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David J. Kappos will step down as director of the Patent and Trademark Office in January, a spokesperson from the PTO confirmed to BNA Nov. 26.
Kappos was nominated to serve as under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and the director of the PTO in 2009 by President Obama. Prior to his appointment, Kappos served as assistant general counsel for intellectual property law and strategy at International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y.
While at the PTO he oversaw the beginning of the implementation of the America Invents Act, and many credit him with helping to secure that bill's passage.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in June, Kappos was praised by lawmakers for his agency's efforts in implementing the legislation.
“I hope you consider staying on [as PTO director] no matter who the president is after this next election,” Sen. Thomas A. Coburn (R-Okla.) said during the hearing.
In a statement issued Nov. 26, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Kappos was instrumental in the development and enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.
“ He and his team have set the PTO on course to implement the key provisions of the Act, which will improve the patent system for decades to come,” Leahy said.
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