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By Mike Wilczek
President Donald Trump announced Aug. 25 he will nominate California intellectual property attorney Andrei Iancu to be the Patent and Trademark Office director.
Iancu is the managing partner of Irell & Manella LLP. He has taught patent law at UCLA, where he also earned his law degree, a master’s in mechanical engineering, and an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering, according to the White House.
Iancu represented Ariosa Diagnostics Inc. in its fight with Sequenom Inc. over the eligibility of Sequenom’s patent on prenatal DNA testing, according to his law firm’s website. He also represented TiVo Inc. in patent infringement lawsuits against EchoStar Corp., AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Cisco Systems Inc.
If confirmed, Iancu will take the PTO’s reins as the U.S. Supreme Court is weighing the constitutionality of the agency’s controversial patent validity challenge process in Oil States Energy Servs., LLC v. Greene’s Energy Grp., LLC. The office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board has canceled thousands of patent claims since the first challenges under the process in 2012.
Joseph Matal has been performing the PTO director’s duties since Michelle K. Lee resigned in June.
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