Heidi S. Nebel Appointed to the USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee


Des Moines, Iowa – December 16, 2021 – McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC (MVS) is very excited to announce that Heidi S. Nebel, Managing Partner and Chair of the MVS Chemical and Biotechnology Practice Group, has been appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, Gina M. Raimondo, to the prestigious United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC). Heidi was sworn in on December 15th by Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (IP).

The PPAC was created by statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on the management of the patent operations. The PPAC has an important role in reviewing the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patents operations and advises the Director of the USPTO on these matters. The PPAC consists of private-sector intellectual property executives chosen to represent the interests of the diverse users of the USPTO. Appointments to the PPAC are made by the Secretary of Commerce.

“I am honored to be chosen by the Secretary of Commerce to serve on the USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee and to fulfill the mission of this committee,” stated Heidi. “I look forward to bringing my years of experience and leadership, as a patent attorney and Managing Partner, to this position in helping to ensure the USPTO is providing the highest level of service to those individuals who use the patent system and to protect the intellectual property of patent owners.”

Heidi will be joined on the board by a distinguished group of current board members including, Steven Caltrider, Chair and Vice President and General Patent Counsel at Eli Lilly and Company; Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Vice Chair and Practice Leader of the Mechanical & Design Practice Group and a Member of the Trademark & Brand Protection Practice at the law firm of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. in Washington, D.C.; Judge Susan G. Braden (Ret.); Dan Brown, Professor at the Segal Design Institute of Northwestern University; Jeremiah Chan, Associate General Counsel and Director, Head of Patents at Facebook; Jeffrey M. Sears, Associate General Counsel and Chief Patent Counsel for Columbia University and new board members including, Suzanne Harrison, Founder of Percipience LLC, a board-level advisory firm focused on managing and developing IP strategy, quantifying and mitigating risk, and increasing IP value capture and Charles Duan, Senior Policy Fellow in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the American University College of Law.

About McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC:

MVS is Iowa’s oldest and largest boutique IP firm, helping clients protect their intellectual property rights through patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, and related commercial litigation, both domestically and internationally. MVS has attorneys skilled in all areas of technology including chemistry, biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences as well mechanical, electrical, computer, industrial and aerospace engineering. Many attorneys with the firm have advanced degrees in science in addition to their law degree.

For more information, contact Richard Marsolais, Business Development Director, at 515-564-5938.


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