It was just a year ago that Michelle Lee, an intellectual property lawyer at tech giant Google for nine years, left to become director of a new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office “satellite” operation  in Silicon Valley.

Now, after absorbing what must have been a stunning salary drop,  there’s talk that the Silicon Valley native may be on the move again, this time to Washington to run the entire USPTO. Lee has been a leading advocate of reform to battle frivolous lawsuits by “patent trolls.”

Another name that had been mentioned for the job was under secretary of commerce and deputy  USPTO  director Teresa Stanek Rea. She was named acting director of the office after David Kappos resigned in February but she announced in September that she would be leaving the deputy directorship.