Andrei Iancu rejoins Irell & Manella


Alex Baldwin

Andrei Iancu rejoins Irell & Manella

Irell & Manella

Former US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) director Andrei Iancu has rejoined Californian firm Irell & Manella as a partner.

The former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property has returned to the firm he left to head up the USPTO in 2018. He officially rejoined Irell on April 1, focusing his practice on IP litigation and counselling.

“Andrei is one of the most prominent and sought-after figures in IP today and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him back to the firm,” said Ben Hattenbach, a member of Irell’s executive committee.

“His background as USPTO director and decades of experience as one of the country’s top IP litigators will be of significant value to our clients.”

As head of the USPTO, Iancu acted as the principal advisor in the administration on domestic and international IP issues. Following his three-year tenure, he was praised by many IP lawyers for his pro-patent stance and for helping to facilitate a “pro-innovation” culture at the office

“I’m thrilled to rejoin my friends and colleagues at Irell and practice alongside the nation’s very best lawyers,” said Iancu. “I look forward to resuming my work helping America’s leading innovators with all of their IP matters.”

Prior to his government service, Iancu served as the managing partner of Irell from 2021 to 2018, the maximum allowable tenure in the role at the firm.

During his two-decades working at the firm, he represented clients in district courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the US International Trade Commission and the USPTO.

Morgan Chu, chair of Irell’s litigation group said: “Andrei is a superb lawyer and fabulous leader – and, an outstanding human being to boot. We know and love Andrei, and again will have fun practicing law with him.”

As part of his resignation speech in January, Iancu called for an end to “state-sponsored theft” and urged his successor under the Biden administration to continue engaging with foreign nations to ensure bilateral and multilateral cooperation on IP issues.

A candidate for the position as the new USPTO director has yet to be determined.

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Andrei Iancu, Irell & Manella, USPTO, Ben Hattenbach, Morgan Chu