Saturday, October 25, 2014

On government involvement in patent acquisition

An op-ed in the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal-Star by a former Novartis employee includes the text:

Patent trolling has proven so profitable that it has lured foreign governments into the field. China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea all have created their own companies that exist for the sole purpose of obtaining patents and suing companies over them. These companies are more dangerous than regular Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), which is what patent trolling companies are called, because they have the financial backing of foreign governments. Their resources are virtually unlimited.

The Chinese Government’s troll is probably the most ominous threat. China is known for its lack of respect for intellectual property rights. In April 2014, the United States Trade Representative included China in its list of 10 “Priority Watch List” countries, which threaten innovation and creativity through their abuse of intellectual property rights. Portentously it was in April of this year that China also launched its government controlled troll, which they are calling Ruichuan IPR Funds. If China were able to make it on this list of the 10 most concerning offenders before their government got into patent trolling, just imagine of what they are capable now?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Apple after jury verdict: GPNE is nothing more than a “patent troll”

Bloomberg reported on Apple after a jury verdict against GPNE:

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, said in an e-mail after the verdict that GPNE is nothing more than a “patent troll” attempting to “extort money from Apple for 20-year-old pager patents that have expired, wasting time for everyone involved.”

“Patent troll” is an often-derisive term referring to firms that acquire patents for the purpose of demanding high royalties or winning settlements from established manufacturers. Such firms have been the target of intense lobbying in Washington by technology companies looking for the fastest and cheapest way to dispose of such cases.

Lex Machina, related to Mark Lemley, was referenced for a report on patent litigation:

Of the 6,092 patent-infringement suits filed nationwide, a 12 percent increase over the previous year, 10 companies -- all patent monetization entities or, more pejoratively labeled, patent trolls -— were responsible for almost 13 percent,

Michelle Lee speaks to AIPLA on Oct. 23 about unified patent classification system

The Bloomberg post Patent Offices Seek to Plug Global System's Black Holes contains several patent news items, including the goal of unifying patent classification systems among the world's patent offices. Michelle Lee, now nominated as the permanent director of the USPTO, was quoted:

“That should make patent examination both faster and better, supporting our focus on patent quality,” Michelle Lee, the deputy director of the U.S. patent office, said in prepared remarks delivered today [Oct. 23] to the American Intellectual Property Law Association [AIPLA] conference in Washington

The post also mentioned Google translate:

A program developed by Google Inc. (GOOG) helps translate documents from 32 languages to determine if an idea is actually new, eliminating what could be “black holes in the system,” Battistelli said. As many as 20,000 translation requests are being made each day, mostly between English and Chinese or English and German, he said.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halo Electronics loses appeal at the CAFC; the Federal Circuit analyzes the meaning of a sale.

In HALO ELECTRONICS, INC. v. PULSE ELECTRONICS, INC. , the CAFC affirmed decisions of D. Nevada against the appeal of Halo.

There are issues of on-sale, willful infringement, and limitations from the claim preamble.

Of products sold by Pulse, the defendant in this case, patentee Halo argued:

Halo argues that the district court erred in
granting summary judgment of no direct infringement with respect
to products that Pulse delivered abroad. Halo contends
that those products were sold and offered for sale within
the United States because negotiations
and contracting activities occurred
within the United States, (...)

The CAFC noted

We agree with Pulse that the district court did not err
in granting summary judgment of no direct infringement
with respect to those products that Pulse manufactured,
shipped, and delivered outside the United States
because those products were neither sold nor offered for sale by
Pulse within the United States

Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp., 550 U.S. 437, 441 (2007)
(“It is the general rule under United States patent law that no infringement
occurs when a patented product is made and sold in
another country.”).

