We have been hearing rumbles for a long while now that former Google executive Michelle Lee could become the new head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and after a couple years of waiting, the news has become official. Back in October 2014, the Obama administration nominated Lee for the position, and as of today the Senate has confirmed her new role. Among other things, Lee previously served as the lead of Google’s patents and patent strategy department.
It has been a long process, but it has finally come to an end. About a week ago, the Obama administration’s nomination was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and now following that the US Senate voted in approval. Lee has already been serving as the acting director for the USPTO, but this confirms her as its new leader.
There have been calls for patent reform for a long while, with it being said such reform needs to address the ongoing issue of federal litigation and patent trolls in general. Such reform has been difficult, however, given the lack of an official director to direct the change. A previous nomination for the position received ample backlash due to his stance against patent reform, but that was later pulled.
In addition to confirming Lee’s nomination, the Senate today also voted in approval of Daniel Marti as the intellectual property enforcement coordinator (“IP Czar”) for the White House. Check out the timeline below for more news related to the USPTO.