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IBM's Kappos Approved as U.S. Patent Chief

David Kappos, IBM's former vice president and chief patent attorney, has been approved by the Senate to be the new director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Kappos easily cleared a nomination hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 29 July and received a final approval today to become Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. He has had extensive experience in international law, having served in Japan for many years as IBM's top intellectual property executive for Asia. Among other challenges, he joins an agency with a growing backlog of applications and declining revenue, as documented recently in the blog Patently-O.