Joseph Matal

Acting Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Acting Solicitor

As Acting Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Acting Solicitor, Joseph Matal defends the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the agency in court proceedings relating to intellectual property issues. Mr. Matal previously served in a role performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. 

The Office of the Solicitor provides legal counsel to the Under Secretary and Director and the Commissioners for Patents and Trademarks on intellectual property matters. The office's primary responsibility is to defend decisions of the Under Secretary and Director, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and examiners in patent and trademark cases. The office also represents the Under Secretary and Director at depositions of USPTO employees, provides legal advice on proposed regulations and correspondence, and monitors publication of USPTO decisions. The Solicitor's office, in coordination with the Department of Commerce, also provides representation for the Under Secretary and Director in the interagency deliberations on intellectual property matters.

As an Associate Solicitor in the USPTO’s Office of Solicitor, Mr. Matal briefed and argued appeals of patent and trademark decisions before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. District Court, and assisted in the development of legal positions taken by the U.S. Solicitor General in patent and copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Matal also served as acting Chief of Staff for the agency and has advised the director on legislative matters.

Mr. Matal previously served as the General Counsel of the Judiciary Committee for former Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and as a Judiciary Committee Counsel to former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ). In that role, he was the principal staff drafter and negotiator of legislation that became the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the first comprehensive patent law overhaul since 1952. He has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.