Changes at the Patent Office


Leadership changes are on the way at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Commissioner for Patents John Doll will retire on Oct. 2 after 35 years at the agency, the Commerce Department announced Thursday in a news release. He will be replaced by long-time patent employee Robert Stoll, who has been nominated by David Kappos, undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property and director of the Patent and Trademark Office.

Kappos also named Margaret Focarino as deputy commissioner for patents.

The commissioner for patents is appointed by the Commerce secretary for a five-year term after being nominated by the undersecretary of commerce. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said he supports Stoll’s selection and hopes it will bring more efficiency to the patent office.

I have directed the USPTO to pursue an aggressive agenda to significantly reduce the time it takes to process patent applications. The length of time it takes causes uncertainty for inventors and entrepreneurs, stifles innovation and impedes our economic recovery. Bob’s deep knowledge of the Patent Office will make him an important addition to the senior management team as they reform the system and help us regain America’s competitiveness.”


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