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Ron Cahill Quoted Extensively on the Significance of the USPTO Director’s Resignation in Law360

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06.08.2017

Ron Cahill, partner and chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation practice group at Nutter, commented on Michelle Lee’s resignation as Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Law360. In the article, “Outgoing USPTO Director Lee Praised For Smooth Tenure,” Ron noted that America Invents Act proceedings to challenge patents at the PTAB have become an even more integral part of patent litigation over the past few years, and the board has produced strong results. “Those were designed from the outset to invalidate and weed out weak patents, and by most measures, that has been a success,” he said.

According to Ron, Lee's background in the high-tech industry led her lean toward addressing the concerns of such companies, including patent suits by nonpracticing entities. Ron added, “As a result, patents became more difficult to obtain and more easy to challenge during Director Lee's tenure.” Furthermore, Ron stated the life sciences industry tends to lean toward strong patent protection, and the next director might move more in that direction. "It seems like the life sciences side has a pretty strong argument that something needs to be done to strengthen patents. There are terrific innovations that are now less likely to be patent-eligible,” Ron said.

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