Janet Gongola

Vice Chief Judge for Engagement at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

Janet Gongola manages internal and external engagement on behalf of the PTAB, including development of educational programs and PTAB procedures and rules. She was appointed to the PTAB in October 2016. Before joining the Board, Judge Gongola was the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary and Director of the  USPTO where she advised on all matters of law and policy.  

Judge Gongola also served as the Patent Reform Coordinator and managed the agency’s implementation of the America Invents Act. She likewise was the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy and developed patent policy for the agency. Judge Gongola started her USPTO career as an Associate Solicitor providing legal advice to agency officials and defending decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and district courts.

Before joining the USPTO, Judge Gongola served as a law clerk for the Honorable Paul R. Michel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and for the Honorable Judge Sue L. Robinson at the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. In addition, Judge Gongola worked as a patent attorney, patent agent, and research chemist at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Judge Gongola graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University School of Law, and she received B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics from Muskingum University.

Judge Gongola is a past President of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court and has taught as an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law and the George Washington University Law School.