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Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Confirmation of Michelle K. Lee as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
News Media Contact:
Office of Public Affairs, 202-482-4883

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statement on the confirmation of Michelle K. Lee as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Michelle K. Lee as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO),” said Secretary Pritzker. “She is the first woman to hold this position in the more than 200 year history of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

Michelle has been a key partner in implementing the innovation pillar of the Department's ‘Open for Business Agenda.’ Since taking the helm as Acting Director of the USPTO last year, Michelle has worked to reduce the backlog in patent applications, improve examination processes, and implement the post-grant review programs created by the 2011 America Invents Act to improve patent quality, making our patent system even stronger and easier to use. 

I look forward to continuing to work with Michelle to promote American innovation and protect and strengthen the intellectual property system that has served our country so well.”