On December 1, 2021, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on two of President
Obama’s Biden’s patent related nominees:
- Judge Leonard P. Stark — Nominated to be a Circuit Judge on the the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
- Katherine Vidal — Nominated to be Director of the USPTO and Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.
Both nominees have substantial experience handling patent cases. Stark as a district court judge in the patent-heavy district of Delaware (2000+ patent cases) and Vidal as a patent attorney and patent litigator in Silicon Valley. And, importantly, I expect both nominations will be swiftly confirmed by the Senate, although Judge Stark will not be seated until after Judge O’Malley retires in March 2022. Vidal’s testimony offered some clues, suggesting that she may consider rolling back some of the pro-patentee procedural changes to IPRs implemented by Dir. Iancu. But, as is usual with nomination hearings today no concrete details were provided.