During almost six years as commissioner of patents and trademarks, Bruce Lehman developed a double-edged reputation.

On the one hand, he was lauded as an able policy-maker who played a pivotal role in modernizing both the patent system and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But Lehman is also remembered as a big-picture administrator with a quick fuse when it came to the nitty-gritty of running the sprawling, 6,000-employee office.

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