On Monday March 9th, The United States Senate confirmed Michelle Lee as the new director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She is the first woman to hold this position, and has a resume any patent attorney would love to have. Her background is in electrical engineering and computer science, holding both undergraduate and graduate degrees from M.I.T.. She recieved her juris doctorate from Stanford. Before joining the USPTO, Ms. Lee served as Deputy General Counsel for Google and was the company’s first Head of Patents and Patent Strategy. You can see her full USPTO bio here.
Ms. Lee has been serving as the USPTO’s interim director over a year now where she has been working to streamline the patent application process and find ways to reduce abuse in the U.S. patent system. And while there is much disagreement amongst the practicing community regarding topics such as patent reform, non-practicing entities and covered business methods, there is a strong sense of hope that Ms. Lee will make the patent application process more inventor friendly in the coming years.
The Thornton Firm wishes Michelle Lee all the best.