July 24, 2012 09:20 ET

USPTO Official Will Keynote at 2012 MichBio Expo

ANN ARBOR, MI--(Marketwire - Jul 24, 2012) - MichBio, the association for Michigan's bioscience industry, announced that Teresa Stanek Rea, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will keynote the 2012 MichBio Expo & Conference (Expo). The Expo is Michigan's largest gathering of bioscience-related professionals, and is scheduled for November 7-8 at the Kellogg Conference Center in East Lansing, MI.

"We're honored to have someone as distinguished as Deputy Director Rea as our 2012 keynote speaker. She is an expert on intellectual property law and her work at the USPTO has contributed greatly to the growth of American business," said Stephen Rapundalo, PhD, MichBio president and CEO. "Under the protection of the USPTO, American business has flourished. New products have been invented, new uses for old ones discovered, and employment opportunities have been created for millions of Americans."

The USPTO is the Federal agency that grants U.S. patents and registers trademarks. The strength and vitality of the U.S. economy depends directly on effective mechanisms that protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. The continued demand for patents and trademarks underscores the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs, and the USPTO is at the cutting edge of the Nation's technological progress and achievement.

Teresa Stanek Rea joined the USPTO in 2011 as Deputy Director, and she is a leading attorney in the field of intellectual property with more than 25 years of legal experience. Before joining the USPTO, Ms. Rea was a partner in Crowell & Moring LLP's Washington, D.C. office where she focused on intellectual property and dispute resolution related to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other life science issues. Ms. Rea has experience in drafting infringement and validity opinions, as well as experience in licensing matters. Rea is a member of many technical and legal associations and has been a frequent lecturer and publisher on patent topics. She is also a past president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).

"Ms. Rea's keynote address will be timely, given the many new influences to the patent landscape, including recent Supreme Court decisions on biotechnology-related cases and the less than year-old America Invents Act," said Dr. Rapundalo. "Moreover, the opening of the USPTO's Detroit office will be an excellent backdrop to hear about implementation efforts and changes to regulations and processes."

The 8th Annual MichBio Expo & Conference will feature an Emerging Biosciences Showcase of start-up companies seeking investment funding, facility tours of area bioscience companies, exhibits, and track sessions in pharma, medical devices, ag/bio-based technologies and emerging business, as well as for manufacturing suppliers. The Expo is a great opportunity for anyone interested in networking, education and business development in Michigan's biosciences industry.

About MichBio
MichBio is the trade association committed to driving growth in Michigan's biosciences industry and its many sectors, including AgBio Chemical & Industrial Biotech, Information Technology, Medical Devices Equipment & Supplies, Pharmaceuticals & Therapeutics, Research & Development, and Testing & Medical Laboratories. MichBio members include biosciences companies, academic and research institutions, biosciences service providers, and related organizations. The MichBio Institute is the association's affiliated 501(c)(3) educational foundation. For more information, visit

About the USPTO
Since 1790, the role of the United States intellectual property system has remained the same: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts by securing for limited times to inventors the exclusive right to their respective discoveries. Today, the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a federal agency in the Department of Commerce. Through the issuance of patents, the USPTO encourages technological advancement by providing incentives to invest, invest in, and disclose new technology worldwide. Through the registration of trademarks, the agency assists businesses in protecting their investments, promoting goods and services, and safeguarding consumers against confusion and deception in the marketplace. By disseminating both patent and trademark information, the USPTO promotes an understanding of intellectual property protection and facilitates the development and sharing of new technologies worldwide.