Matthew Kohner serves as the U.S. intellectual property (IP) attaché for Southeast Asia. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, he is the principal officer within the U.S. embassies and consulates throughout Southeast Asia on matters related to the protection and enforcement of IP rights. His duties include assisting U.S. companies doing business in Southeast Asia, advocating for effective IP policies, advising U.S. government officials on foreign governments’ IP practices, and engaging with countries in the region on IP issues.
Prior to his appointment as an IP attaché, Mr. Kohner was a policy advisor with the Office of the U.S. IP Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) in the Executive Office of the President. At IPEC, he advised the IPEC and White House officials on foreign and domestic IP enforcement matters. His responsibilities included coordinating with U.S. government agencies to develop policy on IP enforcement and engaging with stakeholders and foreign government representatives on IP enforcement issues.
Before joining IPEC, Mr. Kohner was an attorney-advisor with the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), where he advised USPTO leadership on domestic and international IP issues. As a member of OPIA, he helped formulate IP policy, consulted with foreign governments and U.S. government agencies on IP laws and legal regimes, and provided technical assistance to foreign governments on their IP laws and regulations.
Prior to joining OPIA, Mr. Kohner was a shareholder in the Washington, D.C., office of Banner & Witcoff. His practice focused on utility and design patent prosecution, patent litigation, and client counseling. He has represented clients, from individual inventors to multinational corporations, in a wide variety of technologies. Mr. Kohner also spent several years at the USPTO as a patent examiner in the mechanical arts.
Mr. Kohner received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from The George Washington University and his Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to the bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia.
About the USPTO and OPIA
Aside from the issuance of patents and registration of trademarks, the USPTO has a statutory mandate to advise the President and all federal agencies, through the Secretary of Commerce, on national and international intellectual property (IP) policy issues, including IP protection in other countries. In addition, the USPTO is authorized by statute to provide guidance, conduct programs and studies, and interact with IP offices worldwide—and with international intergovernmental organizations—on matters involving IP.
The OPIA fulfills this mandate by leading negotiations on behalf of the United States at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); advising the Administration on the negotiation and implementation of the IP provisions of international trade agreements; advising the Secretary of Commerce and the Administration on a full range of IP policy matters, including in the areas of patent, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets; conducting empirical research on IP; and providing educational programs on the protection, use, and enforcement of IP.