Long-time Googler will head Silicon Valley patent office

By Joe Mullin, Tech Policy Editor at ars Technica

Michelle Lee, a former Google attorney who was one of the first corporate lawyers to speak out about the harmful effects of patent trolls, will be the director of a new ‘satellite office’ of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The move was announced Friday afternoon at a conference about software patents, sponsored by Santa Clara University.

Lee is a Silicon Valley native who grew up in Saratoga, California, with a father who worked as an engineer in the semiconductor industry. While studying for a PhD in computer science, she decided to switch routes and study intellectual property law. “It dawned on me that there were some pretty important legal issues that were being decided, that were hugely influenced by new technological innovation,” Lee told the San Jose Business Journal earlier this year. She left a partnership at Fenwick & West, a well-known Silicon Valley law firm, to join Google in 2003.

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