Acting Director Teresa Rea Leaves the USPTO

By Gene Quinn
September 13, 2013

Teresa Rea

On February 17, 2011, Teresa Stanek Rea was announced as the new Deputy Director at the USPTO. Yesterday Teresa Rea, who is now the Acting Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, announced that she will be leaving the Office, ending speculation that she may be announced as the next Director of the Patent Office.

Now the wait continues for the announcement of a new Director, which could come at any time. I have been hearing rumors about who it may be, but at this time I’m not ready to publicly speculate. There seems to be a political candidate with ties to the tech industry that has risen to the top of the Obama White House list.

Upon joining the USPTO, Rea, who is known both inside and outside the Office as “Terry,” took the mantle of U.S. government employee with the longest title; Rea’s full title prior to becoming Acting Director was Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Terry is no stranger to the intellectual property world, and she will undoubtedly be coveted by firms and corporations alike as she re-enters the private sector. She is a former President of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and a long time patent practitioner who is highly regarding in the intellectual property community.

Rea’s e-mail to employees was brief and read:

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a tremendous honor and a true pleasure to serve with you as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the USPTO, America’s own “innovation agency.”  It is with deep appreciation and gratitude that I inform you that I have decided to leave the agency in the near future.

I joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March of 2011 as Deputy Director and have been privileged to serve at an historic time for this agency. As deputy to Dave Kappos, I was fortunate enough to participate in our agency’s implementation of historic patent reforms, as well as ongoing efforts to modernize our entire way of serving and engaging our stakeholders and the public in all areas of our operations.

Our senior leadership team has exercised true vision in ensuring we set the standard for excellence in government and empowering all of you to continue to do the incredible work that you do. That dedication is reflected in our rapid rise in the rankings of one of the top places to work in the federal government. It is my anticipation that we will soon welcome a new Director who will continue guiding the excellent work of the agency. Until then, I will do everything I can to ensure a smooth transition.

Thank you for the privilege of serving with you.

Teresa Stanek Rea

Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property & Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Stay tuned!

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and founder of Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and an attorney with Widerman Malek. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

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Discuss this

There are currently 2 Comments comments.

  1. Paol Cole September 16, 2013 6:07 am

    Dave and Terry are a hard act to follow!

    All best wishes to Terry for the future.

  2. Bruce Burdick September 17, 2013 12:45 pm

    Rumor is IBM (aka “the tech industry”) has in mind a new and even more subservient proxy.