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Michelle Lee  (Source: bizjournals.com)
Her role begins January 13, 2014

An ex-Googler will now head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) until it can find a new director. 
 
According to a new report from Yahoo News, former Google executive Michelle Lee has been made deputy director of the USPTO. She is currently head of the U.S. patent office's Silicon Valley outpost. 
 
Before that, Lee was a former deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy at Google.
 
Lee is stepping in due to former USPTO director David Kappos leaving in February, and acting director Teresa Stanek Rea also recently leaving. 
 
Lee will start her new role January 13, 2014, and it's not clear when a permanent director will take her place.
 
But Lee has quite an agenda for her time as director, noting that she plans to "attack" the backlog of unexamined patents (which is at about 590,070 applications right now) and work to improve patent quality with a new inter partes review system
 
Lee also wants to get a better handle on "frivolous" patent infringement lawsuits, and while Google happens to be apart of that crowd, Lee said that wouldn't affect her work. 
 
"None of the policy positions of my former employers has guided my work," said Lee. "I certainly would be very welcoming of everybody's input."

Source: Yahoo News





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