Eppenauer Reviews Challenges That Await Trump’s Pick for USPTO Director

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. 
Eppenauer concludes, “American innovation is the key driver of U.S. competitiveness. Thoughtful and diligent selection of an IP professional as the next USPTO director will provide the best opportunity to build on the USPTO’s world-class track record of success.”