More Confusion on Trump’s Next USPTO Director

departmentofcommerceFolks are having fun today with Federal Government web page conversions.

We still do not have confirmation that Michelle Lee will stay-on as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director.  The newly updated COMMERCE.GOV website shows the position vacant while other positions remain filled.

It should all be figured out by Monday.

If you remember, Dir. Lee’s initial appointment by President Obama was also filled with some amount of discord and confusion a la The Office with her “acting as director” for several months before actually being nominated for the position.

Michelle Lee, Acting as Director but not “Acting Director”


65 thoughts on “More Confusion on Trump’s Next USPTO Director

  1. 10

    Wednesday, and still no news. If you are reading this, Mr. President, I want you to know that I would be honored to serve as PTO director. 🙂

    1. 10.1

      Greg, given the slings and arrows of an highly politicized position, I think you would quickly rue your decision to volunteer.

      1. 10.1.1

        I am sure I would hate it while in office. The last several directors have all served for ~16 months before quitting to take much more lucrative employment in this firm or that. I can put up with just about anything for 16 months.


          Just I have long thought that a kick-a$$ like MM is exactly what we needed to get the PTO squared away.

    2. 10.2

      Dear Mr. President,

      I promise, if nominated, to spend no more time making fun of your behind your back than do any of your other employees.

  2. 9

    Not sure what it says on Commerce, but it’s the Tuesday after this was posted, and the PTO site still has Michelle Lee as the Director. Ergo, she still is, pro tem.

  3. 8

    If we want someone other than Michelle Lee to be director, like Judge Rader who will be more friendly to patent rights, then we, the bar, need to speak up! Capital Hill is LISTENING!!!

  4. 7

    Having practiced before the PTO for 16 years now, Michelle Lee seems to have done the best job of improving the most essential PTO function — patent examination. At least in the computing arts, examination has become more competent and efficient. Some of that might be a result of an increasing average level of examiner experience, but some examination policy changes have also had an effect. I hope she stays on.

  5. 6

    “To someone who believed we might have a good opportunity to change, it’s just a terrible start. Because he’s got a long way to go,” Mr. Wood [a prominent libel lawyer who was a vocal defender of Mr. Trump’s] said that he considered it a dangerous debut. “This is going to go downhill quickly if it’s not changed…”

    It’s not going to change and it’s already going downhill incredibly quickly. Nobody could have predicted this! LOL

    But maybe this broken compromised j0 ke of a human being who was the recipient of votes from many of the loudest-mouthed patent maximalists out there for will miraculously nominate a competent PTO Director. Bets on that? Anyone?

    A new Supreme Court Justice seated by April??


    1. 6.1

      who was the recipient of votes from many of the loudest-mouthed patent maximalists out there

      LOL – evidence…?

      0bsess much?

  6. 5

    “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spi cer said, contradicting all available data.


    And soon enough this pitiful path 0 l0gical l y i ng cl 0 wn will be telling everyone that we “need to be careful” about what we say. Wait for it.

      1. 5.1.1

        Change your by-line, Prof.

        Because Dennis cares deeply about what “anon” thinks.

        But “anon” isn’t bursting at the seems with self-importance! Nope. He’s just a “little guy” trying to help out. And he h@tes our path0logical l i a r of a President! He told everyone so. But we mustn’t point out that President “Alternative Facts” Drumpf is completely full of it or “anon” will have a sad. Boo hoo hoo!


          And again – how is this in any way related to patent law…?

          (doubling down with your vapid ad hominem does not prove the point that you may think it does, Malcolm)


            how is this in any way related to patent law…

            The l y ing orange maniac who is gleefully supported by your fellow self-worshipping rich greedy patent maximalist c0h0rts will decide who the next PTO director is … if he doesn’t get impeached first.

            That’s just one answer of out of hundreds of different ones. But please keep whining like a little baby, “anon”! You’re a very serious person.


              Again with the “very serious” poker tell that you have nothing meaningful to say.

              So again – your posts here are devoid of anything meaningful to do with patent law.

              Prof. Crouch – wake up man.


