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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Takes Key Step to Address Patent and Trademark Office Challenges

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Takes Key Step to Address Patent and Trademark Office Challenges

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the appointment of former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) official and long-time patent professional Nicholas Godici to look at ways to strengthen the management structure of the USPTO and provide an up-to-date assessment of the challenges the office faces. Godici, hired by current Acting Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director John Doll at Locke’s request, will work with USPTO officials to identify areas of concern and to assist in the transition to a new director. He will serve as a consultant for a period of up to 180 days.

President Obama nominated David Kappos, a patent professional with more than 20 years of experience, to be the next USPTO director on June 18.

“I’m counting on Nick to use his decades of experience to help us strengthen the management of the USPTO and identify the areas most in need of attention by the new director,” Locke said.

Nicholas Godici
Nicholas P. Godici worked at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for 33 years. He began as a patent examiner and eventually rose through the ranks to become Commissioner for Patents from 2000-2005. In that capacity, he was responsible for managing all aspects of the patent business organization. From January-December 2001, he also served as the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO. He represented the United States in several international negotiations involving intellectual property issues and agreements with other countries.

Godici currently serves as an executive advisor with the intellectual property law firm Birch, Stewart, Kolasch and Birch, where he specializes in intellectual property consulting.

Godici received his bachelor’s degree in engineering mechanics in from Penn State University and his certificate of advanced public management from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.