by Dennis Crouch
David Kappos is now the former Director of the United States Patent Office — joining a select group that claims Thomas Jefferson as its inaugural member and more recently includes Todd Dickinson, Jon Dudas, Jim Rogan, and Bruce Lehman. The Kappos era has been interesting and eventful. In the next few weeks we will be jointly publishing a set of Kappos Stories both here and in the Yale Journal of Law & Technology.
Without fanfare, Teresa Stanek Rea has moved into the leadership role as Acting Director after joining the USPTO in 2011 as Deputy Director. Congratulations Director Rea. Rea is expected to continue to push many of the same levers as Kappos – namely reducing the patent backlog, “right sized patents” through cooperative applicant-examiner negotiation of patent scope, and full implementation of the post-grant trial system.
I expect that President Barack Obama will not name a new director until after March. The USPTO Director is also an Undersecretary of Commerce, reporting directly to the US Secretary of Commerce. That position has been held by Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank since June of 2012.