White House nominates former Google executive Lee to lead U.S. patent office

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 16, 2014 5:24 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Thursday nominated Michelle Lee to be director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which the former executive with Internet giant Google Inc has led on an acting basis since January.

The USPTO, which employs about 12,000 people, has long been under fire for taking more than two years to consider many patent applications, and currently has a backlog of over 600,000 submissions.

Lee, who founded and headed the U.S. patent office's Silicon Valley outpost, is a former deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy at Google.

The USPTO has been without a permanent director since David Kappos, a former IBM Corp executive, left in February 2013.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by Ros Krasny)