Russell Slifer revealed as USPTO deputy director
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Russell Slifer revealed as USPTO deputy director

Russell Slifer has been appointed deputy under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the USPTO


Slifer was previously director of the USPTO's Rocky Mountain regional office in Denver, Colorado. The office opened in June last year.

He began his new role at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia on March 25.

Slifer has practiced intellectual property law for 20 years. He spent eight years as chief patent counsel for Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho. He also was a design engineer for Honeywell and spent more than nine years in private practice in Minnesota.

The USPTO plans to name an interim director for the Denver office soon, and said it “will work swiftly to appoint a new director”.

The appointment marks the first time that the USPTO has had a director and deputy director in place for more than two years.

After David Kappos left the USPTO in January 2013, deputy director Teresa Rea also acted as director. When Rea left the Office in November 2013, Michelle Lee was appointed deputy director. Lee was nominated for director in October last year, and was eventually confirmed earlier this month (she gave her first speech as sworn-in director at Managing IP’s US Patent Forum on March 18).

The American Intellectual Property Law Association noted that Slifer’s appointment meant the USPTO continues its progress in finalising the leadership team. "With a full complement of leaders in place, we are encouraged that the office will have the resources and leadership required to find the right balance of interests for the public and the agency's diverse array of stakeholders,” commented AIPLA Executive Director Lisa Jorgenson.


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