April 26th, 2017
The buzz has the Hon. Michelle K. Lee about to leave the PTO. If this happens, until the naming and confirmation of a successor, the Acting Director would be the statutorily unqualified Mr. Anthony Scardino by virtue of his current position as Deputy Director.
Mr. Scardino is Statutorily unqualified to be Director: The patent law requires that “[t]he Director shall be a person who has a professional background and experience in patent or trademark law.” 35 USC § 3(a)(1). Mr. Scardino has neither a professional background nor experience in either patent or trademark law. As set forth in his official biography on the PTO website (included in the pdf version of this note), he “has a bachelor of art [sic] degree in political science *** and a Master of Public Administration degree *** [and] has recently attained his Certified Government Financial Management (CGFM) certification with the Association of Government Accountants.”
Patent Trial and Appeal Board Membership: Under 35 U.S.C. 6(a)(as more fully quoted in the PDF version of this note) “[t]he Director *** [and others] shall constitute the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The administrative patent judges shall be persons of competent legal knowledge and scientific ability * * *.”
The Many Positive Achievements of Mr. Scardino: To be sure, no one can question Mr. Scardino’s qualifications as a financial leader of the PTO. But, his achievements have nothing to do with the statutory requirements for the Office of Director.