The USPTO is seeking comment on two proposals that would expand the scope of who may become a “patent attorney”
- Expanding admission criteria for registration to practice in patent cases before the USPTO.
- Expanding opportunities to appear before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)
Comments should be submitted by Jan 17, 2023 via the eRulemaking Portal.
Earlier in 2022, the USPTO made some minor expansions to the criteria for registering as a patent attorney, but this new proposal offers the possibility of a broader inclusive market and a mechanism for the Office to regularly update eligibility criteria. It also asks whether there should be a separate bar for design patent practitioners. Things could get really interesting (in a good way) if folks trained in design (rather than engineering) start participating at the USPTO level.
On the PTAB side, the PTO is seeking comments about whether non-patent-attorneys should be permitted to represent clients in AIA proceedings. The USPTO also asks about potential development programs such as LEAP.