                The online headline for Trump’s new hometown newspaper this morning says “more than one million” protested worldwide. True, but understated. An unscientific tally by University of Connecticut professor Jeremy Pressman and Erica Chenoweth of the University of Denver estimates between 3.7 and 4.5 million turned out in the United States alone.

                Yowza! It felt awesome to be a part of that. And there’s much more to come! The guy in charge of choosing the next PTO director is not only a habitual l i a r and clinical narcissist, he’s the most unpopular elected President ever and going downhill fast.

                What were you doing, “anon”? After all, you told everyone that you h@ted this guy (not really believable but, hey, it’s what you said). Are you looking forward already to the war he’s going to try to start to distract everybody? If not, what are you going to do about? C’mon, “anon.” Step up. You’re a very serious person.

                Oh but wait …. maybe you think that the election of an ethically bankrupt billionaire swindler authoritarian r@cist mis0gynist g 00 f ball is normal and nobody should talk about it unless you approve. Is that what you think, “anon”?

                I told you that you need to get used to this. Try harder.

                1. The guy in charge of choosing the next PTO director

                  Yay – throw in a duty UNRELATED TO THE ACTUAL TOPIC OF THE POST and think that the rest of your rant fits on a patent law blog….

                  I don’t know which one lacks more credibility – the one trying to sell that CRP or the one buying that CRP.

                  But throw up a question mark and have it c3ns0red – or have a filter that eliminates words haphazardly because of “ecosystem”….

                2. I told you that you need to get used to this. Try harder.

                  I am not the one that needs to try harder.


                3. and nobody should talk about it unless you approve.

                  Nice spin – and definitely not anything that I have ever said or implied.

                  You are projecting again.

                  On the other hand, this is (supposedly) a patent law blog, and while your feelings typically don’t touch the substantive issues of patent law, these types of pure political rants untethered even remotely to patent law (listing a separate presidential duty just does not cut it) just has no place here. There are PLENTY of appropriate forums for your rants. This is (again, supposedly) not one of them.

                4. “ethically bankrupt billionaire swindler authoritarian r@cist mis0gynist g 00 f ball”

                  Impressive list there.

                  I was thinking the other day when Trump was fighting the press tooth and nail on their reporting is that in my memory there was seldom a Republican who actually did something/anything about inaccurate or biased reporting except in generalities. A primary complaint of ordinary Republicans about their elected leaders is that they did nothing to stand up to the constant/daily lies and smears of the press and the Democrats.

                  The current president represents a dramatic change in this regard, primarily due to the development of the Internet and applications such as Twitter and Facebook. The megaphone no longer exclusively lies in the hands of the Democrat party and its media allies.

                  How it works out in the end is still to be seen. But at least this Republican fights back.

                  As to popularity, the crazed left will never find this president acceptable. He is their worst nightmare. But if he delivers on his promises to bring prosperity back to America, he will win the next election in a landslide. That is my prediction.

                5. Ned, it’s one thing to complain that the press isn’t treating you “fairly”, but it’s another when what you say is a bla tant li e, and you attack the press because they did not agree with that li e. Personally, I’ve never been as shocked about something in the press as I’ve been about this. It’s truly disg usting.

                  And could we please corral these posts and get back to IP?

                6. Yeah, PB, I was watching today’s briefing where the PS confronted reporters about misreporting the PS’s complaint about the number of people watching the inauguration. He read back what he actually said. What the media reported that he said was not the same thing at all. What he said was entirely accurate. But it was reported in a way that made it seem to be a lie.

                  I listened to what Trump said to the CIA. He said he looked out and saw crowds all the way to the WM. I checked the speech that I had recorded. Midway through the speech, there is a pan to a view towards the WM. It was wall to wall people all the way. Anyone who recorded the event can check.

                  I also compared the images in the side-by-sides that most were running, Obama v. Trump — from, it appears, a chopper or from the WM. The Trump image was taken from a time about 1/2 hour before the speech. There is no comparable view from that view during the speech itself.

                  Neither Trump nor the PS was lying AFAIK. Yet the press, and you, continue to press the case that he did.

                  The bit about the intelligence community? He was briefed by the top brass and found their reports leaked. He complained. Now the press reported that Trump was complaining generally about the intelligence community as opposed to the top brass.

                  I find it interesting that one of those same top brass went out of his way to criticize Trump yesterday.

