National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006

October 16, 2014 

Contact: Tina Matsuoka
(202) 775-9555

WASHINGTON — Today, President Barak Obama announced his intent to nominate Michelle K. Lee as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If confirmed, Lee would be the first woman and person of color to lead the USPTO.

“This is a historic moment as we celebrate Michelle Lee’s nomination to the USPTO,” said William J. Simonitsch, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We congratulate Michelle on her well-deserved nomination, as she continues to break barriers in the legal and tech industries. And we applaud the Administration’s commitment to advancing more women of color into leadership roles.”

Lee has over twenty years of experience advising some of our country’s most innovative companies on intellectual property and other legal matters. She is the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO and current acting Director of the USPTO. Prior to that position, she served as USPTO Director of the Silicon Valley office. Lee also served as Google’s first Deputy General Counsel and Head of Patents and Patents Strategy.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and Masters of Science in computer science from MIT. She received her JD from Stanford Law School.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 70 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.