Joseph Matal named acting head of US patent office

Joseph Matal

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross named US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) associate solicitor Joseph Matal to perform the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO following the abrupt resignation of Michelle Lee.

The position is effective June 7, 2017.

Matal will serve in this role during the nomination and confirmation process for a new director.

“As an Associate Solicitor in the USPTO’s Office of Solicitor, Matal has briefed and argued appeals of patent and trademark decisions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. District Court, and assisted in the development of legal positions taken by the U.S. Solicitor General in patent and copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court,” said the Department of Commerce in a statement.

“Matal recently served as acting Chief of Staff for the agency, and has advised the director on legislative matters.

“Matal previously served as the General Counsel of the Judiciary Committee for former Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and as a Judiciary Committee Counsel to former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

“In that role, he was the principal staff drafter and negotiator of legislation that became the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the first comprehensive patent law overhaul since 1952.

“Matal has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.”