Very long, very interesting comment thread on Volokh about the suit regarding Deputy Director Peterlin’s qualifications to be Deputy Director of the PTO. Background here.
One comment: The point is made that the statute requires a background in either trademark or patent law. Does anyone know the thinking that went into this clause? It’s ok to be half inepxerienced but not totally inexperienced? Or was the thinking that the Deputy Director would be a specialist in one field, and the Director the specialist in the other?
A point made on the thread was that Director Bruce Lehman, appointed by Clinton, had a copyright background, not patent or trademark, and this is correct. Lehman was followed in 1998 by Q. Todd Dickinson, who practiced both patent and trademark law, who was followed in 2000 by Jim Rogan, who, as a congressman, was a manager of Clinton’s impeachment trial, who was followed by the current Director, Jon Dudas, who served six years as Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, and Staff Director and Deputy General Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee.
I asked an Administrative Law professor who might have standing in a suit challenging whether the Director abused discretion in selecting the Deputy Director, and he responded (off the cuff): “someone challenging a decision made by the Deputy Director” and then wondered whether there are such people.