The USPTO and US Foreign and Commercial Service have posted a notice to fill the position of IP Attaché at the US Consulate in Shanghai. The position is open now for applications and closes September 14, 2018. The position requires US citizenship, bar admission, at least four years of professional legal experience and at least one year of specialized experience (consisting in part of knowledge of international IP practices). Although knowledge of Chinese language or experience in Chinese IP matters do not appear to be specific requirements for the position, a separate questionnaire as part of the application process asks for experience in these areas. USPTO had also recently posted for another position: Senior Counsel, China in Washington, DC.
The current official holding the Shanghai position is Mike Mangelson, who has been there since 2014. He will be missed when his term is up.
Two senior China-related positions involving, to different degrees, intellectual property have recently opened in the US Government.
A position similar to the one I helped create at the US Patent and Trademark Office is now open. The incumbent will serve as “Senior Counsel for China Intellectual Property Policy.” The position closes on August 6, 2018. Applicants must be US Citizens, graduated from an accredited law school, and be a member of the bar. PTO is seeking someone who has “Knowledge of a wide variety of international matters, particularly issues related to China IP and civil law matters.” The introduction of knowledge of “civil law” seems new to me. The position is also subject to a chain of command of “assist[ing] the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director, Deputy Under Secretary and Deputy Director, Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs of OPIA, the Deputy Chief Policy Officer of OPIA, and others by rendering advisory legal and technical opinions on a wide range of complex China IP issues and sensitive negotiations.”
Another position that has opened is that of Director, Center for Interagency Trade, Implementation, Monitoring, and Enforcement (ICTIME) and is responsible for supervising, directing, and implementing initiatives required by Section 604 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. The position includes overseeing investigations of information for potential disputes brought by USTR to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and developing positions and strategies for implementation and enforcement of U.S. trade rights under international trade agreements for enforcement of domestic trade laws. This appears to be the Trade Enforcement unit first proposed by President Obama in a State of the Union Address in January 2012: “It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated,” Obama said: “Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China.” As a side note, it is interesting to observe how much the focus of USG trade policy has since shifted to technology issues, as indicated by this focus of then-President Obama. The position closes on July 23, 2018. This announcement also seeks someone who is capable of the various management competencies of the Senior Executive Service.
Neither position explicitly requires a knowledge of Chinese language, although China is clearly a focus of them both. Both positions also entail management responsibilities. The USTR position includes “supervising 20 Trade Enforcement Analysts, detailees, interns, and other employees” while the PTO position involves “serv[ing] as the China team leader”.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is seeking to hire a Manager or Director Global Policy (China focused) to join SIA’s Global Policy Team. The ideal candidate will have an education and prior work experience relevant to Chinese technology or international trade issues. The position reports directly to the Vice President of Global Policy. The position requires a Bachelors degree (B.A.), Masters degree preferred; 2-7 years of professional experience in international trade or global technology issues; good understanding of China’s political-economy and tech policy; working-level fluency in Chinese, with strong Chinese source material reading and research skills; etc. Here is the link to the posting.
In recent months, semiconductor policy has become a hot bilateral area, and this position would likely bring the successful applicant directly into the range of bilateral semiconductor issues and opportunities, including technology policy, trade, antitrust and intellectual property.