Every year, the USPTO selects three candidates to serve a three-year term on the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) and the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). This is a very high profile position serving as a public watch dog of sorts on the policies and practices of the USPTO. The positions do not require a legal degree, and are open to inventors, professors and business people with strong interests in the intellectual property system and operation of the USPTO. The window for submitting your nomination usually opens in May and the candidates begin serving in December. If you are interested, it is a good idea to start preparing your nomination application now. Last year’s nomination process announcement is available here.
IPLAC’s former Vice President Clinton Hallman, served on the PPAC several years ago. IPLAC Educational Foundation board member, Jomarie Fredericks, presently serves on the TPAC.
Please contact the Chair of the IPLAC Judicial Appointments Committee (Kate Berezutskaya) if you would like IPLAC to support your nomination with a letter of recommendation.
Finally, for attorneys with broader interests, although there are no current vacancies at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, there are several judicial vacancies at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The process to be appointed to a federal judgeship is highly political, and usually involves getting recommended by our local senators to get put on the White House short list for appointments. IPLAC has supported the appointment of local attorneys to the bench. For example, two years ago, we provided a letter in support of Judge Tiffany Cunningham to the Federal Circuit. If you are interested, please let us know how IPLAC can help support your ambitions for a federal judgeship.