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Posts Tagged: "Deputy Director of the USPTO"

TPAC Discussions Focus on Office Funding, Government Shutdown & Trademark Legislation

The Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) held its first quarterly meeting of 2019 on January 25… Despite the projection that without a long term solution to the government shutdown funding would run out by mid-April for Trademark Operations, USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison said that the Office was still planning to proceed with hiring new trademark examiners… The first quarter of 2019 and last quarter of 2018 indicated a decline in filings for the first time since FY2010, which could mean that the USPTO’s projection that trademark filings will increase by 6.1% this year is incorrect… In discussing levels of TTAB filings, Rogers noted that the last few years had seen significant increases in the number of oppositions and petitions for cancelling trademarks coming in through the front door of the TTAB’s filing system. While appeals were increasing, they were being outpaced by oppositions and petitions to cancel.

Laura Peter Appointed Deputy Director of the USPTO

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced the appointment of Laura Peter as deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), effective November 13, 2018.

America Needs Startup Experience in the USPTO Director

We just don’t need another lawyer or lobbyist to run the USPTO. We need more this time. We need someone from the grassroots who understands the very real hurdles facing America’s most innovative segment. Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) comes to mind. He has built a company based on his patents and is a strong advocate for strong patents for startups. Hans Høeg, Congressman Massie’s Chief of Staff, also comes to mind. He is an inventor with a couple dozen patents and a startup built on patents. He also has four years navigating Congress and the government in his role working for Massie. He understands how patents work at the grassroots level, he understands the processes of the USPTO, he is experienced in patent law and licensing, and he understands how to navigate politically.

Russell Slifer Sworn in as New USPTO Deputy Director

Director Lee announced that earlier this morning she swore in Russ Slifer to serve as the new Deputy Director of the USPTO. Slifer had been the Director of the USPTO Rocky Mountain Regional Office. He practiced intellectual property law for 20 years, serving for the last 8 years of his private sector practice as the Chief Patent Counsel for Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho.

Michelle Lee on patent quality, IPR and trade agreements

During our interview Lee explains that she is supportive of expanding trade agreements currently under consideration in Congress, that she looks forward to working on patent quality and receiving feedback from stakeholders on how the Office can better address patent quality, and she explained that the Office was pleased with the recent Federal Circuit ruling in In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies, which is the first appeal of a final decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in an Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceeding.

Michelle Lee confirmation hearing brings questions on fee shifting, post-grant proceedings

Michelle Lee, the current Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, was once again in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee panel yesterday, answering questions during her confirmation hearing. Lee, who would take over the vacant position of Director of the USPTO if confirmed, had already been subject to one confirmation hearing in December 2014. With little time before the end of the 113th Congress, then Ranking Member Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), informed Lee and the Senate panel that no vote would be taken in the 113th Congress and new members of the Judiciary Committee would be given the opportunity to ask questions prior to a vote in Committee during the 114th Congress, which started January 6, 2015. Newly elected Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and David Perdue (R-GA) did take the opportunity to ask questions.

12 Questions the Senate Should Ask Michelle Lee

This will be the first time that Lee has had a confirmation hearing. The timing suggests that the Obama Administration and Senator Reid think that they can get Lee confirmed prior to the end of this Congressional session, which may well be the case. Assuming that this hearing will be more than just a show, there are a number of difficult questions that should be asked of Lee… Why is the Patent Office secretly subjecting applications to extraordinary scrutiny? Do you support fee-shifting legislation to combat the perceived problem of “patent trolls”? Does Congress need to step in and amend 35 U.S.C 101 to provide a more clear definition of what is patent eligible?

Another Summer Without a USPTO Director

Back on June 2, 2014, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) wrote to President Obama expressing concern with the fact that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has been without a director for more than 16 months. A further 11 weeks has passed and we are still without a presidential nominee to run the USPTO. Between the diametrically opposed lobby groups who love and hate patents, the reality that many candidates who have been approached have declined, and those qualified candidates who are willing to accept cannot get support in the Senate, President Obama may not have a Director during his second term, which is truly embarrassing.

PTO Deputy Michelle Lee Says the Patent System Needs Change

If there was a major message to take away from Michelle K. Lee’s speech at Stanford Law School on Friday, June 27, it was that the patent system needs change to properly address the needs of an ever-growing list of stakeholders in the patent process, including the general public… Lee argues that, currently, the benefits of maintaining our country’s patent system outweigh the costs, but the dialogue which needs to effect positive change requires a critical view of the role of patents in regards to innovation. In this respect, Lee is quick to point out that patents aren’t the only drivers of innovation. The first-mover advantage of bringing a product to market before others can be its own incentive to innovate, she said, and open source models are chosen by some organizations that develop technology. Copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets are other options through which innovation can be protected.

Michelle Lee Appointed Deputy Director of the USPTO

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the appointment of Michelle K. Lee as the next Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Lee currently serves as the Director of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office and will begin her new role at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA, on January 13, 2014.

Acting Director Teresa Rea Leaves the USPTO

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.

Exclusive Interview Part 3: USPTO Deputy Director Terry Rea

We begin by discussing first action allowances and whether they are frowned upon, then discuss the examination process and weave our way to Track 1 and whether you really must use Track 1 for patents likely to be litigated because you get a much more condensed, streamlined prosecution history. Over the past 10 days I have also interviewed Peggy Focarino (Commissioner for Patents), Deborah Cohn (Commissioner for Trademarks) and Peter Pappas (Chief of Staff). These interviews are being transcribed and prepared for publication. So stay tuned.

Exclusive Interview Part 2: USPTO Deputy Director Teresa Rea

Part 2 of my interview with Deputy Under Secretary Rea picks up with discussion of the America Invents Act. We generally discussed the rulemaking process, the fact that the post-grant proposed rules are a bit late in coming, comments and what the USPTO will do with them, as well as the upcoming Road Show the USPTO is taking across America for the purpose of discussing implementation of the America Invents Act.

Exclusive Interview: USPTO Deputy Director Teresa Rea

Deputy Director Teresa Rea has now been at the USPTO for approximately 1 year, but seems as invigorated and full of energy as she did when I first met up with her.  She seems to love the job and relish the challenges that come with this moment in Patent Office history. We chatted for approximately 55 minutes, discussing USPTO hiring, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, the America Invents Act, what a typical day looks like on her calendar and much more.

An Interview with Sharon Barner, Former PTO Deputy Director

While at the USPTO Barner commuted back to Chicago on weekends to visit her family, choosing not to uproot her children from their schools. Since leaving the Patent and Trademark Office she has returned to Chicago and to Foley & Lardner. Barner was the keynote speaker at the 5th Annual Patent Law Institute sponsored by the Practising Law Instituted. I caught up with her in San Francisco at the Patent Law Institute on March 21, 2011. What follows is the transcript of my interview with her.