New Clause 8 Episode: Andrei Iancu – From Communist Romania to USPTO Director

At the beginning of this year, IPWatchdog asked a panel of experts who should be the next USPTO Director. Almost every answer cited former USPTO Director Andrei Iancu as a model. Former Deputy USPTO Director Russ Slifer wrote: “Director Iancu worked with Congress and did not shy away from necessary reforms in Section 101 and the [Patent Trial and Appeal Board] PTAB. Will the next Director be as successful? Hopefully, but Director Iancu is a difficult act to follow.”

Andrei Iancu immigrated from communist Romania when he was 13 years old, and still, to this day, believes the United States is the best place to be for freedom and opportunity.

“I’m a huge fan of innovation and creation, creativity, and the intellectual property that supports all of that. I do believe in one’s ability to take control of their own destiny and succeed, and I think the United States offers that unlike any other country.”

From the first time learning about patents, to pursuing a career in patent litigation where he represented clients on both sides and in all sorts of industries for over 20 years, to creating balance at the USPTO, to highlighting how successfully the IP system has enabled the invention, development, production and rollout of multiple COVID-19 vaccines, not just in the US, but worldwide, Andrei’s passion for patents is palpable:

“This is really the best area of law to be in, one of the best professions to be in, in general, how lucky we are. We work on behalf of the most creative people in the world, literally people who are changing the world and improving the human condition.”

If you’re keen to follow in Andrei Iancu’s footsteps, to be a future director of the USPTO, or to find out how to communicate with the new director, check out this latest episode of the Clause 8 podcast.

On the episode:

  • From communist Romania to USPTO
  • How the IP system has dealt with the pandemic
  • How patent policy develops in an administration
  • The two jobs of the PTO director
  • The best way to communicate with a USPTO Director
  • Response to those who think Iancu did too much, too quickly
  • What makes employees successful at the USPTO
  • Andrei’s advice to younger patent attorneys

Image Rights: Alexandria, VA – January 5, 2018: Portrait of Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) 


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