David Kappos, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will step down in January after serving four years as head of the agency.
In an effort to eliminate the patent prosecution backlog, Kappos has led the charge to greatly increase the number of patent examiners over the past two years. During this time, the number of examiners has grown to more than 8,000 – a more than 30 percent increase from two years before.
David Kappos is the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In this role since August 2009, he advises the President, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Administration on intellectual property matters.
Mr. Kappos directs an office that provides incentives to encourage technological advancement and helps businesses protect their investments, promote their goods and services and safeguard against deception in the marketplace. The Office continues to deal with a large patent application backlog, long waiting periods for patent review, and information technology systems that are regarded as outdated.
Before joining the USPTO, Mr. Kappos served as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property at IBM where he managed worldwide intellectual property operations. He has served on numerous boards and other leadership roles in the intellectual property field and has written and spoken widely on intellectual property topics both in the U.S. and globally.
Mr. Kappos received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California-Davis in 1983, his law degree from the University of California Berkeley in 1990, and has over 23 years of experience in the intellectual property field.