Commerce Secretary Locke names new member to Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees

Press Release

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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke recently named three new members to the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and two to the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). The committees 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 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. Each member serves a three-year term.

"I look forward to working with each of the new committee members," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "Their advice will be invaluable as we work to address the significant challenges facing the agency."

The new PPAC members are:

Dr. Benjamin Borson is the founder of Borson Law Group, PC where he advises small, mid-sized and large clients in developing business-based IP strategies in the life sciences and high technology industries. He has been an IP professional for 15 years and is a frequent author and speaker on IP law. Dr. Borson founded and is a past president of the BioScience Forum, a San Francisco based educational organization that sponsors scientific and legal meetings including symposia highlighting USPTO Technology Center 1600 practices and procedures. He is the current chairman of the Legislation Committee of the IP Section of the California State Bar and is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Intellectual Property Section of the California State Bar. Dr. Borson earned a B.A. Degree in biology and his Ph.D in physiology at the University of California, San Francisco and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Dr. Borson is an inventor and owns two patents. He has successfully assisted others in obtaining patents in the biotechnology, chemistry, pharmaceutical, semi-conductor, electronic compression technology, medical, analytical instrumentation and bioinformatics fields.

Steven W. Miller is Vice President and General Counsel-Intellectual Property for Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has held various positions in the IP law department of Proctor & Gamble since 1984. Miller holds a B.S. and J.D. degree from The Ohio State University. He is a member of the Executive Committee for the Association of Corporate Patent Counsels, the Steering Committee for the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform and the Board of Directors for the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is a past president and serves as a Board of Directors member for the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the Intellectual Property Owners Association Education Foundation.

Esther Kepplinger is the director of patent operations for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC and serves as the firm's liaison to the USPTO. Additionally, she provides strategic patent counseling and serves as an expert witness for U.S. patent examination practice. Prior to joining the law firm, she served as deputy commissioner for patent operations with the USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia. She began working for the USPTO in 1973 and has held a variety of other positions with the USPTO. While at the USPTO she received numerous awards including the Presidential Rank Award in 2002 and the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 1998 and 2004. She is active in the American Intellectual Property Law Association where she serves as the vice chair of the Patent Agents Committee and is a member of the Special Committee on Legislation. She holds a certificate in Advanced Public Management from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Damon Matteo was appointed by Secretary Locke for a three-year term as chairman of PPAC. Matteo is vice president and chief intellectual property officer of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). His career in intellectual capital management (ICM) includes extensive experience in the creation, strategic management, venture/funding and commercialization of the full spectrum of corporate intellectual property assets through such vehicles as direct-to-product use, licensing, assertion, start-ups and M&A in North America, Asia & Europe.

The new TPAC members are:

James Conley serves on the faculty of both the Kellogg School of Management and the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University. He is a member of the Kellogg Center for Research in Technology & Innovation and serves as a Faculty Fellow at the Segal Design Institute. Beyond Northwestern, he serves as a Visiting Professor in the Chair of Technology and Innovation Management at the WHU in Vallendar, Germany. His research and teaching investigates the strategic use of intangible assets and intellectual properties to build and sustain competitive advantage. Additionally, he engineers product design and development technologies and studies the impact of computer automation on product realization. Research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, NASA, FAA, NIST, the Department of Defense, Motorola, Daimler-Chrysler, the OECD and others.

Kathryn Barrett Park is a past president of the International Trademark Association and currently serves as Senior Counsel for Advertising and Brand Management for the General Electric Company, headquartered in Fairfield, CT. Ms. Park attended Brown University and graduated magna cum laude with a B. A. Degree in art history in 1980. She then attended the Columbia University School of Law, graduating with a J. D. Degree in law, and became a member of the New York Bar in 1984. She has concentrated on trademark, copyright and advertising law. In 2000, she joined General Electric Company in Fairfield, Connecticut. She was previously Vice President and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel of NBA Properties, Inc. in New York. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on advertising law, IP rights and anti-counterfeiting, and has testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on various IP issues.