And Deepsouth is invoked

Any doubt as to whether
Pulse’s contracting activities
in the United States constituted a sale
within the United States under § 271(a) is
resolved by the presumption
against extraterritorial application of
United States laws.
“The presumption that United States law governs domes-
tically but does not rule the world applies
with particular force in patent law.”
Microsoft , 550 U.S. at 454 -55.
As the Supreme Court has stated
on multiple occasions,
“[o]ur patent system makes no claim to extraterritorial
effect; these acts of Congress do not, and were not intended to, operate beyond
the limits of the United States, and
we correspondingly reject the claims of others to such
control over our markets.” Id. at
444 (quoting Deepsouth
Packing Co. v. Laitram Corp., 406 U.S. 518, 531 (1972)

Of alleged willfulness by Pulse:

Halo also contends that after
Pulse received Halo’s notice letters
in 2002, the Pulse engineer
only performed a cursory review of the Halo
patents and Pulse did not rely on that
analysis to assess whether it was infringing a valid patent.
Halo asserts that the court erred in holding that
the objective prong was not met simply
because Pulse raised a non-frivolous
obviousness defense

Pulse presented evidence that the prior art
disclosed each element of the asserted claims,
that itwould have been predictable to combine and
modify the prior art to create the claimed electronic packages
, and that there were differences between the prior art consid-
ered by the PTO and the prior art introduced at trial.
See Halo , 2013 WL 2319145, at *15 (summarizing evidence
presented by Pulse on obviousness).

CAFC discusses 28 U.S.C. § 1498(a) in IRIS v. Japan Airlines; JAL wins dismissal of infringement complaint

The outcome of IRIS v. Japan Airlines

IRIS Corporation brought suit in district court, alleg-
ing that Japan Airlines Corporation
committed patent infringement by examining the electronic passports of its
passengers within the United States.
Because the alleg-
edly infringing acts were carried out “for the United
States ” under 28 U.S.C. §
1498(a), we affirm the district
court’s decision to dismiss IRIS’s complaint.

The patent in question relates to security

IRIS owns U.S. Patent No. 6,111,506 (the ’506 pa-
tent), titled “Method of Making an Improved Security
Identification Document Including Contactless Communi-
cation Insert Unit.”
The ’506 patent discloses methods for making
a secure identification document containing
an embedded computer chip that stores
biographical or biometric data.
’506 patent col. 20 ll. 11 – 64.

Japan Airlines argued 1498(a):

Among other things, JAL argued that federal laws requir-
ing the examination of passports conflict with
the patent laws and therefore exempt JAL from infringement liabil-
ity. It also argued that IRIS’s exclusive
remedy is an action against the United States under 28 U.S.C. § 1498(a)

Of 1498(a):

The statute further clarifies that
an accused activity is “for the United
States” if two requirements are met:

(1) it is conducted “for the Government,”and
(2) it is conducted “with the
authorization or consent of the Government.”
accord Advanced Software Design Co. v. Fed. Reserve
Bank of St.Louis, 583 F.3d 1371, 137 5–76 (Fed. Cir. 2009).

Footnote 1 addresses 271(g):

When the district court ruled on JAL’s motion to
dismiss, the law strongly suggested that alleged acts of
infringement under §271(g) fell outside the scope of §1498(a).
See , e.g. , NTP, Inc. v. Research in Motion, Ltd.,
418 F.3d 1282, 1316 (Fed. Cir. 2005);
Zoltek Corp. v. United States
, 51 Fed. Cl. 829, 838 (2002). Relying on those
suggestions, the district court concluded that § 1498(a) did not
apply in this case. We have subsequent-
ly ruled, however, that §1498(a) does
encompass alleged acts of infringement under § 271(g).
Zoltek Corp. v.United States, 672 F.3d 1309, 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (en

Madey v. Duke University is cited:

To qualify, the alleged use or manufacture
must also be done “for the benefit of the government.”
Advanced Software, 583 F.3d at 1378;
see also Madey v. Duke Univ., 413 F. Supp. 2d 601, 607
(M.D.N.C. 2006)(“A use is ‘for the Government’if it is‘
in furtherance and fulfillment of a stated Government policy’
which serves the Government ’s interests and which is ‘for the Govern-
ment’ s benefit.’

Oral argument is cited:

Oral Argument at 16: 52–17: 26,
IRIS Corp. v. Japan Airlines Corp.,
No. 2010-1051 (Fed. Cir.Sept.8, 2014),
available at
(Counsel for the United States as amicus curiae : “
If [JAL] weren’t doing this, [the government]
would have to do it.
We have to know who is going in and
out of our country.. .. So this is a uniquely governmental
function that we’re talking about here.”).

