UCLA School of Law lecturer and alumnus Andrei Iancu ’96 has been unanimously confirmed as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
On Feb. 5, the Senate voted 94-0 to place Iancu at the head of the USPTO, the primary federal agency regulating intellectual property rights. One of the nation’s leading patent litigators and a partner at Irell & Manella, Iancu was nominated to the post by President Trump last summer and confirmed by the Judiciary Committee in December.
Iancu “understands all sides of patent law because he’s litigated all sides,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in a speech on the Senate floor on Monday. “In an area fraught with allegiances to particular industries or groups, Andrei can bring a neutral, unbiased perspective because he’s already had to approach issues from so many different angles.”
Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the USPTO issues patents for inventions and trademarks for products and services.
Iancu served as managing partner at Irell & Manella from 2012 to 2018. He maintained a robust practice at the prominent intellectual property litigation firm, including settlements totaling more than $1.6 billion for TiVo in patent cases against EchoStar, AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, Motorola and Cisco.
At UCLA Law, he has taught intensive seminars on patent law with fellow Irell & Manella partner Alan Heinrich. He is also a sought-after speaker and published author, and has received several accolades for his work in the courtroom and beyond. In 2017, Los Angeles Business Journal named him lawyer of the year for firms with 75 to 125 attorneys, and California Lawyer magazine honored him as the intellectual property attorney of the year in 2013.
In addition to his law degree, Iancu holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering and B.S. in aerospace engineering, both from UCLA. Before entering law school, he was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft.