Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC

5130 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC


Paul E Salmon

October 5, 1962May 1, 2020

Paul Edward Salmon was born October 5, 1962 in Dallas, TX to John L. “Jack” and Helen (Wolff) Salmon. He passed away at the age of 57 in his Washington, DC home on May 1, 2020 due to cancer.

Paul is preceded in death by his father, Jack Salmon and brother-in-law, Frank DiTucci. Paul is survived by his mother, Helen Salmon; sisters, Patty DiTucci, Nancy Free (Tom) and Margaret Seidel (Greg); brothers, Joe Salmon, John Salmon (Mary Ann) and Tim Salmon (Molly); 16 nieces and nephews; three great nieces and nephews; and beloved beagle, Stevie Nicks.

Paul was exceptional in every aspect of his life. Paul excelled in his work, not only because he was extremely intelligent and creative, but also because he was every bit as loyal, honorable, and kind. He approached his work with inspirational levels of intensity and integrity and an unparalleled sense of humor. In every professional role, he quickly distinguished himself and set an example for others to follow. He was an advisor to some, a mentor to others, and a friend to all. He tirelessly defended American interests, and his fairness earned the respect of allies and adversaries alike. Everyone who met him, remembered him. Paul’s talent put him on the world’s stage, but he never lost sight of where he came from or the people who mattered to him. Through his many working years, with all his travels and accomplishments, he remained an earnest and gentle soul. This set him apart and made him unforgettable and irreplaceable.

Paul graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and began his career at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1985 as an entry-level patent examiner. While working at the USPTO, he attended the National Law Center of The George Washington University and graduated with honors. Paul quickly rose to positions of responsibility and trust.

In 1989, Paul joined an elite team of lawyers in the USPTO’s Office of Legislative and International Affairs. He would spend most of the next 30 years on that team, working to improve American innovation and competitiveness by strengthening the intellectual property (IP) system in the United States and around the world. Paul advised the head of the USPTO and the Secretary of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative and multiple federal agencies. He played a key part in the USPTO’s role as advisor to the President of the United States on domestic and international intellectual property matters.

Paul spent 1993 to 1995 in Geneva, Switzerland, where he represented the U.S. Government in World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings and negotiations. Most notably, he was there fighting for American interests and values during the negotiations that established the WTO and brought us the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, which remains a cornerstone of international IP law. In recognition of his invaluable contributions while posted in Geneva, the USPTO Commissioner brought Paul back to DC and promoted him to Chief of Staff.

In 1998, the world again came calling, and Paul transferred to New York to serve as Senior Counsel in the WIPO International Coordination Office. At WIPO, Paul worked to raise the profile of IP within the vast United Nations system, among foreign diplomatic representations, and the American business community. In 2002, Paul returned to USPTO Headquarters, where he served in a number of increasingly important roles. In 2005, Paul became the USPTO’s Senior Counsel for Trade, guiding the USPTO through numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings and negotiations, helping to create and protect American jobs and our competitive advantage.

Over the course of his distinguished career, Paul was a champion of American creativity and ingenuity. He received numerous awards and honors, including the Department of Commerce’s highest honor – the Gold Medal Award, for successful negotiations to bring the international IP framework into the Digital Age.

Paul contributed to the world of IP outside of the USPTO as well. He served as an adjunct faculty member at his alma mater, the National Law Center, where he lectured frequently on domestic and international intellectual property issues. Paul also appeared as a guest lecturer at several other law schools and universities, including George Mason University, Georgetown University, American University, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Fordham University, and Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. Paul was a natural teacher. His law classes showcased his depth of knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and his ability to make just about anything fun.

Although Paul excelled in every role throughout his career, the one he cherished most – and for which he was most cherished – was mentor. During his years at the USPTO, he formally mentored many USPTO patent examiners, helping them to identify goals and move into a diversity of roles. He was a mentor to IP experts around the world, as he was one of the intrepid few who helped build and grow the international IP system. To Paul’s colleagues, he was the encouraging voice, the gentle nudge, the reality check. Paul was the go-to guy for advice on almost everything, from negotiating strategy to navigating bureaucracy, and lots of things in between. In addition to being a fantastic colleague, Paul was a lunch partner, a travel buddy, a joker, sometimes a pest, and always and forever, a true friend. He had a great sense of humor and was a terrific companion. He was thoughtful and generous, always packing his suitcase with gifts for his Geneva friends, and on the return trip with souvenirs to give to his friends in DC. He was gentle and kind and unforgettable. The USPTO family and the global IP community are better for having known Paul Salmon.