                7. ” Midway through the speech, there is a pan to a view towards the WM. It was wall to wall people all the way. Anyone who recorded the event can check.

                  I also compared the images in the side-by-sides that most were running, Obama v. Trump — from, it appears, a chopper or from the WM. The Trump image was taken from a time about 1/2 hour before the speech. There is no comparable view from that view during the speech itself.”

                  He probably didn’t outright lie, but he may have exaggerated.

                  Anyway, I also checked the pics and they did a giga-pic on CNN right around the speech time, and there actually were some “bald” spots, but they’re hidden by the angle.

                  Fact is, a huge portion of DC voted for Obama (the first black pres) both times and came out for him. Of course DC voted 93% against Trump and so they mostly didn’t come out, except to riot and watch a bunch of white people in black suits riot.

                  The crowd itself was about the same size as it normally is, maybe a bit bigger.

                8. Ned Heller: I also compared the images in the side-by-sides that most were running, Obama v. Trump — from, it appears, a chopper or from the WM. The Trump image was taken from a time about 1/2 hour before the speech. There is no comparable view from that view during the speech itself.

                  OMFG you guys truly are a walking comedy show.

  7. 4

    Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

    The good news is that it’s easy for us to recognize this disorder in our ment@lly ill President because it’s been so tortuous watching “anon” struggle with the illness for so many years.

    1. 4.1

      You’re right about trump of course being narcissistic. But idk about anon. I don’t see him going on and on about his own self importance all that often like you would with a textbook narcissist (like you see with Trump literally everyday).

      1. 4.1.1

        “anon” doesn’t need to talk about his self-importance for that aspect of his personality to be perfectly self-evident. After all, he’s got Big Gene’s credibility, like, totally covered. He’s ready at the defense even when his hero is attacked implicitly, in his own mind. Super serious stuff.


            you are the one fixating

            LOL I’m just having another chuckle at your expense, you wonderfully petite and loyal lapdog.

    2. 4.2

      LOL – says the single person that has earned the title of “Trump of These Boards.”

      Your Accuse Others Of That Which Malcolm Is is noted.

      1. 4.2.1

        Hey, “anon”, were you out protesting today? After all, you told everyone how much you h@te Trmplethinskin …

        … oh, but wait. There were a lot of women out there. Scary for you. I get it.

        I’m sure they’re be a Remasculation March for you shortly. The Dairy Queen parking lot in Joplin will be overflowing with super serious he-men just like you!


          Not sure where you get this “women phobia” thing. Perhaps somewhere in that one bucket thing if yours.

          Maybe you should focus on – you know – legal points.

          Is that too difficult for you?

  8. 3

    She is not qualified to be the Director. She has never done patent prosecution. She likely cannot even read a file wrapper. She has no basis to determine the quality of the 8,000 patent examiners that work at the USPTO.

    Please. This is ridiculous. She was selected by Google to burn the system down, and selected by Obama based on the massive Google bucks given to Obama and the massive access to the White House the Google bucks bought.

    Please. Get someone that understands patent prosecution and wants to actually help the system run.


    1. 3.1

      The point of upper management is not to have someone at the top who can do all the jobs of all the people below them. The point is to have someone at the top who can manage – and not micromanage – the people below them and get them to do their jobs more effectively.

      1. 3.1.1

        Well said, Apotu.

        The point that Night Writer wants to make – I get that as well.

        I think that it might be better stated as more understanding what is being managed so that better policy objectives could be pursued (as in, solving the right problems – not being oblivious that the real issue for the Office is getting the job done right – THE FIRST TIME – and not setting up the shell game of selective post grant revocations.

      2. 3.1.2


        You did not respond to what I said. Unbelievable to me that people think that a person could effectively manage an organization when they have no basis to understand what 90 percent of the people are doing.

        The fact is Plurality that few people in business would think this is acceptable for this type of organization. The fact is that the main business of the PTO is patent prosecution and whoever is in charge should have experience with this. It is possible that extraordinary people may be able to do a good job without this experience.

        I don’t even know how to respond to people like you. It is as if you are beaten down surfs that don’t get it that you shouldn’t bow to the lord of the castle and their knights.

