Regional Director Russ Slifer

By Dennis Crouch

USPTO Deputy Director Lee has named Russ Slifer as Regional Director of the Denver USPTO. Russ has been a patent attorney since his graduation from NIU Law in 1994 both in private practice and as Chief Patent Counsel for Micron. I have known Russ for a number of years and am confident in his deep understanding of patent practice, excellent management skills, and his willingness to listen to good ideas.

Congratulations to Russ on this transition and to Michelle Lee on continuing to build an impressive leadership team.

The missing link, of course, continues to be the absence of a Congressionally-Approved USPTO Director – now 500-days and counting.

Although already in operation, the Denver Patent Office is set to officially open on June 30, 2014.

More info: http://www.uspto.gov/blog/director/entry/update_on_our_satellite_offices

13 thoughts on “Regional Director Russ Slifer

  1. Mr. Slifer is a poker-face type of person. Almost everyone working for him is afraid of or tries not to directly talk to him. However, apart his well respected knowledge, he is a wine collector (yes, he’ got a wine cellar) and a fancy car goer. He impressed me every time I met him.

    Reply
    1. Not sure what you mean “that everyone working for him is afraid or tries not to directly talk to him.” I have had the honor and pleasure of working for Russ for 8 years and have never felt afraid to discuss any matter with him. He’ a serious person when it comes to patent law and the law in general. However, he’ very approachable and will listen to your ideas and thoughts and also debate anyone on numerous topics. He is a great mind that will benefit the PTO greatly.

      Reply
      1. People sometimes confuse “serious when it comes to patent law” with being unfriendly (or even psychotic).

        People also confuse a willingness to debate and being approachable (but insisting on intellectual honesty) as being controlling.

        I am sure that your dealings with Russ were positive because you did not fear what an earnest and intellectually honest – albeit perhaps challenging – viewpoint would do to your own positions.

        There is a sharp contrast here with certain regular soapboxers, er, um posters.

        Reply
  2. … can an illegal appointee … make a legal appointment?

    Reply
    1. Good point Steve – is this one of those duties to which Lee has proper authority?

      Reply
  3. I wonder if a regional director can do more that manage the site. Do they have any say in policy?

    Regardless, such a position seems now like a stepping stone on the patent to Director as opposed to being a dead end.

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    1. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Russ became the new Director down the road? He seems quite qualified — having been elected the president of the patent counsel association in addition to holding the top job at Micron.

      Reply
  4. My first professional interview just prior to graduation included meeting Mr. Slifer, who was the hiring partner of SLWK at the time. I was impressed by his knowledge and obvious intelligence. But what stuck with me from the interview was discussing his new Victory motorcycle. He was a cool dude. Didn’t get the job, but got to meet a patent attorney that was clearly not a geek, which gave me hope for the future. Best of luck to him in his new role.

    Reply
    1. Oop, my bad. His bike was actually an Excelsior-Henderson.

      Reply
  5. link to patentfairness.org
    Micron is up there with all of the other large serial-infringers who want to gut the US patent system — reduce the value of patents, add traps (e.g. pay to play) making patent enforcement impossible for all excepted moneyed corporations.
    Micron is a founding member of the coalition for patent fairness (CPF). Another founding member is none other than Countrywide Financial. The CPF quietly took them off of the website sometime in 2008 — I wonder why.

    Reply
    1. I don’t wonder why. Countrywide Financial got bought out by Bank of America in 2008. They took it off because it no longer existed as a separate entity.

      Reply
  6. from Micron??? So all of the anti-patent companies are represented — Google in DC, Micron in Denver. Who in San Jose? Oracle? Intel? Apple?

    Reply
    1. How do you conclude that Micro is “anti-patent”? Haven’t they filed for (and received) tens of thousands of them?

      Reply

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