Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Nathan Kelley became the Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property Law and Solicitor in November 2013 and was reappointed to that position in May 2016 after serving as the Acting Chief Judge of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board from July 2015 to May 2016. As Solicitor, he defends the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the USPTO and the agency in court proceedings relating to intellectual property issues.
As Deputy Solicitor and an Associate Solicitor, Mr. Kelley spent seven years defending the USPTO's decisions in federal court, briefing and arguing numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He has defended the USPTO on a wide range of legal issues, from specific patentability determinations to broader issues involving the USPTO's statutory examination duties. He has also provided advice and guidance to the agency regarding various intellectual property issues, including the development and scope of rulemakings undertaken to implement the America Invents Act.
The Office of the Solicitor provides legal counsel to the Under Secretary and Director and the Commissioners for Patents and Trademarks on intellectual property matters. The office's primary responsibility is to defend decisions of the Under Secretary and Director, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, and examiners in patent and trademark cases. The office also represents the Under Secretary and Director at depositions of USPTO employees, provides legal advice on proposed regulations and correspondence, and monitors publication of USPTO decisions. The Solicitor's Office, in coordination with the Department of Commerce, also provides representation for the Under Secretary and Director in the interagency deliberations on intellectual property matters.
Before joining the Solicitor's Office, Mr. Kelley worked at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, first as a member of its permanent legal staff, and later as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Randall R. Rader. Earlier, he was an associate at an intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C. His career began as a patent examiner at the USPTO, where he examined patent applications directed to integrated circuits and discrete semiconductor devices. Mr. Kelley received both a J.D. magna cum laude and a B.S. in electrical engineering from George Mason University.