At the Volokh Conspiracy there’s a good discussion on the lawsuit you read about over at Marty’s. It seeks, as you recall, to oust Margaret J.A. Peterlin from her position as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO on the grounds that she does not meet the statutory requirement that the Deputy Director have “a professional background and experience in patent or trademark law.” That’s certainly a vague enough standard, but the plaintiffs clearly intend to make their point, even if, as Volokh says, there’s a serious standing problem. Old friend David Nieporent, however, gets to the obvious heart of the matter in the comments:
Isn’t this a rather silly requirement anyway? If experience in patent and trademark law is necessary to successfully run the office, then why would Congress pass a law requiring one to have experience in patent or trademark law? It’s unlikely that experience in one of the two fields would provide useful experience for the other. So it’s essentially a requirement that the person sort of be qualified.
And frankly, she sort of is. (I weighed in there, too.)
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