Anyone working in international intellectual property policy probably knows Al Tramposch. For the past few years, Mr. Tramposch has been serving as a deputy executive director of the AIPLA focusing on international and regulatory issues. Prior to that, he worked for many years as the director of Industrial Property Law (patents, trademarks, and design rights) at WIPO in Geneva and in private practice in DC. He also clerked for Judge Newman at the Federal Circuit. I've known Tramposch to be extremely skilled – both because of his deep knowledge of the law and because of his natural management talent.
USPTO Director David Kappos recently appointed Tramposch to take over the position as Administrator for Policy and External Affairs at the USPTO. That position was previously held by Duke Law professor Arti Rai. Tramposch will immediately be placed in the inner sphere of USPTO management. According to the USPTO, the position has five core management responsibilities over (1) administration and support for external affairs, which will include all domestic and international IP policy-related operations; (2) congressional and legislative engagement, as carried out by the Office of Governmental Affairs; (3) education and training, as carried out under the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA); (4) global IP leadership through administration of the IP Attaché Program; and (5) economic analysis, as carried out by the Chief Economist.
Professor Rai commented to me that Tramposch is “particularly well-suited for the vital role that the Administrator plays in managing relationships with WIPO, other international organizations, and the intellectual property systems of other countries.”
The second major empty slot at the PTO is that of Deputy Director. Sharon Barner left the position in January.