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January 31, 2011

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Press Release, 11-06

U.S. COMMERCE SECRETARY GARY LOCKE NAMES NEW APPOINTMENTS TO PATENT AND TRADEMARK ADVISORY COMMITTEES

Washington - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today named new members to fill three vacancies on the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and three vacancies on the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC).

The committees were created by the 1999 American Inventors Protection Act to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on the management of patent and trademark operations including goals, performance, budget, and user fees. Each committee has nine voting members who are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary of Commerce. Each member serves a three-year term.

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office faces tough challenges as it works to reduce its backlog of patent applications, enhance patent and trademark quality and become more efficient,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Input from these advisory committees is critical to our efforts to support American innovation, create U.S. jobs and make U.S. businesses more competitive in the global economy.”

The new and reappointed PPAC members are:

Louis J. Foreman: Founder and Chief Executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm.  Foreman has created five successful start-up companies in the last 20 years and is named as the inventor on nine U.S. patents.  He volunteers his time teaching small business classes at Central Piedmont Community College.  He founded The Inventors Network, a non-profit organization that provides education and networking opportunities to inventors.  Foreman has previously served as a member of the PPAC, and is being reappointed for a new three-year term.

Esther M. Kepplinger: Currently serving as Director for Patent Operations at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Kepplinger served for five years as the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations at the USPTO.  During her tenure, she assisted in the development of policy for the patent examining corps, played an active role in trilateral meetings and projects, and led several international negotiations working with other patent offices and the World Intellectual Property Organization to draft agreements, rules and standards.  She has 36 years of experience in intellectual property protection and spent 32 years at the USPTO.  Kepplinger has previously served as a member of the PPAC for a partial term, and is being reappointed for a new three-year term.

Wayne P. Sobon, Esq.: As Associate General Counsel and Director of Intellectual Property for Accenture, Sobon is responsible for the global management of Accenture’s intellectual property matters, including patent procurement, portfolio management, trademark prosecution, licensing, client negotiations and contract shaping, dispute resolutions and litigation, and related intellectual property issues.

The new and reappointed TPAC members are:

Anne H. Chasser: Now Associate Vice President for Intellectual Property at the University of Cincinnati, Chasser was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks of the USPTO by President Clinton in November 1999 and confirmed by the Senate.  Following the enactment of the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999, she was appointed Commissioner for Trademarks in March 2000 and remained at the USPTO until September 2004.  During her tenure as Commissioner for Trademarks, trademark electronic filing was introduced and increased to 75 percent of total filings.  Chasser has recently co-authored a book entitled Brand Rewind: Connecting Branding, Creativity, and IP Strategy

Deborah A. Hampton: Currently an Intellectual Property Manager at Limited Brands,  Hampton manages all phases of domestic and international prosecution, maintenance and enforcement of global trademark, domain name, trade dress, and patent and copyright portfolios for Limited Brands.  She chairs the International Trademark Association (INTA) Trademark Administrators Committee and has been a Member of the Board of Directors of INTA.  

Maury M. Tepper, III, Esq.: As an Intellectual Property Attorney, Tepper’s work includes all aspects of the creation, registration, maintenance and enforcement of trademarks, copyrights and domain names.  He was the former Director and Trademark Counsel for GlaxoSmithKline and is an active participant in INTA, where he serves as chair of INTA’s U.S. Legislation Subcommittee.  Tepper has previously served as a member of the TPAC and on the Board of Directors of INTA.

Other current PPAC members include:

Marc Adler, founder, Marc Adler, LLC                          

Maureen Toohey, founding member, Toohey Law Group, LLC

Benjamin Borson, President, Borson Law Group, PC

Steven Miller, Vice President & General Counsel, The Proctor & Gamble Co

Damon C. Matteo, Vice President Intellectual Capital Management, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

Other current TPAC members include:

Makan Delrahim, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

Mary Boney Denison, founding partner, Manelli Denison & Selter, PLLC

Timothy Lockhart, member, Wolcox & Savage P.C.

John B. Farmer, founder, Leading Edge Law Group, PLC      

Kathryn B. Park, senior counsel, General Electric

James G. Conley, principal, Winnemac Consulting, LLC

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