Administrative Patent Judge Linda Horner is serving as Senior Legal Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As Senior Legal Advisor, she counsels the Director of the USPTO on a wide range of patent-related legal and policy issues, particularly as to the use of discretion in the institution of America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), litigation before the Federal Circuit and Supreme Court, PTAB and patent-related rulemaking and guidance, and patent subject matter eligibility.
As an administrative patent judge, Judge Horner served as Acting Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge from 2013-2014, Chair of the Published Cases Committee from 2011-2015, and Lead Administrative Patent Judge from 2007-2012. Judge Horner has helped shape agency policy at the intersection of AIA trials and district court proceedings, including authoring precedential and informative PTAB decisions and rulemakings. Judge Horner has also worked extensively on ex parte appeals and authored rulemaking on ex parte appeal procedures. She speaks regularly on AIA trial practice. Judge Horner has worked at the USPTO since 2006, first as an administrative patent judge, and then as a lead administrative patent judge, presiding over hundreds of ex parte appeals and AIA trials.
Prior to joining the USPTO, Judge Horner was a partner at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C. in Washington, D.C., where she prosecuted patent applications, represented clients in interference proceedings before the USPTO, litigated patent cases in district courts and on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and represented clients in arbitration proceedings before the International Chamber of Commerce.
Judge Horner is a graduate of Boston University School of Law and Cornell University.