By Erin Geiger Smith
Nov 16 (Reuters) - Michelle Lee, Google's former deputy
general counsel and head of patent strategy, has been selected
to lead the new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Silicon
Lee, who was attending a conference at Santa Clara
University Friday, confirmed that she accepted the position.
At Google, Lee oversaw patent related matters including
overall strategy, prosecution and acquisitions. During her
tenure, she also called for reforms of the current patent
Lee started her new job on November 5. Prior to that, she
served on the agency's Patent Public Advisory Committee, which
is made up of non-Patent Office employees and reviews the
policies and performance of the agency.
Lee "understands the critical importance patents and
trademarks play in our global economy and in spurring
innovation," said David Kappos, the director of the Patent and
The Patent and Trade Office announced in July that it would
open regional offices in the Silicon Valley, Dallas, Denver and
Detroit. It was the first time the agency expanded its
operations outside Washington.
The regional offices "will work closely with entrepreneurs
to process patent applications, reduce the backlog of unexamined
patents, and speed up the overall process, allowing businesses
to move their innovation to market more quickly, and giving them
more room to create new jobs," the agency said.
Earlier this week, Lee's former Google colleague Nicole Wong
joined Twitter's legal department, where she will report to
another former Google attorney, Twitter general counsel Alex
Macgillivray. Wong was a deputy general counsel at Google until
(Additional reporting by Dan Levine)
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