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    Change In USPTO Representation At WIPO Could Reflect Shift In Priorities

    Published on 5 January 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    The sudden change in officials in charge of international policy at the United States Patent and Trademark Office could reflect shifting priorities at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

    Effective 9 January, Shira Perlmutter will take over as the USPTO’s Acting Administrator for Policy and External Affairs. She replaces Albert Tramposch, who will return to his previous position as Deputy Executive Director International and Regulatory Affairs at the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), starting 16 January.

    From the USPTO public affairs office: “Since April 2005, she has served as the Executive Vice President of Global Legal Policy for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. In that capacity she has been responsible for the development and international coordination of policy positions on IP and other legal issues outside the United States. Prior to that she served as a professor at Catholic University’s Law School (1990-95); Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress (1995-99); as a consultant on copyright and e-commerce for the World Intellectual Property Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland (1999-2000); and as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for IP Policy at Time-Warner, Inc., in New York City (2000-05).”

    Perlmutter has been a regular visitor to WIPO in her role with the London-based IFPI, particularly to meetings of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR).

    The change at USPTO from a patent expert to a copyright expert internationally might be said to reflect changing priorities at WIPO. Tramposch chaired the WIPO Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) in December, attempting to steer the committee toward progress on harmonisation of patent laws. After the meeting, Tramposch told Intellectual Property Watch that there was forward movement, but some other delegates were less certain as all issues were left for the next meeting (IPW, WIPO, 10 December 2011).

    The SCP also is seeing a rise in developing country proposals, such as related to public health, and limitation and exceptions. And despite the breakthrough of US patent law reform in September, developed country officials have been cautious about moving too quickly to restart harmonisation talks in the SCP.

    Meanwhile, the SCCR has been actively making progress in a number of areas, and is scheduled to negotiate a treaty on audiovisual performances in June, and possibly see breakthroughs on a broadcasting treaty and on limitations and exceptions. In addition, coming from the music industry, Perlmutter would be well-placed to work on another rising issue at WIPO: internet service provider liability or responsibility for infringing content carried on their networks.

    Perlmutter’s name came up informally in speculation about several past appointments, such as the US IP enforcement “czar”. In the US, copyright issues are generally handled out of the Copyright Office, within the Library of Congress.

    USPTO did not respond by deadline regarding the significance of the appointment of a copyright expert.

    Tramposch, for his part, has moved frequently in recent years. He has represented AIPLA, the European Union, and USPTO.

    “We are delighted that Al is rejoining the AIPLA, and commend him for generously dedicating a portion of his career to public service at the USPTO,” said AIPLA Executive Director Todd Dickinson, himself a former top official at USPTO. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Al’s talent and background returning to our Senior Staff, where he has proven himself to be a great asset to the Association and its members.”

    According to AIPLA, Tramposch will be “a senior advisor to the Executive Director, and have principal day-to-day responsibility for all international intellectual property and regulatory issues of concern to the Association.”

    Tramposch joined USPTO less than one year ago (IPW, US Policy, 1 February 2011). He had replaced the first Obama administration pick, Prof. Arti Rai of Duke University Law School, who returned to teaching.

    At USPTO, Tramposch served as a policy advisor to Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, and oversaw USPTO domestic and international IP policy-related operations, according to AIPLA. He earlier served as Director of Industrial Property Law at WIPO, where he headed the WIPO team for the Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Patent Law Treaty in 2000, and was responsible for the Standing Committee on Trademarks, the Standing Committee on Patents, and the Advisory Committee on Enforcement. Tramposch received an A.B. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, a J.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA, and is registered to practice before the USPTO.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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