Bonum Certa Men Certa

David Kappos Quits, USPTO is Headless


Summary: Turmoil at the USPTO as its head quits without much warning right after getting flak for his remarks on software patents

TECHRIGHTS had been worried about Kappos' appointment even before it was made formal. The USPTO has since its appointment gotten even worse reputation, including some harsh criticism from the corporate press. Now Kappos is exiting:

The director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), David Kappos, announced Monday that he will step down from his post in January. President Barack Obama has not named a successor.

Kappos was serving as the top patent attorney for IBM when Pres. Obama asked him to take over the USPTO in 2009. When he arrived, the University of California Berkeley alumnus inherited a patent system in crisis. The USPTO was facing a growing backlog of pending patent applications—and the volume of patent litigation was increasing rapidly in the IT sector.

Might this have something to do with criticism of his remarks last week [1, 2, 3, 4]? Who will replace him? It probably can't be much worse. Let's pressure President Obama to stop appointing lawyers to head a office which deals with technical matters.


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Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer