David Kappos

David Kappos
Partner
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

David J. Kappos is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost leaders in the field of intellectual property, including intellectual property management and strategy, the development of global intellectual property norms, laws and practices as well as commercialization and enforcement of innovation‑based assets. Mr. Kappos supports the Firm’s clients with a wide range of their most complex intellectual property issues, including those pertaining to blockchain and financial technology (FinTech) as well as data security and privacy.

From August 2009 to January 2013, Mr. Kappos served as Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In that role, he advised the President, the Secretary of Commerce and the Administration on intellectual property policy matters. As Director of the USPTO, he led the Agency in dramatically re‑engineering its entire management and operational systems as well as its engagement with the global innovation community. He was instrumental in achieving the greatest legislative reform of the U.S. patent system in generations through passage and implementation of the Leahy‑Smith America Invents Act, signed into law by President Obama in September 2011.

Prior to leading the USPTO, Mr. Kappos held several executive posts in the legal department of IBM, the world’s largest patent holder. From 2003 to 2009, he served as the company’s chief intellectual property lawyer. In that capacity, he managed global intellectual property activities for IBM, including all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret protection and exploitation. Mr. Kappos joined IBM as a development engineer. During his more than 25 years at IBM, he served in a variety of roles including litigation counsel and Asia Pacific IP counsel, based in Tokyo, Japan, where he led all aspects of intellectual property protection, including licensing, transactions support and mergers and acquisitions activity for the Asia/Pacific region.

Recent Events and Presentations

May 24, 2021

ITIF and Geneva Network hosted a discussion on the role of IP rights in vaccine and therapeutic R&D, manufacturing, and preparedness for future pandemics. Panelists from around the world will discuss the best ways to scale up mass vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing and examine the implications that would arise from a global waiver of IP rights.

November 7, 2011

In today's economy, few assets are more valuable than intellectual property. Join us to hear from U.S. and UK policymakers on critical IP issues.