Washington DC
07 June 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Michelle Lee resigns as USPTO director


Michelle Lee has resigned as director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Lee notified staff in a letter yesterday (6 June) that she would be standing down from her post as under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the USPTO, but offered no reason for her sudden departure.

She is “tremendously proud of all that we have accomplished together, and appreciate all of your support and dedication during my tenure”, Lee said in her letter.

Lee was appointed to lead the USPTO in 2014, but her position was put under threat following the election of US President Donald Trump.

It had been unclear whether Lee would be replaced after Trump’s inauguration in January.

In March, Gary Shuster, senior counsel at Coleman & Horowitt, filed a freedom of information act request with the USPTO, which confirmed Lee’s position “as a matter of administrative discretion”.

The US Department of Commerce’s leadership page continued to show Lee’s position as vacant, alongside many other as-yet unchosen members of the Trump administration.

Despite this uncertainty, Lee received much support from the tech industry, including Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The Consumer Technology Association penned a letter to Trump, underlining the economic benefits that Lee’s continued leadership of the USPTO would bring for American inventors and businesses.

The association said that Lee “has been able to expertly balance the needs and interests of all the stakeholders within the very diverse community that the USPTO serves”.

More news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Article 13 of DSM proposals should be deleted, says the EFF
17 October 2017 | Brussels | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Digital advocacy groupElectronic Frontier Foundation and other civil society organisation that have penned a letter to European lawmakers demanding that Article 13 of the EU’s new copyright reforms is deleted
Winterfeldt IP opens in Washington DC
16 October 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Winterfeldt IP Group, a new law firm focusing on brand enforcement and counseling, has opened its doors in Washington DC
Partner promotions at White & Case
13 October 2017 | New York | Reporter: Barney Dixon
White & Case has promoted 31 new partners, including four intellectual property attorneys, across the US and UK
WIPO Assemblies meeting ends with key agreements
12 October 2017 | Geneva | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The World Intellectual Property Organisation’s annual Assemblies meeting has ended with key agreements between member states
Dell wins Alienware domain dispute
11 October 2017 | Minneapolis | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Dell has won back four domains following a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) decision at the Alternative Dispute Resolution Forum
Johnson Controls-Hitachi selects Anaqua
11 October 2017 | Boston | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The joint venture between Johnson Controls and Hitachi Air Conditioning has chosen intellectual property analytics company Anaqua to globalise its IP management systems
Campinos elected as EPO president
11 October 2017 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
António Campinos has been elected as president of the European Patent Office, succeeding Benoît Battistelli