Intellectual Property Litigation


Crowell & Moring Partner Teresa Rea Testifies Before Senate on Ways to Improve the Quality of Issued Patents

Washington – November 1, 2019 – Teresa "Terry" Stanek Rea, partner and vice-chair of Crowell & Moring’s Intellectual Property Group, testified on Wednesday before the U.S. Senate IP Committee. The hearing titled “Promoting the Useful Arts: How can Congress prevent the issuance of poor quality patents?” examined the country’s patent system and ways to improve the quality of issued patents.

Rea is a recognized authority on intellectual property law and has advised on IP issues in the public and private sectors. She is the former acting and deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as well as acting and deputy undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property. She led the USPTO through the implementation of the America Invents Act, the landmark legislation to overhaul the nation’s patent system that President Obama signed into law in 2011. The America Invents Act incorporated reforms to the patent application process, and Rea’s duties included leading the implementation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

Rea raised the following points in her testimony before Chairman Thom Tillis (R-NC) and the rest of the Committee:

  • The importance of patent quality to both the patent owners and patent challengers.
  • The benefits of collaboration and work sharing between the USPTO and the equivalent offices in other countries. 

Rea noted, “I applaud the efforts of the USPTO to continue to improve patent quality. The USPTO has made patent quality a major priority.”

She added: “US examiners should be encouraged to share the results of their search and examination with counterpart patent offices. Patents are a global commodity that should be viewed from a global perspective.”

Rea’s full testimony can be found here.

Along with Rea, other scheduled witnesses were: Drew Hirshfeld, Commissioner of Patents, USPTO; Professor Melissa Wasserman, Charles Tilford McCormick Professor of Law, The University of Texas at Austin School of Law; Professor R. Polk Wagner, Michael A. Fitts Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School; and Professor Colleen Chien, Professor of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law.

About Crowell & Moring LLP 

Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with approximately 550 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.


An Pham
Senior Communications Manager
Email: apham@crowell.com