Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Patent and Trademark Office Reviewing Professional Responsibility Rules

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) proposes to align the USPTO's professional responsibility rules with those of most other U.S. jurisdictions. Patent and trademark attorneys, as well as their legal marketing teams, will want to take note.

The proposed plan is to replace the current Patent and Trademark Office Code of Professional Responsibility, adopted in 1985, based on the 1980 version of the Model Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association (“ABA”), with new USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, which are based on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the ABA, which were published in 1983, substantially revised in 2003 and updated through 2011.

Changes approved by the ABA House of Delegates in August 2012 have not been incorporated in these proposed rules. The Office also proposes to revise the existing procedural rules governing disciplinary investigations and proceedings.

Click on the link for more details on the USPTO proposed professional responsibility rule changes.  Written comments on the proposal must be received on or before December 17, 2012.