John Cabeca is the U.S. intellectual property (IP) counselor for South Asia, serving Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Working through the U.S. embassy in Delhi, India, Mr. Cabeca is the principal officer within the U.S. embassies and consulates throughout South Asia on matters related to the protection and enforcement of IP rights. His duties include assisting U.S. companies doing business in the region; advocating for effective IP policies; advising ambassadors and other U.S. government officials on foreign governments’ IP practices; educating foreign government officials, students, entrepreneurs, startups, and business representatives on the IP landscape; and conducting public awareness programs to support a strong and vibrant IP system globally.
Mr. Cabeca has more than 30 years of experience working at the USPTO. Prior to assuming his role as IP attaché, he served as the regional director for the Silicon Valley USPTO in San Jose, California, establishing the office and relentlessly advocating for the needs of IP stakeholders. In 2020, he received an honorable commendation from the City of San Jose for his leadership and service to the diverse and innovative region responsible for more than 37% of domestic patent applications and 28% of trademark registrations annually.
Prior to that, Mr. Cabeca held a number of other mission-critical roles throughout the USPTO and the federal government, including in the USPTO’s Office of Governmental Affairs, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of Petitions and Special Programs, and Office of the Under Secretary. In 2008, he was appointed to the federal Senior Executive Service, initially serving as a director of the patent examination unit responsible for semiconductors, optics, and electrical systems technologies. He also served on special assignment to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, where he worked on international IP rights and enforcement priorities.
Mr. Cabeca has been a frequent presenter and lecturer, speaking to industry sectors, academic institutions, and professional and entrepreneurial communities on a wide range of domestic and international IP rights matters. In 2019, he was recognized by the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for his leadership role as chair of the San Francisco Federal Executive Board and for his service to the nearly 50,000 federal employees working in over 450 agencies and offices across northern California.
Mr. Cabeca is a graduate of Widener University, with a bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering. He is also an advisory board member emeritus for the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law.
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 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 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.