IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "deputy director"

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.

Up close and personal with Russ Slifer

In this final segment we begin talking about something Slifer wanted specifically to address — Tony Scardino being named Acting Deputy Director. We then proceed to some of fun, “get to know you” questions that range from sports, to movies, to music, to what, if any advice Slifer would give himself if he could be transported back in time to meet himself as he was embarking upon a career in the law.

Addressing potential IPR abuses and hardships on the patent owner

Russ Slifer: “And as you know by statute the Director is tasked with making the institution decision on an IPR but that’s been delegated to the PTAB for obvious logistical reasons. There’s no way that the front office could read through all petitions and make a decision itself so it had to be delegated to the Board. But sometimes there are cases that probably should be reconsidered on whether institutions should have be made – and maybe it’s because the art that is relied on is the same or substantially the same as what was in prosecution. Or maybe there is a financial hardship of the patent owner or the IPR will not resolve all of the outstanding validity issues that are pending in a district court. So there could be certain categories of reasons that you could basically an interlocutory appeal to the Director for reconsideration. I think that is one way to help address some of the potential abuses or hardships on the patent owner if there’s been several IPRs that have been instituted against a patent from different parties. Right now the system does not allow for reconsideration once a decision has been made. That’s just one example.”

An Exclusive Interview with former USPTO Deputy Director Russ Slifer

As you will see from the transcript, nothing was out of bounds, although because of time we didn’t get into everything. Slifer did agree to come back for more in the coming months, specifically relating to a discussion about patent eligibility, and we will be following up on this specific ideas relating to inter partes review (which you will hear him mention in Part 1 of the interview and which we return to in Part 2). We did discuss the turmoil at the end of the Obama Administration and the fact that he did resign, as requested, effective January 20, 2017. We also discussed the mechanics of resignation, getting things done on a government timetable, how being Deputy Director was an extremely rewarding job, his view that a fee increase is absolutely essential and that Tony Scardino makes an excellent Acting Deputy Director. In the final segment, which will be part 3, we also spend some time getting to know Russ a little more, talking about movies, sports, music and more.

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.

Congressional Testimony: Lee on USPTO Patent Operations

Lee will tell Congress that the USPTO is on pace during FY 2014 to receive nearly 600,000 patent applications, which represents an increase of more than 5% as compared to FY 2013. The PTO backlog of unexamined patent applications is less than 620,000 which is down from more than 750,000 in 2009 (a 17.3 percent decrease)… On a cynical note, I will observe that reducing the backlog will become much easier for the USPTO, as will meeting pendency goals, based upon the United States Supreme Court’s breathtaking decision in Alice v. CLS Bank. While not a subject of this hearing, as more and more becomes per se unpatentable as the result of 35 U.S.C. 101, the USPTO should easily be able to meet these goals, particularly in light of the reality that over 50% of patents issued by the USPTO related to software innovations.

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.