Patent Riffs: Speculation and Commentary on Trump’s IP Policies

I will be attending IAM’s Patent Law and Policy Conference on November 15, 2016–anxiously awaiting insight into the next administration’s IP and patent policies.

First chance to look at the Trump presidency’s approach to patents next week in Washington DC | IAM "There is a big decision to make about the next Director of the USPTO. Both the current incumbent Michelle Lee and her deputy Russell Slifer are political appointments made by the Obama administration, and so can be expected to depart along with him or even before. If that is the case, then it is likely to fall to the non-politically appointed Commissioner of Patents, Drew Hirshfield to serve as acting Director while the Trump administration identifies and then vets potential full-time replacements for Lee and Slifer. David Kappos did not become USPTO Director until August 2009, seven months after President Obama was inaugurated, but it may be that the delay is even longer under the new administration. If so, Hirshfield will be the one making the big calls for a fair amount of time."

The Next Unknown in Intellectual Property: President Trump | Morning Consult
"The new political structure in Washington will undoubtedly inject another element of uncertainty and inconsistency. For now, we’re left with open-ended questions answered by open speculation. Given Trump’s interest in trade and competition concerns with China, would this mean a more aggressive posture on patent eligibility within the U.S. IP system to protect America’s inventors? Or would this lead to a clash that he doesn’t want to have? Does the Trump appointee to the Supreme Court mean an IP friendly judge? Once the empty seat is filled, will the Supreme Court continue to prioritize patent cases like it has in recent years?"

Intellectual Property Under President Trump | Managing Intellectual Property
"Given the nationalistic tones of much of Trump’s campaign, IP owners can only hope that he will work with – not just against – China and other countries to promote improved cyber security domestically and internationally."

Trump Silent on Patent Law, but PTO Leadership Change Coming | Bloomberg BNA
"One possibility is Philip S. Johnson, a pharmaceutical industry patent attorney who serves as Johnson & Johnson’s vice president of intellectual property policy and strategy, one patent stakeholder said. President Barack Obama considered Johnson at one point but backed off in the face of opposition from the high-tech community."

President Trump and the Patent Office | PATENTLYO
"Trump has substantial personal experience protecting and enforcing his own trademarks, including attempts to protect more controversial marks such as ‘you’re fired.’ However his businesses have few if any patent rights and have relied on the perception of luxury rather than innovation for their successes."

What Would Eliminating Chevron Deference mean for Patent Law | PATENTLYO
"Now pending before the Senate is the “Separation of Powers Restoration Act of 2016” sponsored by Senators Hatch, Grassley, and Lee…The one-page bill simply adds the words ‘de novo’ into the Administrative Procedure Act Section 706 – the section that provides for the scope of review of an agency action."

Pence, Conservative Views on Patents Likely to Influence Trump | IPWatchdog
"Ken Blackwell is currently head of Trump’s transition team for domestic issues, but this would not include the Commerce Department, which has been carved out for Dallas investor Ray Washburne. Blackwell has written about the virtues of strong patent rights and pleaded with Republicans not to rush forward a flawed patent reform agenda."