Of the Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy research program

Concerning the use of plants to produce biodiesel:

A Kansas State University biochemist is improving biofuels with a promising crop: Camelina sativa. The research may help boost rural economies and provide farmers with a value-added product.

Timothy Durrett, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, is part of collaborative team that has received a four-year $1.5 million joint U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy grant. The project, led by Colorado State University, was one of 10 projects funded this year as part of the federal Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy research program.

Durrett and collaborators are developing Camelina sativa as a biodiesel crop for the Great Plains. Camelina, a nonfood oilseed crop, can be a valuable biofuel crop because it can grow on poorer quality farmland and needs little irrigation and fertilizer. It also can be rotated with wheat, Durrett said.

"Camelina could give farmers an extra biofuel crop that wouldn't be competing with food production," Durrett said. "This research can add value to the local agricultural economy by creating an additional crop that could fit in with the crop rotation."


Sunday, October 19, 2014

DNJ: Zydus Pharmaceuticals's ANDA to sell a version of Prevacid does not infringe on Takeda’s patents

No infringement of Takeda patent

There had been an issue about the claim element: “fine granules having an average particle diameter of 400 microns or less.”

Foley had discussed the CAFC decision:

The Federal Circuit first noted that “the claim language [at issue] is not qualified by the word ‘about’ or any other indicator of imprecision,” even though the hardness strength is recited as “about 1 to about 20 kg.”

Turning to the specification, the Federal Circuit noted:

The specification explains that conventional granules of that size “produce a feeling of roughness in the mouth”—one of the very problems the claimed invention purports to solve. …. That clear dividing line between the “fine” granules of 400 μm or less (which avoid a feeling of roughness in the mouth) and “conventional” granules of 400 μm or more (which do not) disappears if the “fine granules” are construed as incorporating a 10% deviation. Thus, there can be little doubt that the narrower construction “most naturally aligns with the patent’s description of the invention.”

Takeda pointed to passages in the specification that refer to a particle size of “about 400 μm or less,” but the Federal Circuit found that those same passages indicate that a smaller particle size is desired.

In the present invention, “fine granules having an average particle diameter of 400 μm or less … have an average particle diameter of about 400 μm or less, in order that roughness is not felt in the mouth. Preferably, the average particle diameter of the fine granules is 300 to 400 μm.

[T]he average particle a [sic] diameter of the included granules must be about 400 μm or less, preferably about 350 μm.

The “fine granules” have an average particle diameter of about 400 μm or less, preferably 350 μm or less. Preferably; the average particle diameter of the fine granules is 300 to 400 μm.

Overall, the Federal Circuit found that “[n]owhere does the specification suggest that an average particle size greater than 400 μm (even within 10% of that figure) could achieve the inventive result of avoiding a feeling of roughness in the mouth.”

Bloomberg post: "a strong preference by the Supreme Court to tell the Federal Circuit that it should stop thinking of itself as Lord of the Patents"

The Bloomberg post Ready for a Patented Supreme Court Smackdown? echos the conventional wisdom that the Supreme Court took Teva v. Sandoz to take the CAFC behind the woodshed:

Last year’s patent decisions revealed a strong preference by the Supreme Court to tell the Federal Circuit that it should stop thinking of itself as Lord of the Patents, and that "supreme” means just what it sounds like. Look for the court to continue pushing that message this year. The Federal Circuit may be special -- but the Supreme Court is more special. Just ask the justices.

The Bloomberg post acknowledges that Teva is destined for a loss

Oddly, none of this may help Teva: The solicitor general's office has also advised the Supreme Court justices that the appeals court’s ultimate decision was based more on its interpretation of the law that its non-deferential determination of the facts, and thus that their intervention may make no practical difference. The solicitor general clearly knows the court’s main interest is not to resolve the case in favor of Teva, but to show the Federal Circuit who’s boss -- a result the solicitor general is willing to embrace.

Teva v. Sandoz is about indefiniteness of a claim term not defined in the specification, and thus how one of ordinary skill in the art would contrue said term. That is what Teva's expert spoke to. That was the legal issue.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The relative value of patents compared to journal publications?

From the post Scientists Share What They Really Think Of Lockheed Martin's Fusion "Breakthrough"

Although Lockheed Martin issued a press release saying it had several pending patents for its approach, the company has yet to publish any scientific papers on this latest work.

