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People Transfer: Jun 19, 2009

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President Barack Obama announced his intent today to nominate David Kappos as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Kappos is currently vice president and general counsel, intellectual property law, for IBM. He joined the company in 1983 as a development engineer and has previously served as an intellectual property law attorney in IBM's storage division and litigation group; IP law counsel in IBM's software group; assistant general counsel in IBM Asia/Pacific; and assistant general counsel.

Kappos serves on the board of directors of the American Intellectual Property Law Association; the Intellectual Property Owners Association (for which he also serves as vice president); and the International Intellectual Property Society. He received a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990; and a BS in electrical and computer engineering from UC-Davis in 1983.


The World Intellectual Property Organization this week endorsed proposals by Director General Francis Curry for a new senior management team comprising four deputy directors general and three assistant directors general.

Among those endorsed by WIPO is James Pooley, who will be appointed deputy director general for patents. Pooley is a partner in the law firm of Morrison & Foerster and an adjunct professor at the Boalt Hall law School at UC-Berkeley. He has also been a partner in the law firms of Pooley & Oliver; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; and Gray, Cary, Ware & Friedenrich, among others; and a principal at Fish & Richardson.

Pooley is also the immediate past president and a board member of the American Intellectual property Law Association; founder and chair of Silicon Valley Lawyers for Obama; and is a member of the amicus committee and trade secret law committee of the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

He received a JD from Columbia University in 1973; and BA in international affairs from Lafayette College in 1970.


Marie Kerbeshian has been named vice president of the technology transfer office at the Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation.

Kerbeshian had been serving as interim director of the University of Virginia Patent Foundation since January, when former executive director Robert MacWright resigned to become a partner in the Washington, DC, office of law firm Frommer Lawrence & Haug.

Kerbeshian joined the UVA Patent Foundation in 1998 and became associate director in 2006. Prior to joining the foundation, she was a postdoctoral fellow at UVA. Kerbeshian received a PhD in zoology from the University of Texas in 1995 and a BA in biological sciences from Wellesley College in 1989.

Following Kerbeshian's departure, the UVA Patent Foundation named Miette Michie as new interim executive director and CEO.

Michie has served as a licensing professional at the foundation since 1999, and most recently served as assistant director. Prior to joining the foundation, she was a research specialist at UVA and the University of Southern California. Prior to that, Michie was a Fulbright fellow at the University of Ghent in Belgium after receiving a MS degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of New Mexico in 1992.

Michie will lead the UVA Patent Foundation while a search is performed to find a permanent successor to MacWright, UVA said.


Malcolm Kahn has been appointed vice president for enterprise development and licensing at Stevens Institute of Technology, the institute said this week.

In his new role, Kahn will be responsible for all aspects of business development at Stevens, and will help establish a development fund and angel investor network to finance Stevens' technology.

Kahn is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or co-founded several companies over the past two decades, including Kratos International, a mass spectrometry company that he sold to Applied Biosystems and Shimadzu; Membrex a membrane filtration company that he sold to Osmonics, now part of General Electric; and Sensicore, which he sold to GE.

He began his career at Pfizer in its medical diagnostics division and subsequently worked for Millipore before moving into startup creation. He holds a BA in finance from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Fordham University.


The website of West Virginia news station WVNS-TV reported earlier this month that Jennifer Kmiec has been named to the newly created position of associate vice president for economic development at Marshall University.

According to the report, Kmiec will begin her post on July 1.

Kmiec most recently served as vice president of business development and marketing for InB:Biotechnologies in Newark, Del. She has also served as vice president for marketing at Athena Biotechnologies and director of genomics operations for Tapestry Pharmaceuticals.

Kmiec is the spouse of Eric Kmiec, who in January joined Marshall as the first director and lead research scientist of the Marshall University Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, after serving as a biology professor and director of applied genomics at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute at the University of Delaware. Eric Kmiec also co-founded gene therapy startup Orphagenix in 2005 (see BTW 9-3-2008 and 5-7-2007).


Philadelphia's University City Science Center last week appointed four new members to its board of directors:

Ernest Dianastis, managing director, Computer Aid; and chair, First State Innovation;

David King, venture partner, Quaker BioVentures;

Carl Kopfinger, senior vice president, venture capital and mezzanine investment group, TD Commerce Banknorth; and

Tara Weiner, managing partner, greater Philadelphia region, Deloitte

The University City Science Center facilitates technology commercialization and economic development in the greater Philadelphia region.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.