Drew Hirshfeld – Acting Director of the USPTO

According to folks at the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), current Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld is moving into the position of Acting Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).  Hirshfeld is a long-time USPTO employee and is very familiar with both the patenting process and the details of running the multi-billion-dollar-agency.  Congratulations Mr. Hirshfeld on the promotion!

There was some question about whether the position of Acting Director / Undersecretary of Commerce would go to the Patent Commissioner or instead to the current Acting Deputy Director Tony Scardino. According to the USPTO Succession Plan:

If the position of the Under Secretary is vacant, the Deputy Under Secretary shall serve as Acting Under Secretary. If both the Under Secretary and the Deputy Under Secretary positions are vacant, the Commissioner for Patents and the Commissioner for Trademarks, in that order, will perform the functions and duties of the Under Secretary.

Although Scardino has been the “Acting Deputy Under Secretary,” the position of “Deputy Under Secretary” itself is vacant — leading to Hirshfeld being next in line as Commissioner for Patents.

 

Dennis Crouch

About Dennis Crouch

Law Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship.

33 thoughts on “Drew Hirshfeld – Acting Director of the USPTO

    1. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has named U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Associate Solicitor Joseph Matal to perform the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. The position is effective June 7, 2017 and follows the resignation of Michelle K. Lee. Matal will serve in this role during the nomination and confirmation process for a new director.

      1. Well, this went about as well as you would expect from an organization with Trump at the top. Another day, another fiasco.

    2. Matal previously served as the General Counsel of the Judiciary Committee for former Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and as a Judiciary Committee Counsel to former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). In that role, he was the principal staff drafter and negotiator of legislation that became the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the first comprehensive patent law overhaul since 1952.

      Too bad about the Sessions taint. Gross. Also a Federalist Society schmuck (predictable for a Republikkkan these days).

      Matal has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

      Presumably that Stanford degree is in the liberal arts or someone would have said otherwise. So no tech background and this guy has probably never done a lick of scientific research outside of collecting butterflies or autumn leaves for his middle school biology class.

      1. Good credentials. Probably knows a bit about patent law, but not an in depth scholar, practitioner or litigator. Somewhat like Rader — from Congress, the Republican side.

        Having been behind the AIA, he may know what was intended vs. what we got in things like IPRs. Also, because of his connections to the Republican Party think tanks, he might be very much inclined to follow their lead that IPRs are unconstitutional.

        I like this move, on the whole.

        1. because of his connections to the Republican Party think tanks, he might be very much inclined to follow their lead that IPRs are unconstitutional.

          Yes, that’s working out wonderfully so far.

          LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

          Who knew that some c 0ck r0 aches like to shine the spotlight on themselves? LOL

          “Republikkans.” It’s already beginning to sound quaint.

        2. No chance. After all this, you still don’t understand power, and the impulse to horde it.

          He was likely brought in to solidify the PTAB against constitutional attack.

          A day late and a buck short, I say.

          Conference tomorrow:

          link to scotusblog.com

          1. I don’t think Matal was so much an advocate as an implementer/coordinator. He was there and understands the arguments and the concerns expressed.

            Regarding IPRs, most involved with their passages say the PTO has corrupted the process in its implementation. Matel would know this well.

            As well, his association with the Federalists will give him access to their thinking on patents as property, and why IPRs are unconstitutional. Nobody truly understood the constitutional issues very well until recently when I took up the cause.

            1. Nobody truly understood the constitutional issues very well until recently when I took up the cause.

              Perhaps nobody else….

              😉

            2. He was there and understands the arguments and the concerns expressed.

              That’s just it. You cannot have it both ways that the AIA (and perhaps merely in particular the IPR) is rancid, and then give a thumbs up to the person who shows a lack of TOTAL understanding and concern – because the rancidness is from a lack of total understanding and concern.

              IF he was a writer – and even if he was merely a coordinator, the fact of the matter is that the AIA is some of the worst patent law ever written in history.

              Previously, I had viewed his two part tome with a sense of objectivity, thinking that he was (far) less a player, and (far) more a neutral observer.

              However, I will have to revisit that stance if in fact his two part tome is nothing more than an attempt at controlling the narrative.

              His ascension thus gives me greater pause than ever on the machinations of legislative capture.

              Further, upon re reading your post at 5.2.2, I am chagrined that you still seem oblivious to asking the right questions of the IPR system.

              You state: “Having been behind the AIA, he may know what was intended vs. what we got in things like IPRs. Also, because of his connections to the Republican Party think tanks, he might be very much inclined to follow their lead that IPRs are unconstitutional.

              This leads me to think that you still think that it is the administrative agency of the Executive branch that may have gone into the unconstitutional zone.

              That is asking the wrong question.

              Already we have had several people challenge what the PTAB has done, and the courts (eager to avoid a true Constitutional question) have only too eagerly said no, the PTAB is only doing what Congress wrote.

              But, as I have made clear, aiming for the PTAB is having the wrong aim – asking the wrong question.

              You need to aim at what Congress itself did.

              For even Congress, the correct branch of the government to write the statutory law that is patent law, does not have the power to write any law that it wants to write, and once an item has been created (in this case**, the property aspect of a granted patent), even Congress may not violate other Constitutional protections of that item.

