In The News


Intellectual Property Litigator Gabrielle Higgins Moderates Discussion with PTO Director Michelle Lee

Practices: Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Litigation

Silicon Valley-based IP litigation partner Gabrielle Higgins moderated a discussion with Michelle Lee, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), at the ChIPs Women in Tech, Law and Policy Global Summit in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Higgins and Director Lee discussed the USPTO’s emphasis on quality patents and the impact of U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings.

“Those proceedings are proving … very popular, if you base popularity on the number of filings,” Director Lee said, according to The Recorder, Northern California’s legal news publication. “We’ve had 5,400 petitions filed to date, which is more than three times the number we expected.”

“We’ve heard a lot of stories about various entities who are taking patents and claims and trying to stretch them to cover products and industries that, perhaps, they were not meant to cover. So in my mind it is really incumbent on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to issue the very best quality patents possible,” Director Lee said, according to The Recorder. “We do so—and we should do so—because if we don’t do so, it creates a business uncertainty and cost.”

To learn more about Ropes & Gray’s PTAB experience, see Post-Grant Proceedings and an archive of videos.

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