SUNY Buffalo Law School Alumni in the News

USPTO Taps Ex-Oracle Patent Counsel To Head Denver Office

By Matthew Bultman
Law360, New York (January 14, 2016, 6:58 PM ET) —
Molly Kocialski

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said Thursday it has hired a former senior patent counsel at Oracle to lead its satellite office in Denver, giving the agency a director in each of its four regional locations.

USPTO Director Michelle Lee announced the hiring of Molly Kocialski in a blog post, touting her as an “established IP leader” with more than two decades of experience in the intellectual property arena, both as a corporate officer and private practitioner.

Most recently, Kocialski worked for Oracle America Inc. in Denver, where she managed patent investigations and the patent prosecution docket for the computer tech company and its subsidiaries, among other things. In her new role, Kocialski will be responsible for overseeing the local team of patent examiners and Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges.

“Her extensive experience and familiarity with the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders will be an asset to the USPTO,” Lee wrote.

With the addition of Kocialski, the USPTO now has a permanent director in each of its four regional outposts for the first time. Earlier this month, Hope Shimabuku, a former top in-house attorney for Xerox Corp., was sworn in as director of the recently opened Dallas office.

The USPTO’s satellite offices, which are also in Detroit and Silicon Valley, California, were part of an expansion of the agency’s operations authorized by Congress in 2011 that envisioned an agency location in each of the four time zones.

“I am proud of the historic progress we have made over the last four years in establishing and growing these offices, and as we continue to bring resources to the doorsteps of innovators and serve entrepreneurs from coast to coast,” Lee wrote in the blog post.

Officials have been searching for a permanent director of the 45,000-square-foot Denver office since Russell Slifer was named the USPTO’s deputy director in March. Slifer had led the outpost since it opened in June 2014.

A 1997 graduate of State University of New York, Buffalo, Law School, Kocialski’s legal career started in private practice in New York and Colorado. After stints at Grynberg Petroleum Co. and First Data Corp., she joinedQwest Communications as a senior patent attorney.

Kocialski, who also has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, began working as patent counsel at Oracle in 2011. She has also served as chairwoman of the intellectual property section of the Colorado Bar Associationand currently sits on the association’s board of governors.

–Editing by Christine Chun.

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