WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Russell Slifer will now fill the role of deputy under secretary for commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Slifer takes over for Michelle K. Lee, who was confirmed as under secretary for commerce for intellectual property and director of the PTO by the U.S. Senate earlier this month.


Slifer assumed his new role last week.

He previously served as the director of the PTO’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver, which opened in 2014.


“Russell has an impressive track record of success across several disciplines and will be a tremendous asset to the USPTO,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said last week.


“His leadership will be instrumental in the USPTO’s efforts to foster economic growth and promote American innovation by reducing the patent application backlog and enhancing patent and trademark quality.”


Slifer has practiced intellectual property law for the last 20 years.


Prior to serving as the head of the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, he spent eight years as chief patent counsel for Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho. He also was a design engineer for Honeywell. In addition, he spent more than nine years in private practice in Minnesota, helping individual inventors, universities and Fortune 100 companies build patent portfolios.


“Russ has proven tremendously successful at launching the USPTO’s Rocky Mountain regional operations and building a solid foundation from which that office is primed to continue serving the unique needs of the regional innovation community,” Lee said.


Slifer said he looks forward to bringing his experience as the head of the Denver office and the area’s “unique perspective” to his new position.


According to a news release, the PTO plans to name an interim director for the Denver office soon, and is working “swiftly” to appoint a new director.


From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at patents@legalnewsline.com.

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