USPTO announces departure of general counsel


The chief legal officer at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced he will be leaving.

Bernard Knight will be leaving in August after holding the position of general counsel for four years.

During his time in the post he oversaw the adoption of new rules required to implement the America Invents Act, which made several changes to the US patent system.

Knight has also held posts at the US Treasury Department and Department of Justice.

In September, he will join the Washington DC office of law firm McDermott, Will and Emery LLP as a partner in its IP litigation practise group.

Peter Sacripanti, co-chair of the firm said Knight’s arrival would aid its strategy of becoming the best IP law firm in the world.

“We are committed to providing the best possible counsel to our clients as they work to protect their valuable IP assets and succeed in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace,” he said.

The USPTO would not comment on the departure of Knight.

However, a spokesman told WIPR that William Covey, currently the deputy general counsel and director for office of enrolment and discipline, will take on the role of acting general counsel.