The Obama Administration recently nominated former Google patent counsel lead Michelle Lee to be the new director of the Patent and Trademark Office. The position has been vacant for nearly two years and Lee who has been occupying her time as the current deputy director of the USPTO is now pending Senate approval. The government has been working to reform the US patent process, which has been flooded with firms known as “patent trolls” that milk the system by purchasing old patents and filing frivolous lawsuits against other businesses.
Lee holds degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT and if appointed she’ll be tasked with resolving this ongoing issue, as well as clearing a backlog of around 600,000 applications. The US Patent and Trademark Office hasn’t had a permanent director since the departure of David Kappos who stepped down from the position in January 2013.