Clause 8 Season 3, Episode 4: Phil Warrick on Working with Senator Coons to Fix the Section 101 Mess

Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast, The Voice of IP, has returned for Season 3, featuring all new exclusive interviews with the intellectual property community’s biggest names.



Clause 8 - Warrick

Before Phil Warrick began working for Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), Capitol Hill wasn’t in his career plans.

But when an opportunity to work with Coons emerged, he decided to take the leap. For two years, he served as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) IP counsel detailee to Coons after Coons helped to restart the Senate’s IP Subcommittee, working on bipartisan initiatives like the IDEA Act and legislation to fix the Section 101 patent eligibility mess. Those efforts were a dramatic departure from Congress’s previous fixation on the “patent troll” narrative.

“And for me, as a detailee, it was just a great opportunity to learn more about all these issues that were at play with intellectual property, and having really interesting conversations with folks on and off the hill, who said, I understand why this is your perspective, why you might have this view as a patent litigator, but let me give you this view from a completely different perspective,” Warrick says. “And it really opened my eyes.”

After Coons friend and fellow Delawarean, Joe Biden, was elected as president, the innovation community was hopeful that Coons would use his top role on the Subcommittee to prioritize patent issues within the Biden administration and Congress.

However, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) had other ideas, and took over as the top Democrat on the Subcommittee.  Since that time, the Subcommittee has moved in a very different, arguably anti-patent direction, and Leahy’s views have won out in seemingly every major administration decision related to patents.

But in yet another twist, Leahy has announced that he is retiring and won’t seek re-election in 2022.  So, Coons is likely to return to his role as the top Democrat on the IP Subcommittee. Warrick’s insights from working for Coons are critical for anyone who wants to impact patent policy in the future.

You can subscribe and listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting app and learn more at New episodes will drop every Tuesday!