USPTO under Director Iancu: A new era for US patents | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice

USPTO under Director Iancu: A new era for US patents

SEMINAR 2 | Tokyo Back-to-Business Program Series 2018

While US patent attorneys generally expect the courts and the US Congress to create major shifts in patent practice and strategy, a new director at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is also usually an agent for change. The recent appointment of Andrei Iancu, an experienced patent litigator, as the USPTO's director in February 2018 is in line with past history, and his public statements already suggest that he is ready to lead a strong effort to strengthen patent rights in the United States.

In a policy speech in April, Iancu proclaimed that the USPTO would promote a pro-innovation, pro-patent rights dialogue, and that it would seek ways to increase the reliability of a patent grant. Areas targeted for reform include Section 101 (subject matter eligibility), PTAB procedures and IT modernization. Under Iancu, the USPTO has already modified Section 101 examination guidelines and issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to change the claim construction standard used in inter partes review (IPR) and post grant review (PGR) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Changes at the USPTO will of course extend beyond the patent office and affect intellectual property licensing and enforcement.

Our panel of White & Case patent attorneys will discuss how Iancu is promoting change in the US patent system and the substantive effect of these changes on patent practice.

We expect the changes will have a profound impact on strategies for prosecution, litigation, portfolio development and IP valuation.


Shamita Etienne-Cummings
Partner, White & Case, Washington, DC

David Tennant
Partner, White & Case, Washington, DC

Anita Varma
Partner, White & Case, Boston and London


David Albagli
Local Partner, White & Case, Tokyo


Wednesday, 19 September 2018
7:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast
8:00 a.m. Seminar
9:30 a.m. Conclusion


White & Case, Tokyo
Marunouchi Trust Tower Main
26th Floor, 1-8-3 Marunouchi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005


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Tokyo Back-to-Business Program Series 2018

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