03/20/19

C. MARSHALL DANN


C. MARSHALL DANN 1974-1977

C. Marshall Dann was born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, on March 27, 1915. His father was an engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Delaware, and a law degree from Georgetown University.

He spent 36 years with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., at the time the world’s largest chemical company. He started as a research chemist in Wilmington, Delaware, and was named as the inventor in a U.S. patent. He decided to take advantage of a DuPont program in Washington, D.C., that allowed employees to work in the company’s Washington office as patent apprentices while attending law school. Many large companies ran apprentice programs during that era. After law school he returned to Wilmington and rose to the position of chief patent counsel of the company, managing more than 100 patent lawyers. 

President Richard Nixon appointed Dann commissioner of patents, and he took the oath of office on February 11, 1974. Congress changed his title to Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks in 1975 when it changed the office’s name to the Patent and Trademark Office to recognize its trademark functions. Dann advocated the name change.

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