Kappos has also been a proponent of technology-neutral patent laws. For example, although some have argued in recent years against the patenting of software, Kappos has championed the idea that the patent laws were designed to promote innovation in all technology areas and that patenting standards should be applied equally to all technologies. In his keynote address to the Center for American Progress in November 2012, for example, he emphasized the importance of software patents to the U.S. economy, noting that "[s]oftware patents, like all patents, are a form of innovation currency. They are also ecosystem enablers, and job creators.…All of it must remain eligible for protection."
Kappos was uniquely qualified to be director of the PTO, and he took on the responsibility with an enthusiasm and strength that will be hard to follow. Kappos has not yet announced where he will be going now that his time at the PTO is over, though most in the intellectual property community agree that he will be missed as PTO director. Intellectual property practitioners are hopeful that his capable team and forward-thinking policies will guide the PTO through continued implementation of the AIA and into the next advancements in intellectual property law.
Erika Harmon Arner, a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, leads the firm's patent prosecution section. She may be reached at email@example.com. Jessica L.A. Marks is an associate at the firm who practices patent prosecution and litigation. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.