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New IPR Chief Confirmed by Senate

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Senate on March 9 confirmed Michelle K. Lee as new under secretary of Commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Before her confirmation Lee was deputy under secretary for IPR and previously served as director of USPTO’s Silicon Valley office. Earlier in her career she served as deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy for a major technology company after working in private practice for nearly a decade. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker indicated in an statement that Lee “has been a key partner in implementing the innovation pillar of the Department’s ‘Open for Business Agenda.’” She has also worked to reduce the backlog in patent applications, improve examination processes, and implement the post-grant review programs created by the 2011 America Invents Act.

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