Elizabeth Dougherty

Acting Deputy Director, Office of Patent Legal Administration,
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Elizabeth Dougherty is an Acting Deputy Director in the Office of Patent Legal Administration at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this capacity she is responsible for the oversight and direction of a team of senior legal advisors and legal staff who serve as the legal policy advisors for the U.S. Patent Corps. Ms. Dougherty and her team devise and implement training for the Patent Corps and the public, draft and disseminate legal policy memorandum and guidance documents for use by the Patent Corps and the public, and assist in the development and handling of special application issues and USPTO patent initiatives.
Previously at the USPTO, Ms. Dougherty served as the Special Assistant to the Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as a Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of Patent Legal Administration in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, as a petitions attorney in the Office of Petitions, as an Executive Advisor to the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, and as a patent examiner. During her tenure as a patent examiner, Ms. Dougherty was responsible for the examination of patent applications filed in the area of Class 73, Electric Devices used for Measuring or Testing. This included a wide variety of devices ranging, for example, from transducers for measuring torque, pressure, impact, and flow to meteorological devices and inventions measuring physical strength.

Ms. Dougherty is frequently called upon to lecture, often to student groups of all ages, on the USPTO, the patent process, innovation and creativity, and legal aspects of obtaining and maintaining a U.S. patent.

Ms. Dougherty received a Bachelors Degree in Physics from the Catholic University of America in 1991 and a Juris Doctorate from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1996.

She is a member of the Virginia Bar, the Giles S. Rich American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Patent and Trademark Office Society, the Supervisory Patent Examiners and Classifiers Organization, Women in Science and Engineering, and the Prince George’s County Historical Society.

Ms. Dougherty enjoys history, living in an 1854 home on the Maryland Historic Register and is the owner of nearly fifty patent models. In addition, she collects other books, documents, and artifacts of USPTO history.