AIPLA Saddened to Learn of Passing of Former Executive Director Q. Todd Dickinson

Written May 6, 2020

Arlington, VA. The American Intellectual Property Law Association is saddened to learn of the passing of Q. Todd Dickinson, former AIPLA Executive Director and former Director of the USPTO.  

Todd, a Philadelphia native, received a bachelor’s in chemistry from Allegheny College and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Before moving to Washington, D.C., he had more than 20 years of intellectual property law experience with corporations and law firms. In June 1998 President Bill Clinton appointed Dickinson Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, before serving more than 10 months as Acting Commissioner after the departure of Commissioner Bruce Lehman in December 1998. He took the oath of office as Commissioner on November 17, 1999, becoming the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks.

Soon after Dickinson became Commissioner, Congress passed the landmark American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA). Among other things the AIPA changed Dickinson’s title, and he became the first Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After returning to private practice, Dickinson led AIPLA from 2008 to 2014. He was inducted into the International IP Hall of Fame in 2012.

"Todd Dickinson was recognized around the world as a leader in the intellectual property community.  He had a passionate commitment to the intellectual property system," said AIPLA President Barbara A. Fiacco. "On behalf of AIPLA, we extend our heartfelt sympathies to his husband Robert, and his countless friends and colleagues.”

"I have known Todd for over 20 years and worked and travelled with him from our time at the USPTO until COVID-19 shut down several panels where we were scheduled to speak together," stated Robert L. Stoll, Member of the AIPLA Board of Directors.  "He was a brilliant, thoughtful and funny friend who always had me laughing.  He cared deeply about the patent system and his husband, Robert. I will miss him.  May he rest in peace."