PUBLISHED:September 30, 2011

US Patent and Trademark Office Director to discuss patent policy at Duke Law Oct. 18

David Kappos, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will deliver the 10th Annual Duke Law School Meredith and Kip Frey Lecture in Intellectual Property on Oct. 18. He will discuss modern trends in intellectual property (IP) policy and how current court cases are shaping the patent landscape.

Kappos, who advises the Obama administration on IP policy, will speak at 12:30 pm in room 3041 of the Law School, located at 210 Science Drive on Duke University’s West Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Bryan Center.

Kappos was nominated to his position by President Barack Obama in 2009. Kappos previously served as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property at IBM, where he directed IBM’s worldwide intellectual property operations. As USPTO Director, Kappos has developed policies and procedures to speed up the patent review process and reduce a significant patent application backlog. He is also a key architect of the landmark America Invents Act, which the president signed into law in September.

In his lecture, Kappos will discuss the legislation and its impact upon USPTO operations, patent quality and innovation. He will address the new tools and initiatives the office is implementing to make navigating the patent system easier for practitioners and comment on procedural changes patent lawyers can expect with respect to patent litigation and disputes.

"Through its recent passage of the America Invents Act, the most important legislative reform of patent law in almost 60 years, Congress has shown its commitment to a patent system that promotes innovation in a global economy,” said Arti Rai, Duke’s Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law who served as the Administrator of the USPTO Office of External Affairs in 2009 and 2010. “But Congress did not act alone. David Kappos and the Obama Administration should be congratulated for their leadership in getting this historic law passed.

"David Kappos has the unusual combination of broad vision regarding innovation, deep knowledge of patent law details, managerial excellence, and political skill necessary to be a truly first-rate leader of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,” she said. “It would be hard to imagine anyone more suited to lead a 21st century, global USPTO."

The Meredith and Kip Frey Lecture in Intellectual Property was established by Duke Law alumnus Kip Frey '85 and his wife, Meredith, to increase discussion about emerging issues in the areas of intellectual property, cyberspace, and science and technology law.

For more information, contact Forrest Norman at (919) 613-8565.