"It's really great that Lockheed has taken an interest in this important challenge of providing carbon-free energy to the world," Michael Zarnstorff, deputy director for research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, told Business Insider in an email. "We haven't seen any results from the Lockheed experiments but the design is an interesting concept and it looks like they are at a very early stage of exploring this configuration."

More Teva v. Sandoz: what factual issue?

The underlying legal issue in Teva v. Sandoz is "how" one of ordinary skill in the art would have construed the term molecular weight when said term was not defined in the specification. The Teva expert rendered an opinion, which was directed to this legal issue. Should that opinion of an expert directed to the determinative legal issue be considered a factual issue?

A commenter on PatentlyO cites to a PatentDocs post from July 29, 2013 for the text

The Appellants challenged the lower court’s determination that “molecular weight” could be defined, because one of skill in the art would not understand which measurement (Mp, Mw, Mn, or something else) should be used. The specification of the patents-in-suit was silent as to which measurement was appropriate, other than to describe the use of SEC (which can be used to obtain all three values). Statements made in the prosecution history compounded the problem. In response to an indefiniteness rejection in one of the patents, the patentees said that “[o]ne of ordinary skill in the art, upon reviewing the specification, would understand that ‘average molecular weight’ refers to the molecular weight at the peak of the molecular weight distribution curve,” or Mp. However, in response to an identical rejection in an earlier related application, the patentees said that “”[o]ne of ordinary skill in the art could understand that kilodalton units implies [sic] a weight average molecular weight,” or Mw.

Teva argued that one skilled in the art would have understood that average molecular weight could only be Mp. Teva asserted that use of SEC without more suggests Mp because determining Mn and Mw required additional calculations. The Court appeared skeptical of this argument, because SEC can be used to calculate all three values. Teva also downplayed the prosecution history by explaining that a skilled artisan would recognize that the statement in the earlier application was false — because “kilodalton units” does not imply weight average. Teva appears to have alleged that the second statement rectified the earlier misstatement. However, there is no indication that the patentees in the later application retracted the earlier statement. Therefore, the Court was left with two contradictory statements that could not be rectified. As such, the claims in Group I were held to be indefinite.

From an IPBiz post, July 27, 2013:

As to the group I claims, Teva had a problem because of arguments made in file histories. For one application, Teva argued molecular weight was Mp (peak average) but for another Mw (weight average). As the CAFC observed, Teva's two definitions cannot be reconciled. There was also an inconsistency within a figure as between the graph itself and the legend for the figure.
[The CAFC stated the peak average molecular weight Mp is the molecular weight of the most abundant molecule in the sample, so that it is not an "average" molecular weight." The CAFC also noted that Mn is the total mass of all molecules divided by the number of molecules, but did not give a definition for Mw. For completeness, Mw is the sum of the (square of molecular weight X number with that molecular weight) divided by sum of (molecular weight X number with that molecular weight).)

From IPBiz post, Why did the Supreme Court take Teva v. Sandoz? , April 22, 2014:

The CAFC found "group I" claims, which recited "molecular weights" of 5 to 9 kilodaltons, to be ambiguous because these claims did not specify how to measure the molecular weights. The district court construed the claims to reflect the molecular weight measure Mp (peak average molecular weight). Viewed in this light, the CAFC merely observed the self-evident legal problem: the claim did not say "which measure" of molecular weight was intended. End of story.

That is, without going into any "facts," one observes that the claim itself does not specify "which" measure of molecular weight is to be be used. This ambiguity was specifically identified by the Examiner during prosecution of the '539 and '847 patents. One might have thought the Examiner would have required insertion into the respective claims of the specific molecular weight measure. However, the Examiner apparently accepted arguments without requiring an amendment to achieve clarity. For the '539 patent, Teva said it was peak average, but for the '847 patent it was weight average. The contradictory resolution is a self-evident problem.

The matter of "facts" in the case enters in with the testimony of Teva's expert, Dr. Grant. The gist of his argument seems to be that because only Mp can be read directly from a size exclusion curve, Mp must have been intended for the "group I" claims. One wonders "why" the ability to read a parameter directly from a graph is proof of "which parameter" was intended in a claim.

