CAFC & USPTO Director Nomination Hearings

At 10AM today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold nomination hearings for Leonard P. Stark to be United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit, and Katherine Vidal to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property & Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  It appears that Judge Stark is up first on Panel 1.  Panel 2 follows with district court nominations, and Ms. Vidal.

Watch live (here)

Don’t expect any of the exchanges to be all that insightful, or confrontational.  It will be the usual qualified, non-answers and occasional softball question.  There seems to be some expectations that Ms. Vidal will be grilled over her view of discretionary PTAB practices, don’t count on it.  While I am sure the topic will be raised, it’s far too esoteric an issue to stall a nomination to an agency of little interest to the general voting public.  And, Ms. Vidal is certainly smart enough to toe the line.  That said, given the vocal support of Leahy for the Director nominee, and the less than enthusiastic reception of Tillis, its not hard to read the PTAB tea leaves.

Both nominations appear primed for confirmation.