By Christopher P. Singer --
In a January 15, 2010 press release, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced three new members to the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and two new members to the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC), as named by Commerce Secretary Locke. The Public Advisory Committees for the USPTO, which were created by statute in the AIPA, review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, and advise the Director on those matters. The committees are comprised of U.S. citizens who are selected to represent the interests of the diverse users of the USPTO. Each committee consists of nine voting members who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce and who serve three-year terms. The new members of the Patent Public Advisory Committee are:
Dr. Benjamin Borson is the founder of Borson Law Group, PC where he advises small, mid-sized, and large clients in developing business-based IP strategies in the life sciences and high technology industries. He has been an IP professional for 15 years and is a frequent author and speaker on IP law. Dr. Borson has been active in organizing discussions and meetings regarding science and law, including symposia highlighting USPTO Technology Center 1600 practices and procedures through the San Francisco area BioScience Forum which he founded and has previously served as its president. He is the current chairman of the Legislation Committee of the IP Section of the California State Bar and is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Intellectual Property Section of the California State Bar. According to his resume, Dr. Borson earned his Ph.D. in physiology at the University of California, San Francisco and his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Prior to exploring law, he worked at UCSF as a researcher and adjunct lecturer, and was later a visiting scientist with Genentech. Dr. Borson has published over seventy scientific articles, including reviews, book chapters, and research articles and owns two patents. He has also published over twenty publications in legal periodicals and has presented a number of lectures on legal matters to legal, academic, and industrial organizations. During his legal practice, Dr. Borson worked in a wide array of technologies including biotechnology, chemistry, pharmaceutical, semi-conductor, electronic compression technology, medical, analytical instrumentation, and bioinformatics fields.
Steven W. Miller is Vice President and General Counsel-Intellectual Property for Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio and has worked in various positions in within the I.P. section of its law department since he started in 1984. Mr. Miller received his degrees (B.S. and J.D.) from The Ohio State University. He is affiliated with number organizations, including serving as a member of the Executive Committee for the Association of Corporate Patent Counsels, the Steering Committee for the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform and the Board of Directors for the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is a past president and serves as a Board of Directors member for the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the Intellectual Property Owners Association Education Foundation.
Esther Kepplinger is the director of patent operations and serves as the liaison to the USPTO for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, PC according to her profile page. Prior to joining the firm in 2005, she served as deputy commissioner for patent operations in the USPTO where she oversaw the nation's patent-examination process, with all the patent examiners in the United States reporting to her. Ms. Kepplinger managed a budget of $700 million and approximately 4,500 people. During her service as deputy commissioner, the number of filed patent applications increased to more than 350,000 and the Office granted about 170,000 patents. She helped to establish the policies and strategic direction of the patent examining corps, implement the PTO's goals for improving quality and efficiency of service. She began working for the USPTO in 1973 and held a variety of positions within the Office, including patent examiner and supervisor in a biotechnology art unit and group director for the chemical and materials engineering group. While at the USPTO, Ms. Kepplinger received a number of awards, including the Presidential Rank Award in 2002 and the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 1998 and 2004. She is active in the AIPLA where she serves as the vice chair of the Patent Agents Committee and is a member of the Special Committee on Legislation. She holds a certificate in Advanced Public Management from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Damon Matteo is the Vice President and chief intellectual property officer of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Prior to joining PARC, he managed Hewlett-Packard's licensing organization. Secretary Locke appointed Mr. Matteo to serve as chairman of PPAC for a three-year term. He has spent over two decades deeply involved in intellectual capital management (ICM) and has extensive experience in the creation, strategic management, venture/funding, and commercialization of corporate intellectual property assets. Mr. Matteo has received a variety of professional awards, including: being named one of the "Fifty Most Influential People in Intellectual Property"; the National Technology Transfer Excellence Award; the R&D 100 Award; and Senior Distinguished Fellow with the Center for Advanced Technology. Mr. Matteo also serves on the Board of Directors for the European Center for Intellectual Property Studies, and was selected principal industry expert in intellectual capital for both the U.S. Security & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the United Nations.
The next PPAC meeting is currently scheduled for February 11, 2010, with the time and location yet to be determined.