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Armitage: “I am doing what I can” to keep Kappos at USPTO


Following an announcement that he will retire as Eli Lilly’s senior vice president and general counsel at the end of this year, Robert Armitage would not indicate whether he is interested in taking over as USPTO director, instead saying he is urging Kappos to stay on


Armitage has been a leading figure in patent law for over 30 years, and was actively involved in the creation and enactment of the AIA. He will be replaced by Michael Harrington, who has been promoted from vice president and deputy general counsel, global pharmaceutical operations at Eli Lilly, effective January 1 2013.

Although Armitage said he has not decided on next steps following his retirement, he is on the IP community’s list of potential Democratic party candidates to replace David Kappos as USPTO director. While Kappos may choose to stay on if President Barack Obama is re-elected, Managing IP sources have indicated he may want to leave.

When asked if he would consider the USPTO position, Armitage described Kappos as “a uniquely talented and able director”. He added: “I am doing what I can to urge him to continue in the role, to see many of the transformational changes in the USPTO to a successful conclusion.”

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