It was officially announced today that President Barack Obama nominated Republican Sen. Judd Gregg to be Commerce secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, Gregg would be in charge of overseeing the USPTO and instrumental in setting patent policy.
Of course, now that it's official, let the dirt digging begin:
Gene Quinn, "Judd Gregg’s Columbia University Patent Past" (link) - "One thing is for certain though, Judd Gregg does not have a long history to review on patent matters, but the man who will be the boss of the next Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office does have one thorny patent issue in his past, namely the misguided attempts by Columbia University to extend its patent protection on a multi-million dollar process. "
Also, it appears that Gregg was not always a fan of the DOC. CQ’s Jonathan Allen points out that Gregg voted twice in 1995 to abolish the department — once in the Budget Committee and once on the Senate floor. From CQ:
President Obama’s new candidate to run the Commerce Department voted in favor of abolishing the agency as a member of the Budget Committee and on the Senate floor in 1995.
Sen. Judd Gregg , R-N.H., whose nomination was expected to be announced Tuesday, also worked in the Senate to trim the department’s budget as head of the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee.
Also, From Senator Gregg's Website:
- Senator Gregg Introduces Measure to Create a Safe Process to Provide Lower-Cost, “Follow-On” Biological Medicines (link)
- Senator Judd Gregg Releases Revised BiopreparednessAct of 2005 (link)