As one of two U.S. intellectual property (IP) attachés assigned to South America, David Kellis is the Rio de Janeiro-based principal officer on matters related to the protection and enforcement of IP rights within U.S. embassies and consulates throughout Argentina, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. His duties include advocating for the U.S. IP interests abroad by promoting high standards of IP protection and enforcement in the region; assisting U.S. companies; advising U.S. government officials on IP matters; educating foreign government officials, students, entrepreneurs, and business representatives on IP matters; and conducting public awareness programs.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Kellis was a shareholder at Sheridan Ross PC and Cooley LLP in the Denver, Colorado, area. His practice involved working with clients to build and manage global patent portfolios, counseling clients regarding IP issues, drafting and negotiating IP-related agreements, and representing clients in all phases of litigation. Mr. Kellis also taught patent law as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Law School.
Mr. Kellis graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was the senior editor of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he clerked for the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Mr. Kellis holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University and a master’s in business from the University of Colorado–Boulder. After his first year of college, Mr. Kellis spent two years working in São Paulo, Brazil, as a volunteer missionary for his church.
About the USPTO and the Office of Policy and International Affairs
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 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 USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs 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.