On Wednesday August 1, 2012, I had the opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for quite a while. I sat down on the record with both Bernie Knight and Ray Chen, the top two attorneys who represent the United States government at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This starts the next phase of USPTO 2.0 interviews, which started earlier in the year. We talked about where these attorneys got their start, who they view the client as being, what it is like to represent the United States, ethical dilemmas that present, the structure of the General Counsel’s Office and the process for giving Federal Register guidance on a variety of matters.
On July 19, 2010, I was granted behind the scenes access to observe the United States Patent and Trademark Office. From 11am to 7pm I trailed David Kappos, the Undersecretary for Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. My hosts for the day were primarily Peter Pappas, Chief Communications Officer and Senior Advisor to Kappos, and one of his top lieutenants, Jennifer Rankin Byrne. As I went through the day I met members of the Senior Staff, some of whom I already knew and others who I was meeting for the first time, and sat in on a series of meetings with Director Kappos. In this part, Part 3 of the series, I will profile those Senior Staff members and high ranking lieutenants with whom I interacted with during my day at the USPTO.
On July 19, 2010, I was granted back stage pass of sorts, for a behind-the-scenes look at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I had, initially requested an interview with Director David Kappos and was given an affirmative response, but then I floated the idea of a three-part series to commemorate the first anniversary of David Kappos leaving the private sector to take the helm at the USPTO. Rather than just do an interview, I suggested something different. I thought it might be particularly interesting to profile a day in the life of David Kappos, much like the President allows certain journalists to do by giving them access to the White House for a day, with an associated tour and interview. Peter Pappas, the Chief Communications Officer and Senior Advisor to Kappos, liked the idea and agreed to work with me to get it scheduled.