Paul enjoyed spending time with his closest friends, vacationing (especially in Provincetown) and visiting family. He was an exceptional soul; his ability to live a happy, joyous and free life was and will continue to be an inspiration to his many, many friends. During the last five years of his life, Paul was active in the DC recovery community. He walked through his challenges with dignity, grace and courage, providing an example of a life well lived to the very end.

Paul’s ashes will be interred at the family plot in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Dallas, TX at a private ceremony on May 30, 2020. A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held in the coming months in Washington, DC.

Memorials may be given to the Triangle Club, Washington, DC (https://triangleclub.org/product/donation) and Whitman-Walker Health, Washington, DC (https://www.whitman-walker.org/give).

The family of Paul wishes to extend our sincere thanks to dear friends John Laffey, Paul Dwyer, Ted Socha and Rene Meija; neighbors Don Baum and Mike Brown; the medical staff from Capital Caring Health, especially Renee; and the caregivers from Georgetown Home Care, especially Elizabeth.



  • Private Interment

    Saturday, May 30, 2020


  • Celebration of Life to be scheduled in Washington, DC at a future date.


Paul E Salmon

have a memory or condolence to add?

Pat LaCour

May 22, 2020

Margaret, and the entire Salmon family, I just wanted to express my condolences for your loss. I wish I'd known Paul but despite being classmates with Margaret for most of K-12, we never crossed paths that I recall. Take comfort and courage that you will be with him again, by God's mercy. May he rest in Peace and may Perpetual Light shine on him.

Michelle King

May 21, 2020

Sending my thoughts and prayers to Paul’s family and friends. I enjoyed working and collaborating with Paul on intellectual property matters plus seeing him in the neighborhood with his dog. I enjoyed our chats over coffee about IP and policy. Paul always had a smile on his face and I will miss him. Rest In Peace, Paul.

Tim Salmon

May 20, 2020

We thank you for your prayers, your thoughtful words and gestures, and your presence in Paul’s life. Paul felt truly blessed by all the wonderful people he knew and loved during his lifetime. It was a gift that so many of you visited him in the last few months to share what you meant to each other. Paul lived fully, laughed loudly, cared generously and loved deeply. He ended so many conversations with the words “I love you.” Today, those words would be his final words to you.

Daniel and Sylvia Thomas

May 20, 2020

It was such a privilege to get to know Paul and we are deeply saddened to hear about his passing. He was a brilliant and kind man who did not toot his own horn. His gentle and confident spirit left a deep impact on us. He was a true patriot who loved life and left the world a better place than he found it. We will miss our conversations with him and know that he will be missed by many. Our prayers for peace and comfort for those who knew and loved him best.

Sister Mary Paul Haase

May 20, 2020

Prayers for Paul's soul and for comfort and consolation for his family. I knew him from Bishop Lynch, and was in class with his older brother John.

Karen Barland

May 19, 2020

I met Paul through my brother, Terry Kirsche, who was his dear friend for many, many years. Paul was a lovely, kind and generous person with a huge heart and gentle soul. I'll always remember Paul's touching and kind heart; like when he offered his place to my husband and I when we were visiting Terry in DC. He was there for my family and I when my sweet brother Terry passed away, and again when we lost my mother this past year. He was a man of elegance and grace, with a deep passion for life and caring for others. I'm blessed to have known Paul and to have had him in my life. May you rest in peace and know you are loved dear sweet Paul.

Howard Wilson

May 19, 2020

I had the sincere pleasure of getting to know Paul in the recovery community. He was a true model of strength and growth. He showed me first-hand how to accept trials with grace and dignity. I am forever blessed for knowing him.

Kerry Touchette

May 17, 2020

He was one in a million, a kind, thoughtful and beautiful person.We won't see anyone like him anytime soon.He had my heart and I'll always remember him as long as I live.He was very special to me.

Michael Schlesinger

May 16, 2020

I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Paul Salmon. He was an excellent colleague and we had many fine strategy talks about IP and creativity. He cared. He made a positive difference in this world. He struggled - like the best of us - and overcame. I wrote a song “Laurence where have you gone?” but could have been “Paul” instead. It’s about MY loss for not having kept up with an old friend. That is how I feel today. I know those who kept up with Paul are the lucky ones. My sincerest condolences to Paul’s family and loved ones. He is missed.

Patrick Kilbride

May 16, 2020

Farewell and Godspeed, Paul. We all owe you a debt of gratitude. You made the world a better place and brightened the lives you touched. Gone too soon; never forgotten.


Learn more about the Salmon name