Tech Law Reporter Andrew Noyes has indicated that 2009 will likely see a repeat of the same patent reform measures of 2008. [LINK]. I thought it would be important to look at a few faces that might ordinarily be behind the scenes in the legislation process.
Dr. Christal Sheppard will be the House staffer leading the charge on Patent Reform from within the House Judiciary Committee. Sheppard is a patent attorney and has been working on the Hill since 2003. Her official title is Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy (there is no IP subcommittee). Sheppard holds a PhD with a focus on molecular biology from the University of Michigan and has remained active in the patent bar. Other patent attorneys in the House include Garg Sampak (committee on rules) and Jonathan Pawlow (assistant to Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wa)). Susan Davies – who was the staffer in charge of patent reform at the Senate under Senator Leahy has moved to the White House. Davies is a resume superstar — a University of Chicago Law School graduate who clerked for both Justices Kennedy and Breyer. Aaron Cooper (formerly of the Covington firm) has apparently replaced Davies in the Senate.
The Judiciary Committee is headed by Representative Conyers of Michigan. Members include Berman (D-Cal), Boucher (D-Va), Smith (R-Tex), and Issa (R-Cal).