Vaishali Udupa is the Commissioner for Patents of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As Commissioner for Patents, Ms. Udupa manages and leads the Patents organization as its chief operating officer. She oversees the agency’s 10,000 Patents employees, including more than 9,000 patent examiners responsible for fostering the country’s innovation system by providing patent protections to inventors as stated in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution
Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Udupa was already a nationally recognized leader in intellectual property (IP), with over twenty years of experience in strategic IP advisement and complex litigation. She has a wealth of experience in patent prosecution and litigation, global IP policy, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. In the private sector, Ms. Udupa secured multiple IP trial wins and managed numerous IP cases to favorable resolutions in the United States and abroad. She assisted in the development of patent and trademark portfolios and counseled internal clients regarding licensing deals, asset acquisitions, and agreements involving IP rights. Her technological experience includes, among others, electronic devices, networking and telecommunication systems, computer software, electronic commerce, consumer products, sporting goods, and medical devices.
Throughout her career, Ms. Udupa has achieved a proven track record of addressing diversity issues in the science, technology, and legal professions. She has sought to promote diversity and inclusion through pro-bono work and bar association involvement, including by serving as Honor Roll Committee Co-Chair of ChIPs, a non-profit organization that advances and connects women in technology, law, and policy; volunteering with the Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital to provide young girls with their inventor patch; and teaching basic IP topics to Washington, D.C., high schoolers through the Street Law Program. Her efforts have received accolades, including the National Bar Association’s 2020 Diversity in Tech and IP Law award. She also maintains a keen interest in increasing entrepreneurship and the number of patents applied for and obtained by all inventors, including women, minorities, veterans, and those from rural and economically disadvantaged areas.
Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Udupa was the Vice President, Associate General Counsel for Litigation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). Prior to HPE, she was an IP litigation manager at HP and an associate at Jones Day and Pennie & Edmonds. Ms. Udupa earned her Juris Doctor from American University's Washington College of Law and her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.