Andrei Iancu is an intellectual property lawyer at Irell & Manella, and the former United States Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a position to which he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate.
As the head of the USPTO, Mr. Iancu oversaw one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world with approximately 13,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $3.5 billion. Among Mr. Iancu’s initiatives as director was the creation of the National Council for Expanding American Innovation, a group of industry, academic and government leaders tasked with helping the USPTO develop a comprehensive national strategy to broaden participation in the innovation ecosystem demographically, geographically and economically. Mr. Iancu also was the principal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on domestic and international intellectual property matters.
Prior to his government position, Mr. Iancu was the Managing Partner of Irell & Manella, where his practice focused on intellectual property litigation. Mr. Iancu appeared in a variety of high-profile matters in front of the USPTO, U.S. district courts, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. International Trade Commission. He has represented clients across the technical and scientific spectra, including those associated with medical devices, genetic testing, therapeutics, the internet, telephony, TV broadcasting, video game systems, and computer peripherals.
Among his legal community accolades, the Daily Journal, California Lawyer magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, and many others have acknowledged his expertise in commercial litigation and intellectual property law. Mr. Iancu has also been the recipient of the Patent and Trademark Office Society's 36th Annual Rossman Award, the Hughes Aircraft Malcolm R. Currie Innovation Award, and the Melville B. Nimmer Copyright Award. Most recently, he was inducted into the IAM Hall of Fame by Intellectual Asset Management and received the “Excellence Award” from American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). In 2019, Mr. Iancu received the “IP Champion Award” from the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation for “his extraordinary leadership in advocating for the value of intellectual property to stimulate the progress of innovation.” He also received the 2020 IEEE-USA “Award for Distinguished Public Service” for “his achievement of restoring balance and confidence in the U.S. patent system.”
In 2021, Mr. Iancu co-founded the Renewing American Innovation Project at the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He previously taught patent law at UCLA School of Law, and he is a sought-after speaker and writer on issues related to IP and innovation.
Mr. Iancu holds a Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law. He also has a Master of Science in mechanical engineering and a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering, also from UCLA. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Iancu was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft Company.