Patent director takes oath at SXSW

Patent director takes oath at SXSW
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Michelle Lee was officially sworn in Friday as director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at South by Southwest (SXSW).  

The Austin festival that includes interactive conferences, music and film will host a number of Washington lawmakers over the weekend to speak about tech issues.

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Lee, a former Google executive who has unofficially headed the department for the past year, was unanimously approved by the Senate earlier this week.  

Commerce Department Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny Sue PritzkerDNC hauls in .5 million in June Michelle Obama officiated Chicago wedding: report Election Countdown: Trump plans ambitious travel schedule for midterms | Republicans blast strategy for keeping House | Poll shows Menendez race tightening | Cook Report shifts Duncan Hunter's seat after indictment MORE swore in Lee before giving a talk about the government’s need to keep up with the pace of technology. Due to travel, the two had not been in the same room since the Senate approved Lee’s nomination, Pritzker said. 

“I wanted to use this occasion to actually officially swear her in today. And I thought it would be fun if you could share that experience with us,” Pritzker said, as her office used the new app Meerkat to livestream the ceremony. 

Lee took her oath shortly before speaking about the importance of women in the technology industry. She was joined onstage during her swearing by Rachel Payne, the founder of FEM Inc., a media company.