        I did not say micromanage. I was speaking to understanding the problems and coming up with insightful solutions. That is highly unlikely to happen with someone with no experience.

        Anyway…I am reminded of a Monty Python skit where a person with modern sensibilities tries to convince a peasant laborer that they shouldn’t be controlled by the castle dwellers.


          Really? You can’t imagine that? I live with that every day of my life in corporate america. I’m in IT, and most middle management in IT has no freaking clue what their people are doing.

          I was on a one-year project in NY where the project manager (a very nice person) had a management degree, not a tech degree, and we had to explain everything to her in very small words.

          But she was a competent manager. She understood she didn’t understand the jobs of the people she managed, but she did understand how to keep 30 people, half of whom are handling their daily job in addition to the current project, all in motion and make sure that things didn’t get gummed up or fall through the cracks.


            MDT: I know all this.

            Look, for the PTO we need change and vision. You don’t get that from someone that doesn’t understand what the people are doing except in exceptional circumstance. Rader could figure it out.

            And, I have lots of experience being a manager, going to business school, working in start-ups (I was the CTO of one), working large international corporations, etc.

            So, please. I get what you guys are saying. The question is what should the PTO director have in experience? For the reasons I’ve stated, I believe it is at least 10 years of prosecution experience. They should have other experience, but they need to be able to read a file wrapper and be able to tell what the people are doing.

      3. 3.1.3

        Also, Plurality—what you are saying is just not borne out by business. Businesses want people that understand what is being done by the business. There are exceptions, but not that many.

      4. 3.1.4

        Also plurality—

        My point was directly that you cannot manage those 8,000 people when you cannot even read a filewrapper, cannot even evaluate the quality of a patent, and cannot even begin to explain the difficulties of the patent examiner job.

        Lee is unqualified to manage the PTO.

        And, seriously, what I am saying is not something radical, but rather common business sense that is taught in business school.

      1. 3.2.1

        Not at all.

        Don’t be fooled by mere numbers – that’s a rather surface analysis that does not reflect the overall picture of the greatly reduced value of (strong) patents.


          the greatly reduced value of (strong) patents.


          That’s a wee bit different from “burning the system down.”

          But we all understand that it’s impossible for you to make such nuanced distinctions, and we all know why.

          Keep up the deep thinking with your bff NWPA. You two continue to make the most awesome couple. Truly the best and the brightest.


            In your hurry to be smarmy, you rather missed the pint of what I actually stated, Malcolm.

            Try again.

      2. 3.2.2

        Why are they disappointed MM?

        Normalize the numbers to remove foreign filings and for number of patents per $1 billion dollars of high-tech generated GDP and—guess what–patents are down 66% since 1980.

        YES. Patent applications are down by 66% since 1980. Of course your non-normalized figures show something else and also show that since 1900 there is an epidemic of colds since you didn’t bother to normalize for the population growth. But, we know that your group is highly unethical and intellectually dishonest.



          Re: “number of patents per $1 billion dollars of high-tech generated GDP”

          What is “high-tech generated GDP?” Where does one get this GDP number?

      1. 2.1.1

        Someone gets shot, lefty lols.

        This is why there will near certainly be purges in my lifetime. Regrettable, but likely inevitable considering the mindset of these individuals.


          someone gets shot, lefty lols

          I’m not laughing at the fact that someone got shot.

          I’m laughing that you’d refer to the Two Ah0les Comedy Show as an “event.”

          there will near certainly be purges in my lifetime.

          No doubt. Your comedy hero Milo has purged himself thousands of times already. I think he even wrote a book about it.


            “I’m laughing that you’d refer to the Two Ah0les Comedy Show as an “event.””

            Because calling a college lecture an event is unheard of. How dmb are you bro? Did you go to lectures at your college at all?

  9. 1

    It should all be figured out by Monday.


    Don’t worry, folks. Government under the Breitbart comment section is going to be totally competent. Just watch and see! These are very serious people.

    1. 1.1

      Your “very serous” comments are “very meaningless.”

      As it were, your feelings are once again noted.

      1. 1.1.1

        Thank goodness you told everyone how much you h@te Emperor Shtgibbons. Can you imagine how defensive you’d be if you secretly loved him?


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