Patent News

Nov. 30, 2015

Intellectual Asset Management (IAM): Interview with USPTO Director Michelle Lee (part 1), by Richard Lloyd

This post originally appeared in Intellectual Asset Management on November 30, 2015.

Since she was appointed Deputy Director of the USPTO (and the acting head) and then confirmed as the Director in March this year, Michelle Lee has been in charge during a period of profound change in the US patent system. Patent reform has remained on the agenda throughout her time in charge, the popularity of inter partes reviews has grown dramatically and the Supreme Court has issued a string of opinions that have overhauled key areas of US case law. At the PTO itself Lee has focused on improving patent quality and has had to deal with the fallout from a teleworking scandal.

Last week I spoke with Lee in her first-ever interview with IAM about the challenges she has faced. The discussion will run in two parts and today focuses on patent quality, patent reform and the US government’s close ties to certain parts of the tech community. Part two will follow tomorrow.