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Bruce A. Lehman, Former U.S. Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, Joins Whiteford, Taylor & Preston
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Baltimore, MD – Former Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Bruce A. Lehman joins Whiteford, Taylor & Preston as senior counsel in the firm’s Global and Technology & Intellectual Property groups. Mr. Lehman advises clients on all aspects of domestic and international intellectual property law as well as on public law and policy. Formerly at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, he will continue to serve as chair of the International Intellectual Property Institute, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.
From 1993 to 1998, Lehman served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce and as the Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. At the request of President Clinton, he served concurrently as the acting chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the fall of 1997. Among his many accolades, Lehman was one of 23 initial inductees to the International IP Hall of Fame, a project sponsored by the prestigious London-based Intellectual Property Asset Management Magazine (2006). The public policy magazine National Journal named him among the 100 most influential people in Washington (1997) and the National Law Journal named Lehman its "Lawyer of the Year" in 1994.
As the Clinton administration’s primary representative for intellectual property rights protection, Lehman was a leader in the development of the United States’ intellectual property policy, both domestically and internationally. Serving as the leader of the U.S. delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights Questions in December 1996, Lehman participated in the negotiation of two critical intellectual property treaties: the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. These treaties helped to facilitate the growth of online digital commerce. Lehman’s guidance on the development of the intellectual property provisions of the Uruguay Round Agreement, now known as TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property), enables American creators and inventors to more easily protect their creations from piracy throughout the world. Lehman also chaired the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights of the National Information Infrastructure Task Force that served as the basis for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Prior to joining the Clinton administration, Lehman was a partner at a national law firm, where he represented clients from the motion picture, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, computer software and broadcasting industries in a wide variety of intellectual property and public policy matters. Early in his career, Lehman served as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives for the Committee on the Judiciary and as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice. He served as the Committee’s principal legal adviser in the drafting of the 1982 Amendments to the U.S. Patent Laws, the 1980 Computer Software Amendments, and the 1976 Copyright Act. Lehman holds both J.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
"While the firm has strong capabilities in all areas of IP practice – from prosecution to litigation – Bruce adds dimension and depth not found elsewhere," notes Steven Tiller, co-chair of the firm’s Technology and Intellectual Property Practice. "His extensive service in the last Democratic administration makes him uniquely qualified to advise clients about how the intellectual property landscape may change under the Obama administration and how such changes may impact the international and domestic marketplace."
Alexander Koff, chair of the firm’s Global practice, adds: "WTP’s Global practice focuses on the business needs and strategies of our clients, not just the technical legal hurdles they face. Bruce is a strategic thinker who understands global commerce and how businesses in the world marketplace should leverage and protect intangible assets. He is a terrific addition, and his practice and approach dovetail seamlessly with the quality, service and affordability we offer our clients."
"Whiteford Taylor & Preston’s deep experience in technology law, its global practice and its presence in Washington, D.C., make it a perfect fit as a place for me to serve clients who confront legal and policy challenges in the areas of intellectual property policy, diplomacy, enforcement, and trade law," explained Lehman. "As a firm with capabilities in all areas of law, it will enable me to provide effective legal counsel to clients in all the areas in which I have practiced for over three decades."
The attorneys at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston are dedicated to helping clients to achieve their business goals through strategic legal counsel. We serve our clients across the nation and around the globe, wherever your business takes us. For more information, please visit our website at www.wtplaw.com.
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