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Bruce A. Lehman (born September 19, 1945) served from August 5, 1993 through 1998 as the United States Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.[1] Nominated by President Bill Clinton on April 23, 1993, and confirmed by the United States Senate on August 5, 1993. During this short period of time, he was responsible for significant changes to the United States patent law.

After leaving the USPTO, Lehman founded the International Intellectual Property Institute, a non-profit, non-governmental organization. In 2014 he was appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations to serve on the High Level Panel on the Feasibility of a Technology Bank for Least Developed Nations. The panel submitted its report to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the U.S. General Assembly in September 2015.


He went to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, receiving a B.A. in 1967 and a J.D. in 1970.

He was named "Lawyer of the Year" 1994 by National Law Journal.

In 1996 he served as the head of the U.S. delegation to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the December 1996 Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and Neighboring Rights Questions.

He also chaired the Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights of the National Information Infrastructure Task Force.

Lehman was asked by the President on September 5, 1997, to serve on an interim basis as Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

On June 16, 1997 he was named one of the 100 most influential men and women in Washington by the National Journal.

He has been legal counsel to:

  • the Wisconsin State Legislature
  • United States House of Representatives (nine years)
  • Committee on the Judiciary and Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice, in the drafting of the 1976 Copyright Act, the 1980 Computer Software Amendments, and 1982 amendments to the Patent Laws.

He has also worked as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, as a partner at Swidler & Berlin (10 years), as an officer in the U.S. Army and is currently a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia.

On February 7, 2006, Mr. Lehman was honored as one of 23 initial inductees to the newly created International IP Hall of Fame, a project sponsored by the London-based Intellectual Property Asset Management Magazine.[2]

Currently, he is president and Chairman of the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI), a non-profit, non-partisan economic development organization based in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Legal Advisory Council of LegalZoom. Since 2015 Mr. Lehman has focused on advancing the cause of visual artists rights. He serves as an advisor to the Artists Rights Society of the United States and the Association of Medical Illustrators. In that capacity he has filed amicus briefs on behalf of numerous visual artists' organizations with the U.S. appellate courts and the United States Supreme Court and has drafted legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler that would establish an artists resale royalty right in the United States patterned after laws already in effect in over 70 countries.'Mr. Lehman currently resides in Sarasota, Florida where he serves as a Board Member of the La Musica music festival.

Lehman is openly gay. He was the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.[1]

See also

  • Software patent
  • Copyright


External links

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