Bloomberg Law
March 23, 2022, 7:45 PM

Congress Needs to Confirm a PTO Leader, Newly Retired Judge Says

Samantha Handler
Samantha Handler

One of the biggest issues facing the intellectual property space now is not having a confirmed leader of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, retired Federal Circuit Judge Kathleen M. O’Malley says.

While the agency has been operating well under interim director Drew Hirshfeld, the PTO needs a permanent leader to provide guidance on issues such as patent eligibility under Section 101 of the Patent Act and proposed policy changes on patents essential to industry standards, O’Malley said.

“I don’t think Congress appreciates the fact that it’s dangerous to leave agencies untethered, especially an agency with authority for such important ...

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