USPTO Director David Kappos has announced that he will leave the Office early next year, perhaps by the end of January. He became the Director in 2009, leaving his position as essentially Head Patent Counsel at IBM.
He brought much-needed patent law expertise to the Office and began a number of initiatives designed to improve examination efficiency, as well as to expedite prosecution of applications claiming “green technology.” His Office provided guidance to Examiners and practitioners following each of a series of major judicial decisions, including KSR, Bilski, Ariad and now, Mayo. He was also “tasked” with opening three satellite offices – in Detroit, Silicon Valley and Denver.
As if this weren’t enough to keep him and his staff busy, he also oversaw the generation of pages of detailed regulations to implement the AIA, the most comprehensive “reform” of 35 USC since 1952. I called him the hardest working man in patent “biz”. His legacy is already in place, and he will be missed.
Parting note from Director Kappos:
It has been an immense privilege to lead the USPTO, our nation’s innovation agency, over the last three and a half years—and it is with deep gratitude for your dedication and hard work that I write to inform you that I will be leaving the Agency around the end of January 2013.
I cannot thank you enough for your hard work over the years—and I wish you all the very best ahead.