As the tenure of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director David Kappos comes to an end this week, patent community pundits have been attempting to summarize the events and determine the legacy of his three-and-a-half-year run. Kappos was gracious enough to sit down with two leading publications to offer his own take as well.
In his interview with Managing IP Magazine, columnist Eileen McDermott was struck by Kappos' single-minded dedication in drive. Under his oversight, the USPTO became a top-five performer among all federal agencies, consistently reduced its pending applications backlog and passed some of the most meaningful legislative reforms in nearly half a century. His tireless focus was further demonstrated by the fact that Kappos could not even project what his city of residence, nevermind vocation, might be next month.
These sentiments were echoed in a separate interview with IP Watchdog founder Gene Quinn, where Kappos could only coyly suggest that he is "not a take-a-vacation kinda guy." The outgoing USPTO director was a bit more forthcoming when it came to advice he might have for his successor.
"One of the most important things you can do is to get to know and listen to employees directly so you get unfiltered information about exactly what's going on and what you need to do to help," Kappos told Quinn.
On a more specific level, Kappos also spoke to the importance of strengthening relationships with all sides of the technology community, particularly as software patents continue to present several thorny issues for inventors and regulators.