As to legal matter of "clear error," the clear-error standard “requires
us appellate judges to distinguish between the situation in
which we think that if we had been the trier of fact we would
have decided the case differently and the situation in
which we are firmly convinced that we would have done so.”); Carr v. Allis
on Gas Turbine Div., Gen. Motors Corp., 32 F.3d 1007,
1008 (7th Cir. 1994)

Arguably, the crediting of the reasoning of Dr. Grant by the district court could be deemed clear error, and the debate rendered moot. [same outcome under either standard]

One year anniversary of Rader's "death squads" remark

From BNA on October 29, 2013, Rader Regrets CLS Bank Impasse, Comments on Latest Patent Reform Bill

On one side of the PTO, he [Rader] said, “You have 7,000 people giving birth to [intellectual] property rights,” while in the PTAB, there will soon be as many as 300 administrative patent judges “acting as death squads, killing property rights.”

US 3,819,974: Gallium nitride metal-semiconductor junction light emitting diode

US 3,819,974, with a claim to a light emitting diode comprising gallium nitride and magnesium doped gallium nitride, issued on June 25, 1974.

One notes that the "description of preferred embodiment" in US '974 is written in the present tense, not in the past tense.

Wally Rhines has a post in EE Times titled "Nobels Should Celebrate Invention and Optimization."

A comment to the Rhines post by Rick Merritt correctly distinguishes between innovation [what the Nichia people did] and invention [what Maruska, Rhines, Stevenson did].

See also a post in Physics Today Wall Street Journal op-ed disputes physics Nobel achievement’s provenance . The Wall Street Journal post How America Lighted the Way for a Japanese Nobel

See also Nobel Shocker: RCA Had the First Blue LED in 1972

Newsworks has a story on an experiment done on Maruska's initial device, which includes the text

After hearing of the Nobel announcement, and the omission of Maruska, Gross wanted to see if the prototype blue LED still worked. (...)

First thing they do is check the power source, a 22.5 volt battery attached to the back.

"Son of a gun, it actually has some poop," Allen says after plugging it into a volt meter.

"How much voltage are we talking here?" says Gross.

"20 volts," replies Allen.

"That's not bad," Gross says. (...)

"We got it, it is lighting faintly. We've got blue, it is glowing, that is definitely blue. It is beautiful!" says Gross.

A voice crackles with joy over the phone: "After all these years?"

These guys are over the moon. This little blue light, this artifact from the tale end of the golden age of American technology still fires.

The Nobel may have overlooked this contribution, but the foundation for the light bulbs of the future was laid in America.

Separately, a discussion by Paul Maruska appears at

which includes mention of how RCA failed to followup on Maruska's work.

In passing, one notes that blue LED story illustrates a number of aspects of patent strategy. That LED's could be used as a (white) light source was predicted in a 1963 in a Reader's Digest article, is mentioned in the 1974 patent, but did not "change the way we live" (an innovation) for more than thirty years later.

Different elements of patent strategy are illustrated in the story of Richard K. Lyon. Both Lyon and Maruska left Exxon Corporate Research Laboratory in the year 1986.

**See also

Friday, October 17, 2014

CardSoft loses big time at the CAFC

From CardSoft v. Verifone:

CardSoft alleges that Appellants infringe two patents
directed to software for small, specialized computers,
like payment terminals. In construing the patent claims, the
district court adopted
CardSoft’s proposed construction for
the claim term “virtual machine.”
Applying the district
court’s construction,
a jury returned a verdict for CardSoft.
Because the district court erred in
its construction of
“virtual machine,” and because CardSoft waived any
argument that Appellants infringe under the correct
construction, we reverse.

Senator John Walsh, post-plagiarism: "You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward."

Yahoo has an interview with Senator John Walsh, after his degree from the War College was stripped,
On the back of a Harley, John Walsh reflects on what could have been

Within the post:

The document that would ultimately lead to his political demise was a 14-page research paper he wrote to receive a master's degree from the War College in 2007. The paper, titled "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy," borrowed heavily from work done by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Harvard paper.

"I admit I made a mistake. I've made mistakes before in life, and I will probably unfortunately make mistakes again," Walsh told Yahoo News before his Harley ride here in July. "You have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward."

