Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino
Commissioner for Patents
Margaret A. (Peggy) Focarino is Commissioner for Patents for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), she was appointed to this position in January 2012. She previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Patents, providing administrative oversight to nine Patent Technology Centers and coordinating the activities of patent application examination and reissues of patents.
In her new role as Commissioner, Ms. Focarino will manage and lead the Patent organization as the chief operating officer. She is responsible for the management and direction of all aspects of this organization which affect the administration of patent operations which includes patent operations, examination policy, resources and planning; and administration.
Ms. Focarino began her career at the USPTO in 1977 as a Patent Examiner. She became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 1989 and was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 1997. She received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in 1993 for her work as a Supervisory Patent Examiner and the Department of Commerce Silver Medal for leadership in 2010 for leading a joint union and management task force that developed and implemented the first significant changes to the patent examiner work credit system in more than 30 years.
Ms. Focarino was the 2010 recipient of American University’s School of Public Affairs Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership. The annual award recognizes two public servants in the federal government whose careers are marked by extraordinary effectiveness in organizational performance and strong commitment to training and development of employees.
Ms. Focarino received her undergraduate degree in Physics from the State University of New York, and a Certificate in Advanced Public Management from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
About the USPTO
Since 1790, the basic role of the United States intellectual property system has remained the same: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries (Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution). Today, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a federal agency in the Department of Commerce, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Through the issuance of patents, the USPTO encourages technological advancement by providing incentives to invent, invest in, and disclose new technology worldwide. Through the registration of trademarks, the agency assists businesses in protecting their investments, promoting goods and services, and safeguarding consumers against confusion and deception in the marketplace. By disseminating both patent and trademark information, the USPTO promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.