Andrei Iancu is the managing partner of major LA law firm Irell & Manella and has now been appointed by President Trump himself to be the next head of the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Iancu became a partner at the firm in 2004, after being an associate at the company for five years prior to his role change. It has been stated that Iancu’s most valuable work in the tech sector is his representation of TiVo Corp. in its long-running patent battles with companies like EchoStar, Motorola, Microsoft, Verizon, and Cisco; Iancu helped TiVo ultimately succeed in compelling all the defendants listed above to pay up for its pioneering DVR patents. The payments to TiVo from this monumental win totaled more than $1.6 billion, according to Iancu’s biography page.
However, most of Iancu’s work throughout his career has been on the defense side, representing eBay in a case against Acacia Research Corp., a large publicly traded non-practicing entity, and he worked for Hewlett-Packard when it defended against Xerox patent claims. He has also worked in the medical device area, enforcing patents for St Jude Medical on vascular closure devices.
The links to Trump are clear to see, as Irell & Manella firm once defended Trump, along with NBC Universal and Mark Burnett Productions, against a claim of copyright infringement related to The Apprentice. but it should be made clear that there are no indications that Iancu was involved in that specific case.
The decision comes after the outgoing and well-liked Michelle Lee – a favored professional in the tech sector and former Google attorney- quit her role as USPTO director shortly after Trump’s inauguration.