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fast hydrothermal liquefaction of algae

A paper in the journal Algal Research reports on increased liquid yields from algae using "fast" hydrothermal liquefaction:

Using small quartz tube "reactors" – which look like tiny sealed straws – Tran heated the reactor containing a slurry made from the kelp biomass and water to 350 degrees C at a very high rate of 585 degrees C per minute.

An issue is that such liquids tend to have a level of nitrogen not suitable for use as fuels.

As to making more oil from algae, there is recent work at Michigan State University:

“Algae provide us with model organisms that rival, or possibly exceed, traditional yeast models,” Benning said. “It’s quite difficult to grow many types of human cells in test tubes. However, we can readily grow, manipulate and study algae, which have the genomic repertoire that make them relevant in their capacity to drive advances in human medicine.”

The discovery was made while tackling the conundrum of algae’s vexing inverse relationship with growing mass versus producing oil. When algae are awake, they grow; when they’re asleep, they produce oil.

“Producing oil is part of the cells’ survival strategy when it’s under stress,” said Chia-Hong Tsai, doctoral candidate with MSU’s Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory and Department of Plant Biology and co-author. “They go into quiescence to conserve energy and nutrients. That’s when they produce the equivalent of vegetable oil. But to convert them into truly viable biofuel producers, we need them to grow and produce oil simultaneously.”

The secret for making this happen was CHT7 – the gatekeeper that cues cells to wake up or fall asleep. By engineering this protein, Benning’s team might one day develop an organism that can’t figure out how to doze and is always active. For biofuels, this would remove a major hurdle and gives scientists a way to potentially produce high amounts of oil and biomass.

Oral argument in Teva v. Sandoz

Reuters covered the oral argument in Teva v. Sandoz in the post Supreme Court divided in battle over Teva MS drug patent .

The Reuters text included:

Several justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, appeared reluctant to tinker with the existing system in which the appeals court is accorded great latitude in rethinking lower court findings.

"Is it worthwhile as a practical matter?" Alito asked, referring to the notion of disrupting the status quo.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor added, "Why don't we defer, as has been done now forever, to the Federal Circuit?"

Other justices seemed more concerned about the appeals court exerting too much power over lower court judges. Justice Stephen Breyer cited other areas of the law in which lower court judges have discretion.

The oral argument may be found here

William M. Jay presented the argument on behalf of petitioner (Teva), and started off with the proposition "trial judges find the facts." Justice Ginsburg immediately asked about the "facts" at issue in this case.

Later, Jay recommends "deference to classic fact-finding."

Justice Ginsburg brought up the point that inferences from facts get de novo review.

Justice Kagan got to the point of expert opinion testimony.

Justice Alito brought up a law review which suggested there is no practical difference between de novo review and clear error review.

There was some tense interplay between Mr. Phillips and Justice Breyer.

Justice Breyer stated that most amici favored fact-finding by the district court. (page 42) [This point seems in conflict with material at PatentDocs, Teva v. Sandoz -- Is Deferential Review a Boon for Patent Trolls? , which stated that the amici briefs favored de novo review: Interestingly, of the three amicus briefs submitted by operating companies themselves (representing 20 companies in total), all supported maintaining the de novo standard of review.]

At page 47 and page 48, there was a question of "how many" patents issue per year. No answer.

At page 49, one has the text "misstatement of science."

As to errors in science by district courts, one egregious chemistry mistake happened in 52 USPQ2d 1418, 1429 (D.Az. 1998) as later corrected in Durel Corp. v. Osram Sylvania Inc., 256 F.3d 1298, 59 USPQ2d 1238 (CAFC 2001). In various issues of "Intellectual Property Today" [IPT], LBE discussed the scientifically incorrect analysis of stoichiometry which underlay the district court decision. See the March 2002 issue of IPT: Omissions and Commissions: Durel v. Osram Revisited

***See discussion at PatentlyO including comment by Ned Heller:

Michel on Michelle, as Lee gets the nod for permanent appointment as USPTO Director

From a Reuters post titled White House nominates former Google exec Lee to head patent office :

Paul Michel, who retired from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2010 [and formerly Chief Judge], once employed Lee to clerk for him on the court, which specializes in patent and trademark cases.

"Her academic record was just astronomically impressive. If my memory serves me right, she got an A in every class she took at MIT," Michel told Reuters.