David J. Kappos is a partner at Cravath. He is a leader in the field of intellectual property, including IP management and strategy, the development of global IP norms, laws and practices as well as commercialization and enforcement of innovation-based assets.
From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Kappos served as Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In that role, he advised the President, Secretary of Commerce and the Administration on IP policy matters and was instrumental in achieving the greatest legislative reform of the U.S. patent system in generations through passage and implementation of the 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.
Prior to leading the USPTO, Mr. Kappos held several executive posts in the legal department of IBM, including as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Intellectual Property from 2003 to 2009. In that capacity, he managed global IP activities for IBM. During his more than 25 years at IBM, he also served in a variety of other roles including litigation counsel and Asia Pacific IP counsel.
Mr. Kappos has received numerous accolades for his contributions to the field of IP, including being named one of the “Top 25 Icons of IP” by Law360, one of the “50 Most Influential People in IP” by Managing IP, one of the “Top 50 IP Trailblazers & Pioneers” and one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal, “IP Professional of the Year” by the Intellectual Property Owners Association and being inducted into the Intellectual Property Hall of Fame by Intellectual Asset Management Magazine in 2012.
Mr. Kappos serves on the Boards of Directors of the Partnership for Public Service, the Center for Global Enterprise and the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation. He also is a member of the Advisory Board of ORoPO Foundation, senior advisor to the Partnership for American Innovation and Chair of the Advisory Council of the Naples Roundtable. He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, where he teaches copyright litigation.
Mr. Kappos received a B.S. summa cum laude in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1983 and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1990.