Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TTAB Chief Judge J. David Sams to Step Down November 1st

After 34 years with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including 28 years at the TTAB, Chief Judge J. David Sams will retire on November 1, 2009. Judge Sams joined the PTO as a trademark examining attorney in 1975. From 1979 to 1981, he served as chief legal assistant to the Assistant Commissioner for Trademarks. He was appointed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in 1981 and was named its Chairman in 1986. His title was changed to Chief Administrative Trademark Judge in 1993.

In addition to his management responsibilities, Judge Sams has participated in a number of important TTAB rulings during his tenure as Chief Judge, including the O.J. Simpson standing case (Ritchie v. Simpson); the Board's first dilution ruling (Toro v. Torohead); the FIDO LAY case (Recot v. M.C. Becton); and the "Redskins" disparagement case (Harjo v. Pro-Football, Inc.).

When asked for comments about Chief Judge Sams, one TTAB Judge who has worked with David for thirty years called him a respected boss, able colleague, loyal friend, and consummate professional.


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