Hon. Melissa Haapala


Lead Administrative Patent Judge Haapala decides appeals arising from adverse decisions of Examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and presides over trials to determine patentability of claims in patents subsequent to issuance. She holds a law degree from the University of Denver College of Law, a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems, Management of Technology from Regis University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado. Judge Haapala worked as a staff software engineer for Storage Technology and then she practiced at several law firms, including Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman, and Townsend and Townsend and Crew. Following her time in private practice, she served as Senior Counsel at Sun Microsystems and as Assistant General Counsel at Ricoh. Judge Haapala joined the Board in 2014.