Commerce Secretary Gutierrez Names New Members to Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees

Press Release

Brigid Quinn or Ruth Nyblod
(571) 272-8400 or

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez recently named three new members to the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and three to the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). They will serve three-year terms on the committees, which were created by the 1999 American Inventors Protection Act to advise 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, respectively, including goals, performance, budget and user fees. The committees have nine voting members who are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary of Commerce.

The new PPAC members are:

Kevin Rivette, Palo Alto, Calif. - Author, patent attorney, and entrepreneur. Mr. Rivette co-authored the popular book, "Rembrandts in the Attic," a practical and strategic guide showing CEOs and other managers how to unlock the enormous financial and competitive power hidden in their patent portfolios. A former patent attorney, Mr. Rivette's written work focuses on how the world's most successful firms use patents to capture and defend markets, outflank rivals, boost bottom-line revenues and shareholder return, and enhance the commercial success of their enterprises. He is currently Vice President of Intellectual Property Strategy with IBM.

Douglas Patton, Irvine, Calif. - Entrepreneur, inventor, and founder of Patton Design, a consulting firm that helps companies with strategy and new product development and has created over 450 new products for diverse market categories. He has received numerous patents for his work and, in addition, his work has been nationally and internationally recognized through numerous awards, including awards for design, engineering and ergonomics. Most recently, Mr. Patton and his design firm have been featured on ABC's television series "American Inventor."

W. David Westergard, Boise, Idaho - Attorney and director of patent licensing and European litigation for Micron Technology Inc. Worked for the law firm Arnold, White, & Durkee. Served as clerk for Judge Rader on Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The new TPAC members are:

Jeffrey M. Samuels, Akron, Ohio - Mr. Samuels is the David L. Brennan Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law and Technology at the University of Akron. He also is engaged in the practice of trademark and related unfair competition law and serves as a consultant and expert witness in such matters. From November 1987 to January 1993, Mr. Samuels served as assistant commissioner for trademarks.

Jacqueline Alvarado Leimer, Chicago, Ill. - Ms. Leimer is an attorney and currently serves as vice president and associate general counsel for IP for Kraft Foods. She served as counsel for The Quaker Oats Company for 10 years and worked for the law firms Kirkland & Ellis, Welsh & Katz, and Sidley & Austin.

Lorelei Ritchie de Larena, Tallahassee, Fla. - Ms. de Larena is an attorney and currently an assistant professor at Florida State Law School and previously served as adjunct professor at two other law schools. She also has worked for the law firms Arnold & Porter; Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison; and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and has served in various appointed intellectual property arbitration positions.