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Ron Cahill Comments on USPTO Director’s Departure in IPWatchdog

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06.08.2017

Ron Cahill, partner and chair of the Intellectual Property Litigation practice group at Nutter, weighed in on the legacy of Michelle Lee as Director of the USPTO in IPWatchdog. In the article, “Industry Reaction to the Resignation of USPTO Director Michelle Lee,” Ron stated, “Certainly, Director Lee’s tenure at the USPTO has been marked by excellence in management, and excellence as a policy goal. Decisions around her replacement will necessarily involve balancing policy concerns among different industries. Director Lee, an electrical engineer by training and coming to government from Google, leaned toward the concerns of high tech industries, where patent infringement litigation by NPEs (Non Practicing Entities) is a significant issue. As a result, patents became more difficult to obtain and more easy to challenge during Director Lee’s tenure.”

According to Ron, “While also focusing on patent quality, life sciences industries tend to favor stronger patents, as their patents often protect the substantial investments they make in research and development in bringing life improving products to market. Many suspect that the current administration favors strong intellectual property protection for U.S. companies—the selection of the next USPTO Director gives the administration a visible opportunity to move in that direction.”

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