USPTO Announces New Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members

January 9, 2017
Press Release 17-01

CONTACT: (Media Only)
Paul Fucito
(571) 272-8400 or paul.fucito@uspto.gov

Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new Patent and Trademark Advisory Committee Members for the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC).

The Public Advisory Committees for the USPTO were created through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 to advise the Secretary of Commerce and the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on the management of patent and trademark operations. The Public Advisory Committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, respectively, and advise the director on these matters.  Each committee has nine voting members who are appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the Secretary of Commerce. Each member serves a three-year term. In addition to the new members noted below, P. Michael Walker will serve as Vice-chair of the Patent Public Advisory Committee.

New PPAC members Include

Marylee Jenkins, Chair, PPAC:  Ms. Jenkins is a partner at Arent Fox, LLP, and heads the New York Office’s Intellectual Property Group.  Her work focuses on intellectual property matters involving information technology and the Internet.  Additionally, she counsels international companies on intellectual property disputes and strategies, portfolio enforcement and management, e-commerce, and software development and protection.  Among her many professional activities, Ms. Jenkins is a past Chairperson of the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law, is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and is a past president of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association, was the Association’s treasurer, and is a member of its Board of Directors.  This will be Ms. Jenkins’ second full term as a PPAC Member, and she will serve as PPAC Chair.

Jeffrey M. Sears:  Mr. Sears is Associate General Counsel and Chief Patent Counsel for Columbia University.  His practice encompasses all aspects of patent law, including prosecution, strategic counseling, licensing and post-licensing compliance, litigation, and legislative, regulatory, and policy matters.  Mr. Sears manages the university’s global patent portfolio and works closely with faculty inventors, technology transfer officers, and executive leadership on commercialization activities.  Mr. Sears is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he co-teaches Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs and Managers.  He holds an S.B. in physics from MIT, an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from SUNY Stony Brook, and a J.D. from NYU.

Bernard (Bernie) J. Knight, Jr.:  Mr. Knight is a partner at McDermott Will & Emery.  His practice focuses on complex patent litigation, including, patent, trademark and copyright issues.  He has advised on intellectual property cases before the United States Supreme Court and provided oversight on patent and trademark cases before numerous Federal courts.  Mr. Knight served as General Counsel at the USPTO from 2010 to 2013.  Additionally, he served as Acting General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Treasury leading the Treasury legal team during the Administration’s financial markets crisis response efforts, and as Deputy General Counsel at the USPTO from 2001 to 2006.  Mr. Knight has also been granted recognition by the USPTO to appear as counsel in inter partes proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  As a result of his accomplishments, Mr. Knight was recently named an “Intellectual Property Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal.

New TPAC Members Include:

William (Bill) G. Barber, Vice Chair, TPAC:  Mr. Barber is a Member of Pirkey Barber PLLC.  His practice focuses primarily on trademark litigation and policing, handling cases in U.S. District Courts across the United States, and cases before the USPTO.  He is experienced in all aspects of litigation, including jury and bench trials, as well as appeals.  Mr. Barber handles domain name disputes through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, dispute resolution policy, trademark policing strategies and programs, trademark clearance, and trademark prosecutions.  He served as President of the American Intellectual Property Law Association in 2011, and has testified before Congress regarding reforms to the federal trademark dilution statute.  This is Mr. Barber’s second term, and he will continue his service as TPAC Vice-Chair.

Brian J. Winterfeldt:  Mr. Winterfeldt is a Partner and Co-Head of the Global Brand Management & Internet Practice at Mayer Brown LLP.  He advises clients on the creation of global trademark and branding strategies, and has developed programs to register and enforce clients’ intellectual property rights against infringement of their trademarks and other branding elements in the United States and internationally.  Mr. Winterfeldt also advises clients on trade dress, Internet governance and domain name issues, including disputes involving Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and Uniform Rapid Suspension System complaints.  He also has extensive experience in evolving Internet issues, including the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ new generic top-level domain program (ICANN’s gTLD program).  Mr. Winterfeldt currently serves on the International Trademark Association’s Board of Directors, and also is Special Advisor to INTA's Internet Committee.

Ilene B. Tannen:  Ms. Tannen is a former Partner and current Of Counsel at Jones Day.  Her practice focuses on trademark, copyright, unfair competition, and internet law.  She has significant experience advising domestic and international clients regarding global trademark clearance, brand development, and registration strategies and she manages global trademark portfolios for companies in a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, apparel, sports, and financial services.  Ms. Tannen counsels clients concerning the use of their brands in connection with goods, services, print, on-line content, and social media.  She also advises clients regarding copyright protection, enforcement, and use.

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