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November 16, 2007

Part Of A Winning Team

An examiner at the USPTO commented about Margaret J.A. Peterlin, Deputy Director, "another Hill staffer that has been sent over here to manage the PTO. There has been some griping by examiners and SPEs about her qualifications and her abilities." Peterlin is a former lapdog for Illinois Republican Rep. Dennis Hastert, an erstwhile wrestling coach.

Mr. Anon Mole:

Back in October she hosted a management retreat for the SPEs [Supervisory Patent Examiner] and word has it that her public speaking skills leave something to be desired. One SPE stated that it was "Youtube bad." Another related that she read her speech from a piece of paper. Not that there is anything wrong with that but she failed to stop reading when she got to the end of her speech and read the "Take questions now" instruction at the bottom of the paper to the audience of managers.

Supposedly, she also tried to tell several anecdotes which failed to go over well. Some SPEs even felt insulted. The longest anecdote was about how she was assigned a project while she was in the Navy. As she was assigned to the Navy project at the tail end of it and the project was already an unmitigated disaster, there was nothing that she could do about it at such a late date. It totally and completely failed. However, it wasn't her fault as the project's fate had been set before she came on board.

She then tied that into her discussion of her potential 18-month stint at the PTO. SPEs weren't sure how to interpret her story. Was she saying that the agency was a disaster? Was she saying that there is nothing that she could do during her 18-month tenure, as the agency was beyond hope? Was she already distancing herself from future PTO disasters?

Posted by Patent Hawk at November 16, 2007 8:27 PM | The Patent Office


My first interaction with her as a practitioner was during the PTO webcast relating to the continuation and claim limitation rule changes. I remember she said all of two sentences during the presentation, and I knew then we were doomed. Not to knock southern culture, but who starts an official federal government speech with "y'alls?"

Posted by: Sampson at November 16, 2007 10:22 PM