Michelle K. Lee

Hon. Michelle K. Lee

Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Hon. Michelle K. Lee is a proven leader in technology, law, business and government. She spent most of her professional career advising some of the country's most innovative companies on issues at the intersection of law, technology and policy.

As the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Ms. Lee led one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world, with 13,000 employees and an annual budget of over $3 billion. Ms. Lee also served as the principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on domestic and international intellectual property policy and a trial judge on the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board. She is the first woman Director of the USPTO in our country’s 200+ year history.

Prior to joining the USPTO, Ms. Lee was Deputy General Counsel at Google, where she was responsible for formulating and implementing Google’s patent strategy (including dispute resolution) for all its products and services worldwide. Before Google, Ms. Lee served as a partner at Fenwick & West, advising on technology licensing, litigation, intellectual property, corporate and mergers and acquisition matters, and as a litigator at the trial boutique law firm of Keker & Van Nest. Earlier in her career, Ms. Lee worked as a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories and the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. She holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT (where she wrote her graduate thesis on artificial intelligence) and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Ms. Lee clerked for the Honorable Vaughn Walker, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and the Honorable Paul Michel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

From 2017-2018, Ms. Lee held the appointment as the Herman Phleger Visiting Professor at Law at Stanford Law School where she taught on disruptive technologies (including artificial intelligence and driverless cars) and their impact on existing laws and regulations. Ms. Lee also serves on a number of public and private company boards including alarm.com (NASDAQ: ALRM) and Nauto, Inc.