USPTO Announces New General Counsel

Press Release

Kim Byars

James A. Toupin, formerly Deputy General Counsel at the United States International Trade Commission, will become the new General Counsel at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 28, 2001.

Mr. Toupin also served as Assistant General Counsel for Litigation and Special Projects at the United States International Trade Commission from 1987 to1994. Prior to his government service, he was an associate at Memel, Jacobs, Pierno, Gersh & Ellsworth from 1985 to1987, and at Covington & Burling from 1978 to1985. He graduated in 1973 cum laude from Stanford University where he earned a B.A. in history and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Toupin obtained his J.D. in 1977 from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was editor of the California Law Review. He is admitted to practice in California and in the District of Columbia.

Also joining USPTO as Deputy General Counsel for General Law is Bernard J. Knight, Jr., who was a Senior Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice prior to joining USPTO on January 8.

Moving from his current duties at the agency as Acting Deputy Solicitor, John M. Whealan will become the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor. As Solicitor, he will continue to defend the Under Secretary and the agency in court related procedures relating to intellectual property issues. Whealan will take up his new responsibilities on January 15.

USPTO, a user fee-funded agency of the United States, within the Department of Commerce, administers laws relevant to granting patents and registering trademarks. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office advises the Secretary of Commerce and other federal departments and agencies on intellectual property policy matters.