Quantcast

Help Arrives! Nick Godici Returns to Patent Office

By Gene Quinn on July 8, 2009

Nick Godici

Nick Godici

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke yesterday announced the appointment of former USPTO official and long-time patent professional Nicholas P. Godici as a special advisor to the USPTO.  On announcing the return of Godici, Secretary Locke said: “I’m counting on Nick to use his decades of experience to help us strengthen the management of the USPTO and identify the areas most in need of attention by the new director.”  Godici will serve as a consultant for a period of up to 180 days, although I think Locke and Obama would do well to find a permanent position for Godici even after Davind Kappos, President Obama’s nominee for PTO Director,  takes control.

Godici worked at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for 33 years, beginning his career as a patent examiner and eventually rising through the ranks to become Commissioner for Patents from 2000-2005.   Shortly after Jon Dudas became Director of the Patent Office, Godici left the Patent Office and entered private practice.  There are many rumors surrounding his leaving the Patent Office, and repeatedly I have heard from many long time industry insiders that Godici leaving the Patent Office is what resulted in the Office going astray and becoming misguided with respect to the vitally important role the USPTO plays with respect to fostering and promoting innovation and assisting the US economy remain technologically competitive. I learned recently about Godici’s imminent return to the PTO, and those I have talked to on deep background all to a person are extremely excited that Godici is returning to the Office.  It would seem that the overwhelming consensus of those in the know is that this is a major and extremely positive development.  It also signals that the Obama Administration is serious about correcting the course the Patent Office is on, which is great news indeed.

As Commissioner for Patents, Godici was responsible for managing all aspects of the patent business organization, and his wealth of hands-on experience and depth of managerial experience can only be viewed as a positive development. I am told that he is extremely well respected by those in senior management positions at the USPTO, and he is also extremely well respected by the front line managers and supervisors in the various Technology Centers.  This being the case, the return of Godici should have an enormously positive impact on morale, and will hopefully lead to a stronger working relationship with those within the Office.

From January-December 2001, Godici also served as the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO. He represented the United States in several international negotiations involving intellectual property issues and agreements with other countries.  Given his experience as the Commissioner for Patents and nearly 1 year as Acting Director this should make the transition from the private sector into government employment much easier for David Kappos, President Obama’s nominee for Director of the PTO.  I personally do not expect Kappos to be confirmed until the Fall at the earliest, particularly given the Sotomayor hearings, a contentious health care debate and cap and trade legislation that is a high Obama priority but one that will face stiff opposition in the Senate.  Thus, getting someone with Godici’s experience to return to the PTO during the interim shows a depth of understanding of the patent crisis by the White House, and willingness to start to immediately find a solution even prior to Kappos taking control.

Since leaving government employment in 2005, Godici has served as an executive advisor with the intellectual property law firm Birch, Stewart, Kolasch and Birch, where he specializes in intellectual property consulting. Godici received his bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics in from Penn State University and his certificate of advanced public management from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a patent attorney and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam.

Gene’s particular specialty as a patent attorney is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He has worked with independent inventors and start-up businesses in a variety of different technology fields, but specializes in software, systems and electronics.

is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent Office and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Gene is a graduate of Franklin Pierce Law Center and holds both a J.D. and an LL.M. Prior to law school he graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

You can contact Gene via e-mail.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 2 Comments comments.

  1. EG July 9, 2009 7:24 am

    Gene,

    Nick Giodici is a God-send to straighten out the management mess at the PTO. Best move I’ve seen Secretary Locke do so far.

  2. ~~Logan~~ July 10, 2009 5:41 pm

    Gene,

    I also think that bring Nick Godici back is a great 1st move. I worked under him on a project a decade or so back & he seemed to understand the examiner’s positions & things we had to deal with then. Hopefully, he can bring in those issues as well as what he has picked up recently on the other side of the fence & help to get things back on track. And I also agree with the things you mention about his leaving. Things went downhill after he left (forced out?) as many of us were afraid that they would .