Washington – The White House has officially nominated Deputy Director Michelle Lee to lead the Patent and Trademark Office. Lee had been running the office for nearly a year, which has been leaderless since David Kappos left.
The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“A balanced and focused patent system is critical to innovation and it was wise of the Administration to appoint someone with such a deep understanding of patents whom we hope will seek the balance necessary to support both current innovators and next generation innovation. Lee has already signaled her understanding of the importance of improving patent quality, which will also help with the still-growing problem of patent trolls.
“We look forward to supporting Director Lee in her efforts to give patent examiners strong training and better tools. As we have seen in the last few years, it is crucial to reverse the flood of low-quality patent approvals that started under Lee’s predecessors. The Supreme Court has clearly stated in several recent decisions that the standards of patentability have been lowered too far. As she steps into the role of director, we urge Ms. Lee to keep the focus on patent quality as she also addresses the backlog of questionable patent applications.
“More work is needed to reform the patent system and discourage misuse, and it is encouraging to have a leader with her knowledge and abilities. With strong support from the White House, we expect she will be able to undertake the significant reforms needed.”