Joe Matal – Now PTO Director (Interim)

Quote:

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.

As an Associate Solicitor in the USPTO’s Office of Solicitor, Matal has briefed and argued appeals of patent and trademark decisions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. District Court, and assisted in the development of legal positions taken by the U.S. Solicitor General in patent and copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Matal recently served as acting Chief of Staff for the agency, and has advised the director on legislative matters.

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

28 thoughts on “Joe Matal – Now PTO Director (Interim)

  1. My prediction: within 3 months we are going to have an epic fail.

    Could someone hand him a file wrapper and ask him to write a 200 word summary? We could then hear back from him in 10 years.

  2. in all likelihood Matal has been placed in position as a trusted Republican loyalist

    Thank goodness that patent law isn’t “politicized”.

    As a “trusted Republican loyalist” (kind of a paradox there since the trademark trait of the modern Republikkan party is that they l i e about everything under the sun) I guess we can expect Matal to put the brakes on all those innovations that benefit liberals, and accelerate all the “innovations” that benefit the incredibly wealthy white con artists who control the party from top to bottom, i.e., “do it on a computer” garbage that patent attorneys can dream up themselves while inhaling quail.

  3. As they say, the victors get to write history, and here, the foreshadowing of the person who has written the history of easily the worst written patent law in history has been elevated to “victory” should be ominous….

    (anyone else notice the rather schizophrenic responses of certain sAme ones on this blog over the Matal ascension?)

    1. This has all the hallmarks of a mercenary who will do whatever to get the next promotion.

      If he had 20 years in patent law, I wouldn’t be worried. He has zero experience in patent law. He wrote a terrible law.

      1. I know that I bias been said that he wrote the law, but I have to wonder if that is true.

        What I know that he did write was the two volume tome on the history of the worst law in patent history.

        I want to be sure that my caustic views on the law are not unfairly placed on Matal.

        To use the soldier metaphor, I want to know if he was a private grunt or a general.

  4. Let’s wish him luck. I think the stakeholder community should take some time to get to know him. He’s been around patent policy for a long time; I hear he’s generally well-liked and respected. And he doesn’t owe anything to any particular interest group.

    1. Except Ross who just appointed him. And he has no experience in patent law, so you can be sure he is going to do whatever Ross tells him.

      So…the real question here is what is Ross going to tell him to do.

  5. Career as a lawyer among politicians and bureaucrats. No experience of actual patent practice, innovation, or commercialisation of technology.

    I wish I could say I’m surprised. But I’m not.

    1. Mark – that level of “policy in a vacuum” does reflect (and p00rly so) in the worst patent law in the history of patent law (the AIA).

      As I noted above, I do not know if he was instrumental in the writing of it, but upon reflection, even if he was not, he appears to not have the “hands-on” wisdom to be able to recognize when that very “policy in a vacuum” will be one of those things that bring veracity to the phrase “sounds too good to be true.”

  6. Matal was the Silicon Valley-bought staff member who shepherded the AIA through Congress (which explains how he was able to write at length about its passage afterward). At best, this is more of the same as under Lee. And observing the pace of appointments under the present administration, this “interim” director is going to be in this position for quite a while.

    1. AM,

      Can you provide some substantiation to your claims here?

      Your point is the point that I am struggling with.

      Thanks

  7. This could be bad. He never practiced patent law. He has no idea about innovation and how patents fit in. He doesn’t have a technical degree. He probably couldn’t read a file wrapper if his life depended on it. He may have been put in place to burn it down. We can be sure he is a merc and will do whatever Ross tells him to do. Not a man of substance. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You need someone that practiced patent law with a reg number for at least ten years.

    We know why Lee quit now. So, this guy could take over.

        1. Whether he can or not is less worrisome then that he feels that somehow he must…

          Very reminiscent of the irony that even Greg (partially) noticed on a recent thread inwhich he sought to v0m1t his usual ad hominem at me only to turn around and parrot the points that I had already presented.

          It’s as if he doesn’t care what is being said, but only cares that someone he does not like has said something.

          The total lack of critical thinking from him should not be surprising after 11 years, but I guess that it is human nature to want him to actually participate in an meaningful (read that as inte11ectually honest) way….

          1. the irony that even Greg (partially) noticed on a recent thread inwhich he sought to v0m1t his usual ad hominem at me only to turn around and parrot the points that I had already presented.

            LOLOLOL

            I know this is going to come as a shock to a clinical narcissist like yourself, but expressing a view about some aspect of the law that happens to align with your view isn’t “parroting”. Ask your mommy to explain this to you (and Greg, as well, if he seems confused).

            Also, just because I share someone’s view on a subject doesn’t mean that this other person’s incoherent and obnoxious blabbering about the subject doesn’t deserve to be scorned.

            You’re one of the worst writers in the Republic of Unqualified Patent Agents, “anon”, if not the worst. We all know that. Please just leave us alone and go hang out with your fellow sycophants at Big G’s echo chamber. You’ll save the adults here a lot of time. Thanks.

            1. It is no shock (to me), that on the rare occasion that you attempt to make a legitimate contribution, that your statements mirror mine.

              You do miss the point though in trying to parse down to that single word.

              It is NOT that “this other person’s incoherent and obnoxious blabbering about the subject doesn’t deserve to be scorned” and it IS that you scorned exactly that which you then repeated.

              …are your really trying to make the case now that your “own” (non-parroting-but-none-the-less-mirroring-what-I-had-already-stated) contribution is “ incoherent and obnoxious blabbering about the subject [deserving] to be scorned“…?

              The irony of you then accusing me of “ one of the worst writers in the Republic of Unqualified Patent Agents” is stultifying.

              the adults here” certainly does not include you.

    1. We can be sure he is a merc and will do whatever Ross tells him to do.

      Don’t forget about Joey and Chandler.

  8. Matal has briefed and argued appeals of patent and trademark decisions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

    Which ones?

    1. So put in charge of 7,000 examiners when I’ll bet he can’t even read an office action. Great.

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