The Head of the United States Patent and Trade Marks Office Michelle Lee Resigns

Michelle Lee resigned from the US Patent and Trade Marks office (USPTO) on June 6, 2017.

The real reason for her sudden resignation as Director of the remains a mystery. Was she asked to resign? Did she volunteer to resign? As someone who has been in the job for barely two years, her departure leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Was there a scandal that has suddenly come to the fore, which made her position untenable?

This was a lady who had made history by becoming the first woman ever to hold the position of Under Secretary and Director of the USPTO, who is a strong advocate for women and minorities, who had presided over a period of fundamental change in the way that invalid patents were challenged, and one who had the support of many of the Tech giants which dominated much of the US Patents & Trade Marks landscape. So her sudden departure, without warning, after what appeared like a confirmation by the Trump administration barely three months ago is somewhat surprising.

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USPTO addresses backlog

The United States Patent and Trade Marks Office (USPTO) has announced a scheme that is targeted at reducing the reduce the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. Under the program known as  ” the Project Exchange”, which will take effect with the publication of the Federal Register notice in the coming weeks, any applicant with more than one application, filed prior to the inception of the program, currently pending at the USPTO can receive expedited review of one application in exchange for withdrawing an unexamined application. It is anticipated that this will give applicants with multiple filings greater control over the priority in which their applications are examined and enable priority applications to be examined on an expedited basis.

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