Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge William “Tim” Fink is on detail to the Office of the Under Secretary as Senior Legal Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. As Senior Legal Advisor, he advises the USPTO Director on a wide-range of Patent-related issues, including PTAB precedential decisions, policies governing America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings, PTAB and patent-related rulemaking, and patent subject matter eligibility.
As Vice Chief Administrative Patent Judge, Judge Fink has helped shape agency policy at the intersection of AIA trials and district court proceedings, including authoring PTAB Trial Practice Guide provisions governing the exercise of discretion to institute AIA trials, multiple precedential opinions, and proposed rulemakings. He has received two special act awards for implementation of the agency’s policy in AIA trials and speaks extensively on AIA trial practice. Judge Fink has worked at the USPTO since 2014, where he began as an Administrative Patent Judge and then Lead Administrative Patent Judge presiding over hundreds of ex parte appeals and AIA trials.
Prior to joining the USPTO, Judge Fink was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP in Washington D.C., where he litigated patent cases in district courts and the International Trade Commission. Among other matters, Judge Fink represented major technology companies in successful trials at the ITC, where he was primarily responsible for managing merits claims and defenses, expert testimony and reports, key fact witnesses, and advising clients at trial. Prior to becoming a partner, he was an associate at Kirkland & Ellis and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, in New York.
Prior to his legal career, Judge Fink spent over a decade in electrical engineering and engineering management positions at General Electric, Micron, and Bell Laboratories. At Bell Laboratories, Judge Fink worked on nascent internet telecommunications technologies, including Voice over Internet Protocol and audio compression, and helped launch several Bell Labs spin-offs.
Judge Fink is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University.