Washington DC
29 August 2017
Reporter: Mark Dugdale

Trump nominates next USPTO leader


US President Donald Trump has nominated Irell & Manella managing partner Andrei Iancu to take over as director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Iancu needs to be confirmed by the Senate before he can replace Michelle Lee as head of the USPTO.

His practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, but Iancu is also experienced across prosecution, due diligence and licensing.

He has represented clients across the technology spectrum, including those associated with medical devices, genetic testing, therapeutics, the internet, telephony, TV broadcasting, video game systems and computer peripherals.

Prior to law school, Iancu was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft.

Associate solicitor Joseph Matal has served as interim director of the USPTO following the resignation of Lee in June. She offered no reason for her departure.

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

It had been unclear whether Lee would be replaced after no announcement was made following Trump’s inauguration in January.

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