Bloomberg Law
Sept. 10, 2021, 9:00 AM

Patent Office ‘in Neutral’ as It Awaits Biden’s Pick to Lead It

Samantha Handler
Samantha Handler

The lack of a permanent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director has left attorneys guessing about how the agency will tackle some high-profile policy questions.

The patent office has been grappling with issues such as review of Patent and Trial Appeal Board decisions and how its examiners should determine if certain inventions are eligible for patents. Progress on those issues is largely stalled until a new director is in place.

It’s a waiting game for attorneys because the agency official temporarily performing the director’s duties, Drew Hirshfeld, isn’t setting policy in some areas while the office awaits a U.S. Senate-confirmed ...

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