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January 7, 2009

'Peter Principle' Poster Boy Moves On

USPTO Director Jon W. Dudas is rumored to be resigning. Since taking office in July 2004, Dudas has displayed unprecedented aptitude for infantile outbursts against PTO employees and patentees; instilling opacity in agency operations enviable to Soviet apparatchiks; astonishing duplicity in diminishing patent quality while paying lip service to it; illegal, albeit futile gestures in changing examination rules; slave-driving employees with counterproductive production goals at the expense of decent examination; bodacious benign neglect of patent pendency, a tacit admission that the PTO is a lousy place to work, and nothing to be done about that except frenzied hiring; and roiling the patent community into a state of nonplus. Dudas will be sorely missed by commentators needing blog fodder.

No identifiable management or patent experience qualified Dudas for the post. He had previously been a political step-and-fetch-it in the House.

Rumor-monger Dennis Crouch got the scoop. Professor Crouch also praised Director Dudas' accomplishments.

Posted by Patent Hawk at January 7, 2009 4:11 PM | The Patent Office


Posted by: NIPRA anonymous at January 8, 2009 7:28 AM

According to the above mentioned article:

"Under Secretary Dudas will be with the agency until the change in administration (Jan. 20). We are hosting a reception on Jan. 12 where employees will have the opportunity to say farewell to him, but he is not leaving that day. As a political appointee, his job ends on Jan. 20."

Even though Obama clearly won't have decided on Dudas' replacement by Jan. 20, Dudas will still leave the agency on that day. His temporary replacement will be John Doll, who took the job of acting deputy undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property and deputy director of the PTO, replacing Margaret Peterlin, in November. Doll, an agency veteran, is usually the patent commissioner, but he's being shuffled around a bit to fill in the empty seats.

Doll told me in November he's ready to fill in whenever necessary. He'll have all the power of an actual PTO chief, but will have to have the yet-to-be-named Commerce secretary sign off anything major. Some have said it could take up to a year for Obama to select a PTO chief. Patent watchers sincerely hope that's not the case.

With Doll as a temporary replacement, there should be plenty of blog fodder for a while longer.

Thanks to NIPRA anonymous and Liza Porteus Viana for the clarification.

Posted by: Mr. Platinum at January 8, 2009 6:36 PM