USPTO seeks to formalize its Diversion Pilot Program

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Patent Alert


USPTO seeks to formalize its Diversion Pilot Program

To provide practitioners an opportunity to address the root causes of minor misconduct and adhere to high standards of ethics and professionalism, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to formalize its Diversion Pilot Program for patent and trademark practitioners whose physical or mental health issues or law practice management issues resulted in minor misconduct. Also, making the pilot permanent would align USPTO disciplinary practice with a majority of state attorney disciplinary systems. 

This proposed rulemaking would also require reciprocally recognized foreign trademark attorneys and agents to regularly update their contact information in order to provide the public with current information. In addition, the proposed rulemaking would defer to state bars regarding fee sharing between practitioners and non-practitioners and would make minor adjustments to other rules found in 37 CFR parts 1 and 11.

You can find the full text of the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register and on the USPTO’s Patent Related Notices webpage and the Rule Making: Trademark Federal Register Notices and Comments webpage.