07 February 2018
Washington DC
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Andrei Iancu confirmed as USPTO director


Andrei Iancu has been confirmed as the new undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by the US Senate.

Iancu, who previously served as managing partner of law firm Irell & Manella, was nominated by US President Donald Trump in August last year.

His practice at Irell & Manella focused on IP litigation, prosecution, due diligence and licensing.

He has represented clients across the technology spectrum, including those associated with medical devices, genetic testing, therapeutics, the internet, TV broadcasting, video game systems and computer peripherals.

Prior to law school, Iancu was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft.

Iancu replaces Michelle Lee as director of the USPTO, who resigned from the role in June last year.

Lee was appointed to lead the USPTO in 2014, but her position came under threat with the election of Trump.

It had been unclear whether Lee would be replaced after Trump's inauguration.

Associate solicitor Joseph Matal took on the role as acting undersecretary of commerce for IP and director of the USPTO following Lee’s departure.

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