PTO's director to step down next month

James E. Rogan, undersecretary of Commerce for intellectual property and director of the Patent and Trademark Office, today announced that he will leave his post Jan. 9.

During his two-year tenure as PTO's chief, Rogan accelerated the agency's drive to eliminate paper from the patent and trademark approval process (Click for Dec. 6, 2002 GCN story).

The Image File Wrapper, PTO's electronic patent file system, has moved from prototype to production and by year's end about 300,000 applications'40 percent of the active patent applications'will be in the system.

Rogan, a former two-term congressman from the Los Angeles area, plans to edit his autobiography as his first activity after leaving PTO, a spokeswoman for the agency said. The book is tentatively titled Rough Edges.

Rogan also has 'a number of opportunities in the private sector,' the spokeswoman said. Before his stint in Congress, he was a state court judge and prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. He plans to move back to California next summer.

Deputy PTO director Jon Dudas likely will be interim director until the Senate has confirmed a successor, the spokeswoman said.

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