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12.22.13

USPTO to be Partly Headed by Google Executive

Posted in Google, IBM, Patents at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michelle Lee
Photo from Asian Pacific Fund

Summary: The USPTO gets leadership from a company that’s less known for advocacy of software patents and more to do with opposing them

THE USPTO is typically run by people from companies which it serves. Google is not exactly known as a big fan of software patents (not compared to IBM and Microsoft), so this new appointment gives some hope. As FOSS Force put it, “Reuters reported last week that former Google executive Michelle Lee will take over as deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 13.”

Google, which probably sells the most Linux devices (or devices that have an operating system from Google), is currently facing patent aggression from Microsoft and Apple, which exploits pro-software patents policies at the USPTO to get patent monopolies on Android implementations. If Michelle Lee is loyal to her previous employer, then she will consider tackling software patents as a whole. David Kappos, who came from IBM (big promoter of software patents) sure defended — even publicly — software patents.

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