USPTO announces new Public Advisory Committee members to support USPTO policies and operations

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 participate in regular meetings to discuss the USPTO’s patent and trademark operations. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in consultation with USPTO Director Kathi Vidal, appoints the nine members of each committee to serve three-year rotating terms. The committees were created through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999.

Secretary of Commerce Raimondo and USPTO Director Vidal are pleased to announce that the new members of the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) include Loletta (Lolita) Darden, Henry Hadad, and Olivia Tsai, while the new members of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) are Deborah Gerhardt, Donna Griffiths, and Amy Hsiao (bios for the new Public Advisory Committee (PAC) members below). Secretary Raimondo and Director Vidal thank recent PPAC members Jeremiah Chan, Tracy Durkin, and Jeffrey Sears, as well as recent TPAC members Jennifer Kovalcik, Susan Natland, and Tricia Thompkins, who have rotated off the committees after having completed their terms.

“The Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees are shining examples of fruitful public-private collaborations that serve the interests of our valued intellectual property community,” said Director Vidal. “I am thrilled to welcome our new members and look forward to working with them to expand and strengthen the intellectual property ecosystem to bring more innovation to impact in America. I also want to extend my appreciation to all outgoing PAC members for their many years of outstanding service. Jeremiah, Tracy, Jeffrey, Jennifer, Susan, and Tricia—your leadership has been instrumental and we are exceedingly grateful.”

In addition to the new members, Suzanne Harrison will now serve as the PPAC’s Chair, and Heidi Nebel will serve as the PPAC’s Vice Chair. Former TPAC Vice Chair David Cho will now serve as Chair, while Adraea Brown will serve as the TPAC’s Vice Chair.

“I am proud to lead the PPAC at a time when intellectual property is key to maintaining and growing our national competitiveness,” said Suzanne Harrison, Principal, Percipience LLC. “Enabling ALL inventors to successfully bring their ideas to the marketplace allows us to increase jobs and ultimately GDP. I encourage all PPAC and TPAC members to help us rethink better ways to utilize IP to expand innovation.”

“I am honored, ecstatic and eager to continue contributing to safeguarding and enhancing intellectual property rights for U.S. owners,” said David Cho, Assistant Vice President Senior Legal Counsel, Trademarks & Copyrights; AT&T Services, Inc.

Current PPAC members include Judge Susan Braden, Daniel Brown, Steven Caltrider, and Charles Duan. TPAC members include Tracy Deutmeyer, Rodrick Enns, Jomarie Fredericks, and Dana Brown Northcott.

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



Loletta (Lolita) Darden is the Visiting Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the IP and Technology Clinic at The George Washington University Law School, where she has been since August 2022. Previously, Ms. Darden was an Associate Clinical Professor (with tenure) and Director of the IP Clinic at Suffolk University Law School for six years. Before joining Suffolk University, Ms. Darden worked for Sachnoff & Weaver, where she was a Partner and Patent Prosecution Department Chairperson. Prior to joining Sachnoff & Weaver, Ms. Darden was Chief IP Counsel for a small consumer products company, where she managed the company's IP prosecution and litigation portfolios and pioneered a strategy for strategically using and creating IP assets to enhance the company's competitive strength. As a law professor, Ms. Darden has taught IP survey, trademark law and practice, and patent law and practice. Ms. Darden is also a C-IP² Scholar at the George Mason University Center for Intellectual Property x Innovation Policy, where her scholarship focuses on the protection and preservation of IP rights for creators and inventors. She is also a member of the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court. 

Henry Hadad is Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Innovation Law, at Bristol Myers Squibb, where he is Chief Intellectual Property (IP) Counsel, leading a team supporting the company’s efforts to discover, develop and deliver groundbreaking treatments for patients with serious unmet medical need. He was previously Chief IP Counsel at Schering-Plough Corporation and held roles at Johnson & Johnson and in private practice. During his legal career, Mr. Hadad has represented the innovative biopharmaceutical, generic, medical device and consumer goods industries, with a focus on IP procurement, litigation, transactions and policy in the United States and internationally, and is an active member of numerous IP educational, policy and advocacy organizations. Mr. Hadad is a passionate advocate for a strong and predictable IP system that drives innovation across all technologies, and in developing a diverse and inclusive pipeline of future leaders in the IP profession and the innovation ecosystem. He is a board member of the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association, served as its President (2018-2019), and is currently chair of its Amicus Committee. Mr. Hadad holds a B.S. in Biology from Haverford College and a J.D., cum laude, from the American University, Washington College of Law.

Olivia Tsai is Assistant General Counsel and Head of IP at Cruise, a leading autonomous vehicle company. At Cruise, she leads the team responsible for IP protection and strategy. She founded Cruise’s Asian and Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group. Prior to Cruise, Ms. Tsai counseled in cutting edge technology areas at Cisco, Sandia National Laboratories, and in private practice. She has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a JD from Case Western Reserve University. Ms. Tsai serves as Co-Founder and Corporate Secretary of Allied Transportation Association to bring together collaborative IP opportunities in the transportation industry. Ms. Tsai also serves as Founding Member of Advancing Diversity Across Patent Teams (“ADAPT”) to promote the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion among patent professionals.


Deborah Gerhardt currently serves as the Reef C. Ivey II Excellence Fund Term Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Law. She specializes in IP law with an emphasis on the intersection of law and creativity, and she teaches Arts Entrepreneurship, Art Law, and Copyright and Trademark Law. In 2018, she was awarded UNC’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction. She received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support research to clarify whether art and historical documents are protected by copyright or in the public domain. Ms. Gerhardt is also Of Counsel at Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP and was elected to the American Law Institute in 2021. She is a member of the UNC Arts Everywhere Committee and a member of the UNC School of Law Appointments Committee. Ms. Gerhardt also served on UNC Law’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee from 2018-2021, and she currently provides pro bono services for artists, nonprofit arts organizations, and low-wealth entrepreneurs.

Donna Griffiths is a Trademark Specialist at Cytiva, a global provider of technologies and services that advance and accelerate the development, manufacture, and delivery of therapeutics. She is primarily responsible for managing and maintaining large international and domestic portfolios and docket management. Prior to Cytiva, Ms. Griffiths was a Senior Paralegal at CVS Health, where she maintained a trademark and patent docketing system, managed and prosecuted both U.S. and foreign trademark filings. Ms. Griffiths is a member of the International Trademark Association’s Trademark Administrators Committee and is also a member of the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Amy Hsiao is Chair of the Asia Trademark Practice of Eligon IP, where she is the lead counsel for numerous American brands, from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, for global trademark and brand strategies.  Amy focuses her practice on advising Western companies on trademark, copyright, and international business transactions in China and other Asian countries.  Amy has pursued cases through all levels of China’s system and had achieved impressive wins both in terms of quantity and quality.  She has worked with policy makers from the U.S. and Europe on trademark arbitrations, criminal counterfeit seizures, and product recalls.  She often assumes the role of a business advisor because of her ability to articulate differences between Eastern and Western systems and to turn large volumes of raw data into meaningful, actionable branding strategies. She was invited by the USPTO to present at several of the agency’s roadshows on topics related to international brand strategies and advertising and compliance issues. Before Eligon, Ms. Hsiao was an associate at two law firms, including eight years at Kilpatrick Stockton. She is a current Co-Chair of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Privacy Committee of the American Bar Association (ABA), and was a member of the ABA’s Standing International IP Task Force from 2019-2021.

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