Bush Picks Former Rep. James Rogan to Head USPTO

May 24, 2001. President George Bush picked former Rep. James Rogan (R-CA) to be head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Formally, Bush nominated him to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Trademark Office.

James Rogan
Rogan is a former member of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Internet and Intellectual Property (CIIP). He also sat on the House Commerce Committee, and its Telecom Subcommittee. He lost his bid for reelection last November. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who defeated Rogan, was named to the CIIP Subcommittee yesterday. Rogan is currently a partner in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Venable Baetjer and Howard. See, Tech Law Journal biography of Rogan (written in 1999), and Venable biography.

The acting head of the USPTO is Nicholas Godici. The previous head of the USPTO was Todd Dickenson.

Legislation Sponsored by Rogan. Rogan sponsored HR 1761, the Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999, which became law. It increased damages for copyright infringement. Rogan also cosponsored legislation in the 106th Congress that addressed cyber squatting.

Diversion of USPTO User Fees. Rogan missed the one roll call vote in the House on the issue of diversion of USPTO user fees to fund other government programs. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) offered an amendment in June of 2000 to the funding bill which covered the USPTO which would have reduced the size of the diversion. It failed by a vote of 145 to 223. See, Roll Call No. 321. See also, TLJ news story and analysis of the vote. Nor did Rogan cosponsor HR 4034, which would have ended the diversion. It was adopted by the subcommittee and full committee without roll call votes.

Database Protection. In the 106th Congress, Rogan cosponsored neither HR 354, the Collections of Information Anti-Piracy Act, sponsored by Rep. Coble, nor HR 1858, the Consumer and Investor Access to Information Act, sponsored by former Rep. Bliley. Although, he spoke critically of HR 1858 during debate in the House Commerce Committee. HR 354 offered significant legal protection to databases. HR 1858 did not. Neither became law.

Rogan voted against the Kaptur amendment to HR 400 (105th Congress, 1997), a patent reform bill that was later revised and enacted into law in the 106th Congress. See, Roll Call No. 88.

See, White House release announcing Bush's intent to nominate Rogan, and release announcing the nomination.