. 

TOP GOOGLE QUESTION FOR CLINTON: The top Hillary Clinton search question on Google the day after her presidential announcement was, "How old is Hillary Clinton?" according to the search giant. Other popular questions asked whether she is a Democrat and whether she is running for president. Currently 67, the former secretary of State would be the second oldest person to ever be elected if she wins in 2016. However, the age question extends to other candidates as well. It was a popular question for the 52-year-old Rand Paul in the past 24 hours, right behind, "How tall is Rand Paul?"

WHAT INSPIRED CLINTON'S LOGO?: The Center for Democracy and Technology joked that Hillary Clinton's new presidential campaign logo looked like it was inspired by its own. Clinton's "H" design with a red arrow pointing to the right somewhat resembles the "CDT" logo, which features a pink arrow. Others have said Clinton's logo resembles the FedEx logo or a hospital sign. 

PPI LOOKS AT COPYRIGHT: A new policy brief from the Progressive Policy Institute examines the economic role of copyright in the digital age. "[I]n order to navigate the coming changes, we need to have a better idea about what goals we are striving for," author Michael Mandel writes. 

ON TAP: 

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on its patent reform bill at 2 p.m. 

At 2:15, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will hold a press conference with immigrant entrepreneurs about his legislation to expand the cap on high-skilled visas. 

Starting at 6:30, the Consumer Electronic Association will host its Digital Patriots dinner where it will honor Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

At the same time, The Internet Association will hold a charity gala where it will honor Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 

Among the farmers, lawyers and career politicians on Capitol Hill, there's also a smaller, more exclusive club: the inventors.

Thirteen Republicans joined Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) in support of a resolution that would block new Internet rules approved by the FCC. 

Major telecommunications companies are jumping to challenge new federal Internet service regulations in court, mere hours after the legal window opened on Monday morning.

Sprint has agreed to pay $15.5 million over Justice Department allegations that it routinely overcharged the government for millions of dollars while conducting wiretaps.

Rep. Suzan DelBene's (D-Wash.) husband is returning to a top role at Microsoft nearly two years after he left to work in the Obama administration and help revitalize HealthCare.gov.

 

Please send tips and comments to Julian Hattem, jhattem@thehill.com  and Mario Trujillo, mtrujillo@thehill.com

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