White House Picks Ex-Google Lawyer to Lead Patent Office

The White House announced that it will  nominate former Google lawyer Michelle K. Lee to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, potentially handing Silicon Valley a key victory and ending a two-year tussle for the agency's leadership. Lee has been managing the 10,000-employee Patent Office day-to-day since being appointed deputy director in January. But efforts to permanently elevate her to director have been stymied by powerful outside groups -- particularly pharmaceutical companies, which backed an industry insider for the job.