Michelle K. Lee Named Deputy Director of the USPTO

Michelle K. Lee began her role as Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 13th. Prior to her new appointment, Lee acted as Director of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office where she served as the primary liaison with the innovation community in Sillicon Valley and the West Coast. She also served two terms on the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee which serves to advise the USPTO on its policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees.

Lee has a background in engineering and served as Deputy General Counsel for Google, acting as the company’s first Head of Patents and Patent Strategy, before joining the USPTO. Her career also includes time as a partner at the law firm of Fenwick & West, based in Silicon Valley, where she specialized in advising high-technology clients that ranged from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Before working in law, Lee was a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and her J.D. from Stanford Law School.

As the role of USPTO Director is currently vacant, Lee will perform the functions and duties of that office. Once President Obama nominates a Director, she’ll assume the title of “Acting Director.”

For more information visit the USPTO’s website.

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