USPTO welcomes Derrick Brent as Deputy Director
WASHINGTON — Gina M. Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and Kathi Vidal, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), today announced Derrick Brent as as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO (“Deputy Director”), effective August 1.
“I am delighted to welcome Derrick to the US Innovation Agency,” said Director Vidal. “Derrick’s broad and deep experience in intellectual property, politics, government and industry will serve the agency well. His work in the private and public sectors, working with a wide range of IP constituencies in different industries across the country, from Georgia to Ohio to California, and fighting for civil rights and the rights of people under -funded and underrepresented, will undoubtedly lift this agency to new heights. I am thrilled to partner with Derrick to scale innovation across our country and bring more to impact.
In his new role, Brent serves as Principal Advisor to Director Vidal, managing a broad portfolio of programs and operations for one of the largest intellectual property (IP) offices in the world, with over 13,000 staff and a budget. more than $4 billion annually. His responsibilities include working with Director Vidal to lead the USPTO, advancing intellectual property policy and procedures for the benefit of the country, expanding USPTO outreach efforts to further encourage and support innovation and national entrepreneurship, and execute agency policies, priorities and programs.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be asked to serve by Secretary Raimondo and Director Vidal,” Brent said. “I look forward to adding my hard work and skills to the dedicated team at the USPTO. Together, we will continue to advance and expand American innovation, across the country and around the world.
Brent’s career includes extensive work in public service and the private sector, including significant experience in intellectual property law and work to help startups as well as those who are underrepresented in the intellectual property community. . He served for six years as Chief Counsel to Senator Barbara Boxer, where he was responsible for an extensive portfolio including intellectual property and constitutional matters, civil rights, telecommunications and judicial appointments. During his time in the Senate, Brent was recognized as one of the most knowledgeable advisers on intellectual property and a respected authority on the America Invents Act of 2011 and other impactful legislative initiatives. He has worked closely with the intellectual property community in the senator’s home state of California and across the country, including former USPTO directors and experts, forging consensus as possible, bringing important issues to the attention of senior committee staff, researching and writing proposals, and advising and informing constituents.
Brent has served in all three branches of the federal government: executive, legislative and judicial. In addition to his work as Chief Counsel in the United States Senate, he served as Clerk for the Hon. Algenon L. Marbley, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. After practicing with the law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP in Ohio, he served for six years as a senior prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, where he received a special prize for his work.
Most recently, Brent has worked as a consultant, advising startups on a variety of intellectual property issues, operations, strategy, analytics and risk mitigation across many functional areas. Prior to joining the USPTO, he served on the management team of Cut Golf, a start-up golf equipment and apparel company. He provided critical advice, analysis and project management to founders on a variety of topics, including intellectual property, contracts, marketing/advertising, business development, design/performance analysis and supply chain management, resulting in continued sales and customer growth for award-winning products.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Brent worked for General Motors as an engineer in the Powertrain division. There he managed the engineering and commercial activities of several contract manufacturing facilities across the country. He was responsible for product design, new product validation, production processes and improvements, testing, inventory and budgets. He designed and implemented a warranty tracking system that dramatically improved quality and production.
Brent holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University and a Juris Doctorate from Northwestern University School of Law (now Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law).
Brent’s full biography is available on the USPTO website when he was sworn in on August 1.