USPTO Adopts ABA Model Rules

Today the USPTO will publish a notice in the Federal Register to update the USPTO Rules of Professional Responsibility and to revise procedures for disciplinary investigations and proceedings. (reading room copy here). The notice explains that the notice of proposed rulemaking is designed to align USPTO Rules of Professional Responsibility with that of most other U.S. jurisdictions.

Of particular interest for post grant patent practitioners is Proposed Rules 11.19(a).

Proposed Rule 11.19(a) is revised to expressly provide jurisdiction over non-registered practitioners that provide or offer to provide legal services before the Office. This provision would allow the USPTO to more effectively police non-registered practitioners such as those that may apply to appear before the PTAB on a pro hac vice basis.