- Posted by lawyeradmin
- On June 28, 2017
As we enter the midpoint for what can easily be described as a year of drastic changes, another major upheaval within the federal government has sent waves throughout Washington D.C. and the business community as the future for patents lies hanging in the balance.
Michelle Lee‘s Tenure…
Under Michelle Lee, the USPTO shifted its policies on patent protection to better suit the growing tech industries, a move that many saw as detrimental to innovators outside of the tech bubble. For her detractors, the move allowed companies to circumvent many of the protections put in place to defend the rights of patent holders while simultaneously creating an environment that was difficult for smaller companies and entrepreneurial innovators.
For the amount of outcry that amounted from those opposed to policies implemented throughout the agency, Michelle Lee found major allies from giants within Silicon Valley. Those same allies came forth during the last few months of Lee’s tenure to express their support of the office under her oversight, though without much avail.
With Leadership Change, Certainly Policies may follow Suit…
Many insiders are now keen to focus their attention on the implications that will arise from the shift. As Michelle Lee was very much a voice of the previous administration’s sentiments towards patent protections, experts have surmised that the next appointment to the position will certainly fall in line under the current administration’s positions on the matter. Though, it would certainly be beneficial to the Trump administration if the next Director followed the plan in which the President has laid before the country in terms of revitalizing small business and domestic job growth, that has yet to be seen.
The Next Director of the USPTO…
Currently the position of interim director has fallen to Associate Solicitor Joe Matal as the organization awaits the results of nominations and confirmations.
Though names have already begun to circulate between senators and positions within the President’s administration as for who should take up the helm of director.
Though none have come out to confirm the rumors, both the names of Phil Johnson, the man behind Johnson & Johnson’s strategy for intellectual property, and Randall Rader, a former chief Judge of the Federal Circuit, have made their way to the press as possible recommendations for the position.
Uncertainty Surrounding the Future Position of the USPTO towards Patent Protections…
As the position currently sits unfilled and much of the speculation around who will take the appointment remains just that, speculation, it is difficult to say in which direction the USPTO will carry once the announcement is made. Though, without regard to the policies or political affiliations of whomever receives the appointment, it is still safe to say that the future of patents and their accompanying protections lies in the hands the new director. Which as it is unknown, has many insiders uncertain about the strength of patents in the coming future.
If you would like to learn more about how you can grow and protect your patent portfolio regardless of federal shifts in policy, speak to a Chicago patent lawyer today.