Teresa Stanek Rea
Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO
As Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Teresa Stanek Rea provides leadership and oversight to one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world. She has served as Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director since March 2011, and she became Acting Under Secretary and Acting Director in February 2013. She currently performs the duties of both positions. A recognized expert in intellectual property law with more than 25 years of experience, Ms. Rea serves as a principal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on both domestic and international intellectual property matters. Ms. Rea provides leadership and oversight of the day-to-day management of the policy, budget, and operations of an agency with over 11,000 employees. She also promotes innovation domestically and drives international harmonization efforts, in support of the administration’s top economic priorities to increase economic growth.
Ms. Rea is a past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (known as AIPLA), a past president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and has served in leadership roles for a variety of technical and legal associations. Ms. Rea has spoken and published frequently on patent topics including biotechnology, nanotechnology, licensing, technology transfer, patent practice, and export control. Before joining the USPTO, Ms. Rea was a partner in Crowell and Moring LLP’s Washington, D.C., office where she focused on intellectual property and dispute resolution related to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other life science issues. Ms. Rea worked for Ethyl Corporation from 1980 through 1984 and for patent boutique firm Burns, Doane, Swecker and Mathis in Alexandria, Va.
A native of Michigan, Ms. Rea earned a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Michigan. She also maintains an active pharmacy license.
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.