IP Offices Series: What Does it Take to Transform IP? Guest: Kathi Vidal, Director of USPTO

Published: April 28, 2023

Brand & New

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Kathi Vidal Director of USPTO USA

Most organizations around the globe have faced a significant number of challenges over the last couple of years. The same can be said for intellectual property (IP) offices. From the pandemic to financial market turmoil, through supply chain issues, increased cyberthreats, IP offices have navigated these hurdles and probably more, stretching their IT, budget, and organizational resources in unexpected ways. Yet, IP asset registrations have been soaring globally, and IP offices generally seem to have been riding those waves with success, often transforming challenges into opportunities to evolve to better meet the needs of creators, businesses, and the market.

Beyond their role as processors of IP applications and registrations or an inventory of registered assets, how do IPOs envision their mission in 2023? What sort of initiatives do they carry out to ensure they stay in tune with innovators, businesses big and small, and the market at large? How much of a transformative force can they be for the IP world?

Our guest today is Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)—America’s Innovation Agency. As the chief executive of the USPTO, Ms. Vidal leads one of the largest IP offices in the world, with more than 13,000 employees and an annual budget of more than US $4 billion. She is the principal IP advisor to the U.S. President and its administration through the Secretary of Commerce, and is focused on incentivizing and protecting U.S. innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Vidal was Managing Partner for the Silicon Valley office of the law firm Winston & Strawn, a position she held since 2017, representing both patent holders and defendants, both innovators and startup companies with limited resources, and some of the most successful and well-known companies, in U.S. courts and the International Trade Commission. She has also been deeply involved in practice before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), Federal Circuit appeals, and the Supreme Court.

Join Ms. Vidal for a fireside chat at INTA’s upcoming 2023 Annual Meeting Live+ in Singapore. This event takes place on Thursday, May 18, 12:45 pm–1:15 pm.

Thank you to Vaudra International for sponsoring this episode of Brand & New.


Related Resources

About Kathi Vidal

Jumpstart your career with LEAP! (Director’s Blog: the latest from USPTO leadership, November 1, 2022)

USPTO Ideas For Bolstering Robustness And Reliability Of Patents Demand Attention And Stakeholder Input (, October 31, 2022)

Where are U.S. women patentees? Assessing three decades of growth (USPTO – Office of the Chief Economist, October 2022)

Engagement, Collaboration, and Outreach: A Conversation with the USPTO’s Kathi Vidal (INTA Bulletin, February 8, 2023)

About Brand & New

Brand & New podcasts from the International Trademark Association

Host Audrey Dauvet discusses compelling business and legal topics relating to intellectual property, innovation, technology, and change with an international roster of influential experts and industry visionaries.

Brand & New guests contribute to this podcast in their personal capacity, and the opinions expressed (or experiences shared) are their own. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of INTA or our members.

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