Matthew Shapanka

Matthew Shapanka

Matthew Shapanka leverages his experience in government and politics to represent corporate, political, and individual clients in criminal, regulatory, and legislative matters before government agencies and Congress. He also advises companies, PACs, candidates, and nonprofits on compliance with federal and state campaign finance, election, and lobbying laws.

Subscribe to all posts by Matthew Shapanka

Bipartisan, Bicameral IDEA Act Seeks to Improve Diversity of Patent Applicants

A bipartisan, bicameral group of members of Congress introduced the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement (IDEA) Act to ensure that policy makers and researchers have the tools they need to study diversity among inventors holding U.S. patents.  Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced … Continue Reading

Montana Federal Court Halts IRS Policy that Eliminated Reporting of Donor Information

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must adhere to public notice-and-comment procedures before it can relieve certain tax-exempt organizations of the burden of reporting the names and addresses of their donors to the IRS, a Montana federal court ruled this week.  Last year’s Revenue Procedure 2018-38 provided that tax-exempt organizations, other than 501(c)(3) charities, were no … Continue Reading

Senate Commerce Committee Unanimously Passes Two Bipartisan 5G Bills

Last week, the Senate Commerce Committee held a markup where it unanimously passed two pieces of legislation aimed at improving U.S. fifth-generation wireless network (5G) security measures out of committee: the Secure 5G and Beyond Act (S. 893) and the United States 5G Leadership Act (S. 1625).  These bills—passed as Congress, the Administration, and the … Continue Reading

Senate Committee Holds Hearings on New Bipartisan, Bicameral Proposal to Reform Section 101 of the Patent Act

This week, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held the first two of a three-part series of hearings on “The State of Patent Eligibility in America.”  The hearings are part of an ongoing bipartisan congressional effort to reform section 101 of the Patent Act to address confusion over patent eligibility wrought by more than … Continue Reading

USPTO INCREASES FOCUS ON DIVERSITY IN PATENTING WITH NEW REPORT ON WOMEN INVENTORS

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) Office of the Chief Economist released a new report last week examining women inventor trends in the United States from 1976 to 2016.  The study showed that only 21 percent of U.S. patents granted during that 40-year period include at least one woman listed as an inventor.  Despite … Continue Reading

Stronger patents dominate IP agenda in 115th Congress

Patents have been mainstay of the Judiciary Committee agenda in both chambers for more than a decade, but never before has the debate seemed so firmly focused on strengthening patent rights.  Significant patent bills are pending in both chambers, and the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have summoned Andrei Iancu, the new director of the … Continue Reading

Recent Developments at the USPTO

Change is afoot at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  Since Director Andrei Iancu took office in February and declared “creating a new pro-innovation, pro-IP dialogue” a top priority, the agency has experienced a flurry of activity.  Beyond the significant shift in its rhetoric on intellectual property, the USPTO has moved to “increase predictability … Continue Reading

Political Law Potpourri—The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018

While the din over a possible government shutdown dominated the headlines, political law played a supporting role in the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. No. 115-141).  The content and omissions of the so-called “Omnibus” spending bill will be of interest to political actors in all sectors, but particularly those operating nonprofit entities engaged … Continue Reading

U.S. House Considering Major Change to Trade Association PAC Fundraising Rules

The U.S. House Committee on Appropriations is considering a major change to the way trade associations are allowed to raise money into their political action committees (PACs).  Currently, if a trade association wants to solicit money from its member companies’ employees, it must first get advance approval from the company, and each company can authorize … Continue Reading

Congressional Review Act Developments

In response to the unprecedented use of the Congressional Review Act (“CRA”) by the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration, the Center for Biological Diversity (“Center”), a nonprofit dedicated to wildlife conservation, filed a lawsuit in an Alaska federal court challenging the constitutionality of the Act. The CRA is a statute that requires federal agencies … Continue Reading

Presidential Appointees Can Take Advantage of 2014 OGE Guidance on Hedge Funds

 As the President-elect begins to nominate individuals for Senate-confirmed positions in his administration, one of the major hurdles these individuals face is the statutory requirement that the Director of the Office of Government Ethics (“OGE”) review and certify a public disclosure of each source of income exceeding $200 and each property interest exceeding $1,000 in … Continue Reading

Use of the Congressional Review Act in the 115th Congress to Overturn Obama Administration Regulations

In just five short weeks, the 115th Congress will convene in Washington.  Now that Republicans control majorities in both houses and the White House, Republican leaders hope to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn regulations issued by the Obama Administration over the past few months.  According to a recent Congressional Research Service review, … Continue Reading

IRS Steps into Fray on Political Activities

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued two private letter rulings (PLRs) that may be interesting for tax-exempt organizations that engage in political activity. In the first ruling, the IRS held that a company could not deduct payments made to charity under a PAC matching contribution program as an “ordinary and necessary business expense.”  While … Continue Reading

“When One Door Closes . . .”: McCain-Feingold Opens “Soft Money” Loophole In the States

A recent settlement between the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) and Massachusetts Republican Party may highlight an emerging trend: state parties using federal preemption to avoid strict state campaign finance laws.  At issue was whether the Massachusetts Republican Party could use funds from its federal campaign account to pay for staff and … Continue Reading

Senators Introduce VENUE Act as Last Stand on Patent Legislation This Congress

As Congress becomes further embroiled in election-year politics, especially a high-stakes standoff between the White House and the Senate Judiciary Committee over the President’s nomination to the Supreme Court, it appears ever more likely that 114th Congress will end in December 2016 without passing comprehensive patent legislation.  With the House and Senate patent bills on … Continue Reading
LexBlog