Profiles in IP Law: An Interview with Judge James Smith, Chief Administrative Patent Judge, United States Patent and Trademark Office

Vol. 5 No. 2

By

Denise DeFranco is a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she has been representing companies in patent infringement litigation in both trial and appellate courts for two decades. She can be reached at denise.defranco@finnegan.com.

Chief Judge James Donald Smith was appointed to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences as the Chief Administrative Patent Judge effective May 2011. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the School of Law at Duke University and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Judge Smith has had a long career in the law and in intellectual property, including a brief time as an examiner at the USPTO. A former assistant dean of the law school at Emory University in Atlanta, Smith also served as a clerk at the Federal Circuit to the now-retired Chief Judge Paul Michel, as a patent litigator and patent prosecutor, and led international licensing and day-to-day management of in-house IP teams for three multinational corporations—Lexmark, Nokia, and most recently Baxter International, where he served as associate general counsel and chief intellectual property counsel.

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