On Monday, The Senate voted unanimously to approve President Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Andrei Iancu.
Iancu’s vote encountered no pushback from Democrats, although some voiced opposition last October about another Trump tech nominee, Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission Chairman who voted to repeal net neutrality because he doesn’t care about what the large majority of Americans want.
Iancu’s confirmation hearing and a Senate Judiciary vote regarding his nomination last year went smoothly too.
Iancu is currently an intellectual property lawyer at Irell & Manella, which once defended Donald Trump, Mark Burnett Productions and NBC Universal in a civil case involving copyright claims for the reality TV show “The Apprentice.”
At Irell & Manella, Iancu primarily focused on intellectual property litigation but also went into patent and trademark prosecution, licensing and due diligence. His work has led to settlements worth over $1.6 billion being paid to TiVo in patent cases versus EchoStar, AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, Motorola and Cisco.
The Patent Office has now been without a permanent head since Barack Obama’s appointee Michelle Lee resigned in 2017 after lobbying to stay in the role in spite of the administration change. Technology firms such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, companies where Lee had previously worked, backed her attempt to remain as chief of USPTO.