In an op-ed for the Morning Consult, Shook Seattle Managing Partner Bart Eppenauer explains why “the next USPTO director will shape the future of America’s role in the world as a global leader and hub for innovation.” In Four Reasons Why Trump’s Pick for the Next USPTO Director Matters, Eppenauer points to four serious challenges that await the next director:
- The upsurge of inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board, whose proceedings have a high invalidity rate;
- The need to protect software and biotech innovations;
- The potential to influence patent reform measures, especially in light of the Supreme Court’s recent interest in IP cases; and
- Significant changes in U.S. trade policy that “could lead to disputes or a chilling of relationships with major trading partners.” Without a director possessing strong leadership and diplomatic skills, Eppenauer says, a reversal of sentiment in international relations could make it much more difficult for American innovators to protect their R&D efforts worldwide.