              So not only is your “endorsement” of Matal in-congruent with your criticisms of IPR (and through that, the AIA), you continue to have p00r aim in your criticisms of IPR.

              **Another instance – perhaps just a few hours away now, would be the Congress writing a different IP law (trademark) that is found to be unconstitutional (the Tam case).

  1. Prof. Crouch,

    What are the chances that you can nuke this thread, seeing as the comments here have zero relation to any actual patent law issue?

    1. Wah!!! Let’s not talk about the most important stuff that affects everybody and everything! Let’s talk about entitled rich people and their unending desire for more patents, all the time! Because one blog devoted solely to that isn’t enough.

      1. let’s not talk about the most important stuff that affects everybody

        Your venom does not count as “talk about.”

    2. I gotta agree with MM on this one. You don’t like the topic so the thread should be “nuked.”

      I guess, arrogance knows no bounds.

      1. LOL – agree all you want and again, your view of “arrogance” is simply misguided.

        It is NOT the topic of the thread that I do not like. The topic of this thread is: “Drew Hirshfeld – Acting Director of the USPTO” and the reason why I mention nuking this thread is that the comments are not only NOT on point to the topic of the thread, the comments (by Malcolm) are nothing but emotionally laden rants of rot.

        Search as diligently as you can and you will not find a single piece of anything except his emotive rant. ZERO critical thinking, much less any type of critical thinking even remotely tied to the actual thread topic or to actual patent law in general.

        But please, go ahead and make this about your feelings and that you feel that I am arrogant.

        Better yet, stop nursing your own hurt feelings because I have in the past attempted to have you understand actual patent law.

  2. I’ve worked for and I’ve worked beside some incredible dense and dishonest people (and, yes, it still happens). And I’ve reluctantly prosecuted applications for clients who turned out to be criminals (and who ended up in jail — good riddance).

    But I was never appointed to a job by a criminal s0 ci0path with severe ment@l problems.

    Nobody appointed by Mango Hairpiece will be able to say that.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    Funniest part: the people who admitted voting for him, or admitted not voting against him. Own it, people! And try to learn something, assuming that you’ve got the brain power for that.

    1. Ah, it’s “incrediblY dense”, not “incrediblE dense”. (Unless you mean they’re incredible, but dense and dishonest?) Speaking of dense and dishonest…

      1. Thank you for the excellent contribution to the Annals of Pedanticism.

        Also: I was not involved with any h00kers in Russia.

        LOL

  3. Because laughter is the best medicine:

    “The USPTO under Lee has declared war on software and much biotechnology, which is the backbone of the US innovation economy. Anyone who knows anything about the patent system AND is interested in being objective knows that Lee is anti-patent. There can be no serious or legitimate debate. ” <- LOL Guess who? Hint: who is the patent universe's biggest, most entitled and least credible bed wetter?

    Even funnier:

    "Now, we need to intensify the pro-patent movement even more. I personally would think it valuable to the patent community if you could write and post an article here outlining how to get more vocally or financially involved in the pro-patent movement. "

    Yes, that is the real problem with the eternally whining spoiled babies in the patent maximalist community: your mouths aren't big enough! You just need to screech louuuuuder! Because opening your mouth big enough to fit both your feet just doesn't cut it. LOL

    1. MM, I share with your derision that one can only be pro-patent if one supports do-it-on a computer junk and patents on laws of nature. It is these folks who are the real problem in the patent system, and who are bringing it into disrepute.

  4. “He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont and a Juris Doctor from the Western New England College School of Law.

    Wow. That’s really really impressive stuff right there.”

    Why don’t you post your presumably superior credentials so you can show us how superior you are. Comments like that are not constructive to the blog.

    Drew Hirshfeld is a good and dedicated man (I’ve dealt with him before). In my opinion, he’s a preferable choice over Lee.

    1. Why don’t you post your presumably superior credentials

      Because I’m not heading the PTO, nor do I want to.

      But I would like to see someone in charge who has a clue about, e.g., how to examine logic patents. Hirshfeld doesn’t have a clue. He’s not even an ordinary skilled artisan in those fields, nor was he ever. He’s a got a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Pffffft.

      And yes I know that cluelessness is a feature for a lot of the low rent patent agents who tr0 ll the Internets whining about how they can’t get their “do it on a computer” junk patents fast enough. We all know that.

      Is he a “good” man? Maybe. That’s about as low as a bar as you can ask for. Is he a “dedicated” man? Maybe. The question is: dedicated to what? Dedicated to serving Mango Hairball? Gosh, I hope not. Dedicated to trashing and undermining the Supreme Court like the entitled l0 wlifes who pollute the patent bar? Probably.

      1. if your comment was referring to his “mechanical engineering” degree, then I misunderstood. I thought you were taking a shot at his law school (although you probably were as well).

      2. “Dedicated to trashing and undermining the Supreme Court like the entitled l0 wlifes who pollute the patent bar? Probably.”

        Please leave the Federal Circuit out of this.

      3. “He’s a got a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. Pffffft.”

        Because cloning zygotes in your mom’s basement is so impressive.

    2. Brosef MM is an elitist or “classist”. He is literally the thing that the term “racist” was created from.

Comments are closed.