USPTO announces new Public Advisory Committee members

Press Release

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Washington – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new membership to its Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees, composed of private-sector intellectual property (IP) executives who help advise the Secretary of Commerce and the USPTO Director on the management of patent and trademark operations. The Secretary of Commerce appoints the nine members of each committee to serve three-year rotating terms.

The new members of USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) include Charles Duan, Suzanne Harrison, and Heidi S. Nebel, while the new members of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) are Adraea Brown, Rodrick J. Enns, and Dana Brown Northcott, (bios for all PAC members are further below). Recent PPAC members Julie Mar-Spinola, Jennifer Camacho, and Barney Cassidy, as well as recent TPAC members Christopher Kelly, Stephanie Bald, and Kelly Walton, have rotated off the committees having completed their terms.

“The Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees are great examples of fruitful public-private collaborations that serve the interests of our valued intellectual property community,” said Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (IP) and Director of the USPTO. “I am thrilled to welcome our new members and look forward to working with them to expand and strengthen the innovation ecosystem. I also want to extend my appreciation to all outgoing PAC members for their many years of outstanding service– Julie, Jennifer, Barney, Chris, Stephanie, and Kelly – your leadership has been instrumental during such an unprecedented period, and we are exceedingly grateful.”

In addition to the new members, former PPAC Vice Chair Steven P. Caltrider will now serve as Chair, and Tracy-Gene Durkin will serve as PPAC’s new Vice Chair. Former TPAC Vice Chair Susan Natland will serve as Chair, while David J. Cho will serve as TPAC’s new Vice Chair.

Current PPAC members include Jeffrey M. Sears, Jeremiah Chan, Daniel P. Brown, and Judge Susan G. Braden. TPAC members are Tricia McDermott Thompkins, Jennifer Kovalcik, Tracy L. Deutmeyer, and Jomarie B. Fredericks.

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. The committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, respectively, and advise the director on these matters. 

For additional information on USPTO’s Public Advisory Committees, including how to participate in the upcoming PAC public meetings, please visit the PPAC information page and TPAC information page.



Charles Duan is a Fellow with the Cornell Tech Research Lab for Applied Law and Technology. He is also a Senior Policy Fellow in the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at the American University College of Law, and a Senior Fellow for Technology and Innovation Policy at the R Street Institute, a nonprofit, public policy research organization in Washington, DC. Prior to his current positions, Mr. Duan was Director, Patent Reform Project, at Public Knowledge, a nonprofit public interest organization, and he was a Research Fellow for Professor Paul Ohm at the Colorado Law School, a position funded by the National Science Foundation. He worked as a patent litigation and prosecution attorney at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, LLP, as well.

Suzanne Harrison is the Founder of Percipience LLC, a board-level advisory firm focused on managing and developing IP strategy, quantifying and mitigating IP risk, and increasing IP value capture. Ms. Harrison was previously a Director with Inflexion Point Strategy, an IP investment bank providing IP transaction assistance, and was the CEO and Founder of Gathering2.0, the first online community to increase information transparency and efficiency in the patent transaction market. She is also the co-author of three published books, each of which takes an in-depth look at the concepts of intellectual asset management and highlights the winning strategies used by large companies to maximize the value of their IP.

Heidi S. Nebel serves as the Managing Partner and Chair of the Biotechnology & Chemical Practice Group of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. Ms. Nebel has over 29 years of experience obtaining patents and designing IP strategy in the areas of biotechnology, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. She serves as an advocate for her clients and believes that the best results come from working in close association with USPTO examiners. Her clients include over 40 universities and research institutions, as well as fortune 500 companies around the world. She is also an active member of ChIPs®, a nonprofit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law, and policy.


Adraea Brown is Vice President & Assistant General Counsel at H-D U.S.A., LLC (Harley-Davidson). Since 2015, she has also served as Vice President & Legal Director, and Vice President & Senior Trademark Counsel at Harley-Davidson. Ms. Brown is responsible for leading Harley-Davidson’s in-house trademark team, which includes oversight of a portfolio of over 5,000 global trademarks, trademark enforcement, and litigation. She also serves as legal support for the company’s multimillion-dollar licensing and general merchandise business. She has been an International Trademark Association (INTA) member since 2015, and was the Co-Chair of INTA’s Global Brand Transactions & Due Diligence Subcommittee (2020-2021).

Rodrick J. Enns is a Founding Partner of Enns & Archer LLP, where his practice focuses on the law of branded products, including strategic counseling in the creation and protection of brands; trademark, copyright, and advertising litigation; advertising clearance, counseling, and compliance; and antitrust and trade regulation counseling and litigation. Prior to his current position, Mr. Enns was a partner at Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, and he currently serves on the INTA PAC Board of Governors, a non-partisan political action committee that amplifies INTA members’ perspectives in U.S. IP legislation and policy.

Dana Brown Northcott serves as Vice President and Associate General Counsel, IP, at Since 2007, she has led a global team responsible for all brand protection and enforcement; domain name and generic top-level domain (gTLD) portfolios; content protection; anti-piracy, anti-counterfeiting, internet governance, and trademark public policy for each of Amazon’s business areas and subsidiaries. Ms. Northcott is currently a Vice President of the International Trademark Association (INTA), serves on INTA’s Executive Board, and serves on the Governing Board of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE).

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