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WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today appointed Sharon Barner to the post of deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
"I have directed the USPTO to significantly reduce the time it takes to process patent applications," Locke said. "David Kappos has moved quickly to establish an aggressive agenda to pursue that goal. Sharon is a deeply qualified IP attorney and her experience is an important addition to the USPTO senior leadership as they reshape the office and work with Congress to pass comprehensive patent reform."
Barner is a top attorney in the field of intellectual property with 23 years of legal experience. She is currently a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP in Chicago and chairs the firm's Intellectual Property Department. Her experience spans clients in fields including those involved in patent, trademark and copyright disputes and also technical science fields such as genetically engineered foods, computers and satellites.
Serving under Kappos, Barner will take charge of an office that provides incentives to encourage innovation and technological advancement, and helps businesses protect their investments, promote their goods and safeguard against deception in the marketplace.
Over the past ten years, Barner has been featured as a top intellectual property lawyer in The National Law Journal, Black Enterprise Magazine, Diversity and the Bar and IP Law & Business and was recognized in the Illinois Super Lawyers for her intellectual property litigation work. Barner also regularly writes and lectures on several intellectual property topics including business counseling, patent litigation and risk management.
Barner received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Syracuse University and a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1982.