Michelle Lee was appointed as the first Director of the Silicon Valley United States Patent and Trademark Office, a position that she currently holds.
She previously served as Deputy General Counsel and Head of Patents and Patent Strategy at Google Inc. Prior to her position at Google, Michelle was a partner at the law firm of Fenwick & West LLP where she represented high technology companies on a range of legal matters.
Michelle received her bachelor and master of science degrees in computer science and electrical engineering, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her law degree from Stanford Law School. Prior to law school, she worked as a computer science researcher at Hewlett Packard Company and the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Upon graduating from Stanford, she clerked for Judge Vaughn Walker on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Thereafter, she clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. for Judge Paul Michel.
Michelle is also a founder and current board member of ChIPs (Chief IP Counsels), an organization dedicated to advancing the careers of women in patent-related fields. In order to increase the visibility and numbers of women working in intellectual property departments of major high technology companies and law firms, Michelle and a few other women chief IP counsels from Fortune 500 companies established ChIPs. ChIPs provides a forum for top women IP attorneys to share their career experiences, lessons learned and how to be effective in judicial, corporate and/or advocacy roles. ChIPs members also mentor women attorneys beginning their careers in IP law. In just six short years, ChIPs has grown to over one hundred highly loyal members, and Michelle’s involvement in ChIPs has been one of her more rewarding community activities.