Coke Morgan Stewart is the Acting Chief of Staff for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Senior Policy Advisor. As the Senior Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, she advises the Director and other senior leaders on a wide variety of patent policy issues, including patent eligibility, America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings, and artificial intelligence.
As Chief of Staff, Ms. Stewart serves as the Director’s principal advisor and helps coordinate a $3.5 billion budget in support of the bureau’s nearly 13,000 employees to execute the daily operations, policies, priorities, and global communications of the President’s intellectual property agenda. In addition, the Chief of Staff serves on the USPTO’s Executive Committee and manages the day-to-day policy coordination process with the White House, Department of Commerce, and other federal agencies.
Ms. Stewart has worked at the USPTO since 2011 in a number of important roles, including as Associate Solicitor (2011-2019), Acting Deputy Solicitor (2019), Senior Advisor to the Director (2017), and Acting Chief of Staff (2017).
In her principal role in the Office of the Solicitor, Ms. Stewart has served as lead counsel in over 20 patent cases before the Federal Circuit and has appeared as counsel of record in at least 30 other patent cases. She has also advised the Department of Justice Civil Appellate Staff and the Office of the Solicitor General on patent, trademark, and copyright cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. She has handled numerous administrative law cases, defending agency practices and procedures in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
While at the USPTO, Ms. Stewart has received two Special Act Awards, a Director’s Award for Excellence in Litigation, a Department of Commerce Award for Exceptional Service, and a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal.
Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Stewart practiced law for 14 years—most recently at Kaye Scholer LLP in Washington, D.C., litigating complex patent infringement cases on behalf of patent holders and accused infringers.
Ms. Stewart is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as Executive Editor of the Virginia Tax Review and Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Weekly. After law school, Ms. Stewart clerked on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which primarily hears monetary claims against the U.S. government.