PTO Proposes New Ethics Rules Based on ABA Model Rules

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is proposing new rules that would align the USPTO’s professional responsibility rules with those of most other U.S. jurisdictions.  The proposal, which comes in the form of a notice of proposed rulemaking, seeks to replace the current Patent and Trademark Office Code of Professional Responsibility 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.  The current USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted in 1985, were themselves based on the 1980 version of the Model Code of Professional Responsibility of the American Bar Association (“ABA”).

Also included in the proposed rulemaking are attempts by the Office to revise the existing procedural rules governing disciplinary investigations and proceedings.

The proposed USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct do not wholesale copy the ABA Model Rules.  The USPTO is not proposing the implementation of certain provisions of the ABA Model Rules that are inapplicable to patent practice. For example, the ABA Model Rules set forth specific provisions concerning domestic relations or criminal practice, which do not appear in the proposed USPTO Rules of Professional Responsibility.


Register Now for “Prior Art, Obviousness, and the America Invents Act in 2012”

Patent reform has arrived: what will be its impact on those touchstones of patentability, prior art and obviousness?  102 was already a complicated concept for patent practitioners, having undergone evolving interpretations in the PTO and CAFC.  How will the AIA now complicate matters further?  How does the concept of “prior art” and circumstance collide in the 21st century? How does prior art on the web impact the practice? What is truly enabled?

On June 4, 2012, PLI is hosting a seminar entitled, “Prior Art, Obviousness, and the America Invents Act in 2012.” This program will allow you to obtain an essential working understanding of this complicated statute, including recent re-interpretations, case law, and explore the statutory revisions.  Meanwhile, obviousness, the most common reason any application is rejected or patent held invalid, is changing as a result of KSR (already 5 years old). Explore 103 from inside and outside the PTO as both the CAFC and PTO try to shoehorn their past decisions into a KSR pigeonhole!

The program is geared to patent lawyers who have some familiarity with existing 35 USC Sections 102/103 and regularly work with the statute in either litigation or patent prosecution. The course will advance the knowledge of all attendees from their respective starting points and provide new insights into the statute, recent amendments, and case law. Seminar attendance includes course handbook and associated course materials. A downloadable course handbook will also be available several days prior to the program start for your review.

Don’t hesitate! Register for Prior Art, Obviousness, and the America Invents Act in 2012 here.

Patent Law Institute Live Blog: PTO Doings – Rules & Regs That Are/Are Not Changing for 2012

Welcome back to the Patent Law Institute live blog! Our next panel is entitled, “PTO Doings: Rules & Regs That Are/Are Not Changing for 2012”, and focuses on what to know and what to expect for 2012, as well as the importance of the changes in the rules for patent practitioners. This panel includes John M. White as our moderator, and features Brian Hanlon and Robert J. Spar as panelists. Their views differ as their positions as patent practitioner and PTO official would reasonably generate. Here are some of the highlights:  (more…)

Patent Law Institute Live Blog: Recent Cases

Our Patent Law Institute live blog continues with the panel entitled, “Recent Cases”. The panel features Robert Neuner, Senior Counsel at Hoffman & Baron, LLP, where he has extensive experience and success in the pretrial, trail, and appeal of patent, copyright, trademark, and trade dress cases. This panel focuses on Microsoft v. i4i, Global-Tech Appliances v. SEB S.A., and Therasense, among others. Here are a few of the highlights from this panel: (more…)

Patent Law Institute Live Blog: PTO Keynote with Robert Stoll

Good morning and welcome to the 6th Annual Patent Law Institute live blog! We will be live blogging from the majority of the Institute’s panels, which will also be accompanied by live tweeting (@plipatentlaw, #PatentLawInstitute). This morning begins with the keynote address from Robert L. Stoll. Robert has had a long career with the USPTO, serving as Commissioner for Patents, Dean of Training and Education, and director of the Office of Enforcement for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Robert is currently at Drinker, Biddle, & Reath LLP. Here are the highlights from Robert’s update on the PTO: (more…)