Yesterday, Kathi Vidal was officially nominated by the President as the next Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Vidal currently practices in Silicon Valley and has extensive patent litigation experience. If her nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Vidal will only be the third woman to lead the USPTO. Vidal’s nomination comes noticeably later than those made by other recent U.S. Presidents, and Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld has been performing the Director’s duties on a temporary basis since former Director Andrei Iancu’s resignation in January 2021. However, the Senate is not expected to vote for at least a few months on whether to confirm Vidal.
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