Senate Testimony: Michelle Lee, Nominee for Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

Michelle K. Lee

Michelle K. Lee

Michelle K. Lee:

"…[W]here I grew up were engineers, innovators in the truest sense of the word. It was not uncommon for them to work for companies founded by a person with a clever invention, who patented that invention, and who obtained venture capital funding to start a company to bring the technology to the marketplace. 

I understand and appreciate, from a business perspective, the important value and uses of intellectual property for innovators and to our economy. 

I believe that our intellectual property laws and the USPTO play a critical role in advancing American technological competitiveness which is so necessary for our nation’s continued economic success. 

The patent landscape we’re living in is extremely dynamic…[it] all needs to be taken into account as we carefully and cautiously determine what additional changes need to occur. Changes can occur through any number of channels—judicially, legislatively or administratively, patent office or FTC…if confirmed I look forward to working with all stakeholders and members of Congress to strike that balanced meaningful reform. 

I don’t think it’s productive to definite ‘patent troll’, different people have different definitions of ‘patent troll.’ I think the important thing is to focus on abusive behavior and work together to find out what we can do to curtail abusive behavior."

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