Valencia Martin-Wallace has been promoted to a newly-created job at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — deputy commissioner for patent quality.
A few notes about Martin-Wallace:
- Most recent gig: assistant deputy commissioner for patent operations.
- Years worked at USPTO: more than two decades.
- Education: Bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Howard University, law degree from George Washington University School of Law and certificate in advanced public administration from Syracuse University’s public administration school.
So, what’s the new job? If it’s not obvious from the title, it involves managing patent quality work.
Martin-Wallace’s bio says she’s “responsible for sustaining the high quality of the USPTO’s patent examination processes and products by implementing and maintaining a comprehensive quality management system.”
Her boss, USPTO Deputy Director Michelle K. Lee (who’s been nominated to be director and is currently the most senior USPTO official since the director post has long been vacant.) said at The Brookings Institution on Thursday that the new position would “focus exclusively on patent quality efforts at the PTO.”
“I wanted one person whose one and only job it is to think day in and day out on how to improve patent quality at the PTO,” Lee said.
As an aside, if you’ll recall, Technocrat had a post earlier this week about a couple proponents of legislation targeting abusive patent litigation saying they were disappointed that there was no mention of such legislation in President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union speech.
Answering a reporter’s question about Obama not mentioning patent legislation in his speech, Lee said it wasn’t an indication that the issue was a lesser priority for the administration.
“For patents to get two mentions two years in a row would be fantastic,” but the President has “obviously many competing demands” on his time,” she said, adding that it doesn’t reflect a change in priorities.