Kitisri Sukhapinda

IP Attaché for Southeast Asia

Kitisri Sukhapinda is the USPTO’s intellectual property (IP) attaché based in Bangkok, Thailand. She advises U.S. government personnel and national IP offices, and coordinates the USPTO’s activities in countries in Southeast Asia, including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Her responsibilities also include activities in Papua New Guinea, and Timor Leste.

Prior to arriving in Bangkok, Kitisri was an attorney-advisor in the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, where she played a role in formulating and implementing IP policy and advised other U.S. government agencies on both domestic and international IP issues. Her focus was in the areas of patents, plant variety protection, and technology transfer. Kitisri was part of the USPTO patent expert team advising the Office of the United States Trade Representative during several free trade agreement negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. She received a Department of Commerce Gold Medal for Leadership in 2016.

For 10 years, Kitisri was the United States Representative to the Council of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2012 to 2015, she served as president of the UPOV Council, and in 2015 received a gold medal from the organization in recognition of her service.

Prior to joining the USPTO, Kitisri practiced patent law in the private sector. Before receiving her law degree, she was a research scientist at a Fortune 500 company. Her areas of research included biotechnology, and she was named co-inventor in five U.S. patents and several foreign patents.

Kitisri received an M.S. and Ph.D. in plant breeding from Iowa State University, and a J.D. from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney 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.