US secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross named Matal as interim leader of the USPTO yesterday (7 June), effective immediately.
Matal will serve in the role during the nomination and confirmation of a new director.
Lee notified staff that she would be standing down from her post yesterday, but offered no reason for her sudden departure.
Matal previously worked in the USPTO’s office of the solicitor, and has briefed and argued appeals of patent and trademark decisions before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
He was recently acting chief of staff for the USPTO and adviser to Lee.