Former USPTO Deputy Commissioner Bruce Kisliuk Joins Wilson Sonsini

By Gene Quinn
September 8, 2015


Bruce Kisliuk

Bruce Kisliuk, the former Deputy Commissioner for Patent Administration at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a senior patent counselor. Kisliuk will be based in the firm’s Washington, DC office.

“With more than 30 years of intellectual property experience at the USPTO, including service in a variety of senior leadership roles, Bruce has an in-depth understanding of patent filing and patent exam procedures to complement his broad scientific background,” said Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner Vern Norviel, who leads the patents and innovation counseling practice. “His familiarity with biotechnology, organic chemistry, nanotechnology, and pharmaceutical discoveries makes him a valuable resource for our clients. We’re very pleased that he’s joining our experienced team of patent professionals.”

Kisliuk is one of several former USPTO executives who have joined Wilson Sonsini since 2005. Others include chief patent counselor Esther Kepplinger, who also was formerly a USPTO Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations; Of Counsel Jasemine Chambers, previously a Deputy Administrator in the Office of Policy and External Affairs; and Of Counsel Rick Torczon, a former Administrative Patent Judge.

As Deputy Commissioner for Patent Administration from 2012 to 2015, Kisliuk served as the Patent Organization’s chief financial officer and oversaw the formulation and execution of the organization’s $1.7 billion budget. He also managed all aspects of the Patent Organization’s information technology management, partnering with the chief information officer to develop patent examiner systems and examination tools. In addition, Kisliuk oversaw customer outreach activities, specifically targeting intellectual property education and support for independent inventors, universities, and small businesses. In 2013, he led the agency’s implementation of the Cooperative Patent Classification system, a new global patent classification system bilaterally developed and operated by the USPTO and the European Patent Office.

Kisliuk previously served as Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations from 2008 to 2012, during which time he oversaw multiple Technology Centers—including Chemical Technology Centers 1600 and 1700, Electrical Technology Centers 2600 and 2800, and Mechanical Technology Centers 3600 and 3700—and was responsible for all aspects of their patent examining operations, practices, and procedures. In 2009, he was a key executive member of the task force that developed the first substantive changes to the patent-examiner credit system in more than 30 years, an accomplishment that earned the task force the Department of Commerce Silver Medal for Leadership.

Prior to becoming Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Kisliuk was the group director for Technology Center 1600, where he oversaw the examination of biotechnology, organic chemistry, and pharmaceutical patent applications. Earlier in his career, he was an executive assistant to the Commissioner for Patents, as well as a supervisory patent examiner for mechanical technologies, including medical devices.

Kisliuk earned a graduate certificate in advanced public management from Syracuse University in 2000. He earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Lehigh University in 1981.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. 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.

Gene Quinn

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