28 April 2017
Virginia
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Industry associations voice support for USPTO’s Lee


Google, Facebook and Amazon are among 50 companies and trade associations that have welcomed the continued leadership of Michelle Lee at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The associations and companies have joined with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in penning a letter to US President Donald Trump that underlines the economic benefits that Lee’s continued leadership of the USPTO brings for American inventors and businesses.

They said that Lee “has been able to expertly balance the needs and interests of all the stakeholders within the very diverse community that the USPTO serves.”

“We believe that the American economy would greatly benefit from her continued leadership, or the leadership of a USPTO director committed to the priorities she has instituted and championed.”

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, said that the US economy “cannot thrive without a strong patent system and continuity in leadership and vision within the USPTO”.

“A change in leadership at this critical time could undo the progress the USPTO has made under director Lee’s leadership and send a chilling effect to the innovators, entrepreneurs and industries at the heart of our economy.”

The USPTO initially refused to comment on the status of Lee as its director following Donald Trump's inauguration as president in January.

In March, the USPTO was forced to clarify that Lee was still in charge of the agency via a Freedom of Information Act request.

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