USPTO Update: Proposed Amendment for Design Patent Practitioner Bar


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has proposed an amendment to the rules of practice in patent cases and the representation of others before the USPTO.

The proposed amendment aims to establish a separate design patent practitioner bar, enabling specialized professionals to focus exclusively on design patent proceedings.

Currently, the USPTO operates with a single patent bar, which applies to individuals practicing in all patent matters before the USPTO. This includes utility, plant, and design patents. However, given the unique intricacies of design patent law and the increasing demand for specialized expertise, the USPTO recognizes the need for a designated bar for design patent practitioners.

The establishment of a design patent practitioner bar will not affect the ability of registered practitioners to continue practicing in any patent matters before the USPTO, including design patent cases. Those who are already registered will retain their privileges and maintain their status. The proposed amendment aims to create an additional avenue for practitioners, without hindering the rights of those already qualified.

By introducing a separate bar for design patent practitioners, the USPTO seeks to encourage broader participation. This move recognizes the distinct skills and knowledge required to effectively navigate the complexities of design patents.

Written comments on the proposed amendment must be received on or before August 14, 2023.


More information on the proposed amendment may be found at:  Federal Register :: Changes to the Representation of Others in Design Patent Matters Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office

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