Press Release: U.S. Department of Commerce
Friday, August 7, 2009
Locke Statement on Confirmation of David Kappos as Patent and Trade[mark] Director
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate today confirmed David Kappos as the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement:
“We are grateful to the Senate for its swift confirmation of David Kappos to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It’s no secret that the agency currently faces significant and persistent challenges, but David is the right person to meet them and carry out my top priority for the USPTO—dramatically reducing the unacceptably long time it takes to process patent applications.”
Over a 20-year career, David Kappos has accrued deep knowledge of the patent system and broad respect from professionals across the field—including the biotech, life sciences and high tech sectors. Most recently, he was the vice president and assistant general counsel for intellectual property at IBM. Specifically, Kappos managed IBM’s patent and trademark portfolios—protecting and licensing intellectual property worldwide.
He takes control of an office that provides incentives to encourage technological advancement and helps businesses protect their investments, promote their goods and safeguard against deception in the marketplace. The office continues to deal with a patent application backlog of more than 770,000, long waiting periods for patent review, information technology systems that are regarded as outdated and an application process in need of reform.
Recently, Kappos has served on the Board of Directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, and the International Intellectual Property Society. He also has been the Vice President of the Intellectual Property Owners Association. He has held various leadership positions in intellectual property law associations in Asia and the U.S. and has spoken widely in Asia, Europe and the U.S. on intellectual property topics.
Kappos received his bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California-Davis in 1983, and his law degree from the University of California Berkeley in 1990. He joined IBM in 1983 as a development engineer and has served in a variety of roles before taking his current position, including intellectual property law attorney in IBM’s Storage Division and Litigation group, IP Law Counsel in IBM’s Software Group, assistant general counsel for IBM Asia/Pacific, IBM Corporate Counsel and assistant general counsel.