Survey Results: Next PTO Director

The Patent Bar has spoken – overwhelmingly choosing Todd Dickinson as the choice for the next director of the US Patent and Trademark Office. Dickinson is now leading the AIPLA after leaving his post as IP Director of GE. Previously, he was PTO director under Clinton and a partner at the Howrey firm.

In the survey, I asked "Who should be nominated as the next director of the USPTO?" Survey takers were required to select only one choice from the list given. Results from 973 responses are shown below:


Percent Selection

Todd Dickinson


Judge Rader


John Whealan




Mark Lemley


Nathan Myhrvold


Jim Pooley


David Kappos


Susan Davies


Of these, I suspect that only Jim Pooley, David Kappos, and perhaps Todd Dickinson would be ready to take on the role. Judge Rader is set to become Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit in 2011, John Whealan is a law professor at GWU and Lemley is a law professor at Stanford. Both have been mentioned as likely Federal Circuit judges. Susan Davies is a White House counsel. In the "other" category, readers suggested several Patently-O contributors including David Boundy (Cantor Fitz), Ati Rai (Duke), Kevin Noonan (MBHB) and the anonymous JAOI (?). Additional suggestions included John Doll (PTO), Mike Kirk (PTO & Former AIPLA director), & Chip Lutton (Apple). Apparently as a joke, several comments also added Dennis Crouch to the list.

My prediction is that the next director did not even make this list…