langelgjm writes "President Obama has announced his intent to nominate David Kappos, a VP and general counsel at IBM, to head the US Patent and Trademark Office. This move is particularly notable not only because of IBM's much friendlier attitudes towards open source compared with some of their rivals, but also because Kappos himself is open source-friendly: 'We are now the biggest supporters of the open source development project,' explains David. 'Admittedly this policy is not easily reconcilable with our traditional IP strategy, but we are convinced that it is the way to go for the future.' Not just a lawyer, Kappos earned an engineering degree before working in the legal field. Kappos has been described as 'critical of the American approach to patent policy.' Given his background, could this mean a new era for US patent policy?"