Andrei Iancu

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Andrei Iancu
Andrei Iancu official photo.jpg
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property
In office
February 8, 2018 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byMichelle K. Lee
Succeeded byKathi Vidal
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office
In office
February 8, 2018 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byMichelle K. Lee
Succeeded byKathi Vidal
Personal details
Born (1968-04-02) April 2, 1968 (age 54)
Bucharest, Romania[1]
EducationUniversity of California, Los Angeles (BS, MS, JD)

Andrei Iancu (born April 2, 1968) is an American-Romanian engineer and intellectual property attorney, who served as the under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from 2017 to 2021.[2] He was nominated for both positions in 2017 by President Donald Trump.[3][4] He left office January 20, 2021.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Iancu was born in Bucharest.[6] He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in in aerospace engineering, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering, and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, he was initiated into Sigma Pi fraternity.[7]


Before entering law school, Iancu was an engineer at Hughes Aircraft,[8] from 1989 to 1993.[9]

Following law school, in 1999, Iancu joined Irell & Manella, of which he became the managing partner in 2012.[3][10]

His legal practice focused on intellectual property litigation. As an attorney, Iancu appeared before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the United States International Trade Commission, U.S. district courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.[8][11]

In 2006, while Iancu was a partner at Irell & Manella, the firm represented Donald Trump, NBC Universal and Mark Burnett in a copyright suit which alleged that Mark Bethea and Velocity Entertainment Group had originally pitched The Apprentice to the production team, under the title of CEO.[12] The case was "jointly settled out of court with an undisclosed settlement paid to Bethea" that year.[13]

Iancu is also a lecturer of patent law at his alma mater, the UCLA School of Law.[8][14]


Iancu was nominated by President Trump on August 26, 2017; approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 14, 2017; confirmed by the Senate 94–0 on February 5, 2018; and assumed the offices of Under Secretary and Director on February 8, 2018, when he was sworn in.[15][2]

In 2020, Iancu oversaw the sharpest declines and inclines of trademark applications in history. During Spring, COVID-19 lockdowns led to fewer filings, which then increased in July 2020, exceeding the previous July. September 2020 was subsequently the highest month of trademark filings in the history of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.[16]


  1. ^ Brachmann, Steve; Quinn, Gene (October 15, 2017). "Andrei Iancu submits questionnaire to Senate, more info on USPTO Director nominee". IPWatchdog. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Fucito, Paul (February 8, 2018). "Andrei Iancu Begins Role as New Director of United States Patent and Trademark Office". U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Graham, Scott (August 25, 2017). "Irell's Andrei Iancu Is Trump's Choice for PTO Director". The National Law Journal. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Breland, Ali (August 25, 2017). "Trump nominates Andrei Iancu to be director of patent office". The Hill. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Andrei Iancu Formally Bids Farewell to USPTO".
  6. ^ Iancu, Andrei (2017). "Questionnaire for Non-Judicial Nominees" (PDF). U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  7. ^ "Iancu Named US Patent And Trademark Office Director". The Emerald of Sigma Pi. Vol. 103, no. 2. Summer 2019. p. 58.
  8. ^ a b c "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Personnel to Key Administration Posts". August 25, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017 – via National Archives.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. ^ "Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: Who Is Andrei Iancu?". March 26, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  10. ^ "Andrei Iancu". ProPublica. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Greene, Kat (August 25, 2017). "Trump Taps Irell Partner Andrei Iancu To Lead USPTO". Law360. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  12. ^ "Mark Bethea Idea Theft Case against Mark Burnett Productions Will Begin Trial on Wednesday, May 31, 2006; Bethea Claims Burnett Stole Concept That Became The Apprentice". UCLA School of Law. May 18, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  13. ^ Salkin, Allen (November 14, 2019). "The Long, Strange Beef Over Who Actually Invented 'The Apprentice'". Vice Media. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  14. ^ "Andrei Iancu". UCLA School of Law. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
  15. ^ Wolfe, Jan (February 5, 2018). "Lawyer Andrei Iancu confirmed to lead U.S. patent office". 1450 99.7 WHTC. Reuters. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  16. ^ "USPTO Director Andrei Iancu speaks on pandemic's effect on intellectual property". American Bar Association. October 30, 2020. Retrieved October 2, 2020.

External links[edit]

  • Presidential Nomination no. 927, 115th Congress, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. September 5, 2017.
Government offices
Preceded by Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property Succeeded by