Harmonization of USPTO Ethical Standards in the Post-AIA Era (Live Webinar)

MBHB is pleased to present a webinar featuring Director William R. Covey, Deputy General Counsel and Director for Office of Enrollment and Discipline (“OED”) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on the new USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct. On October 18, 2012, the USPTO published a notice of proposed rulemaking to update its rules of professional conduct by conforming the ethical obligations for representing others before the USPTO to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which have been adopted in some form by every state (except California) and the District of Columbia. This announcement was welcome news for attorney patent practitioners, because such individuals were required to know and abide by the ethics rules of the state in which they practice, as well as the Patent and Trademark Office Code of Professional Conduct, which was based on the former ABA Model Code from 1980. After the required comment period, the USPTO published the final rules in the April 3, 2013 Federal Register, effective on May 3, 2013.

This presentation will address these new rules, and focuses on present day ethical issues affecting attorneys and agents who practice before the USPTO and are therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the OED. Such issues include:

  • Ethical standards under the New USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, modeled on the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
  • Mechanics of OED’s complaint and investigative process.
  • Ethical impact of the AIA on practitioners and OED.
  • Practical examples and statistics relating to OED enforcement.


Moderator: MBHB Partner Andrew W. Williams, Ph.D.

Director Covey’s presentation and any associated material are produced by the United States Patent and Trademark Office; no copyright is claimed by the United States in this speech or associated materials.

While there is no fee to participate, all attendees must register in advance and, in order to receive MCLE credit, must participate individually. Access an archived audio version of this webinar here. NOTE: MCLE credit is not available for this archived recording. 

All registrants will receive an email confirmation and details for online participation. MCLE Ethics credit is pending for the states of California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey*, New York*, North Carolina and Virginia (*via reciprocity).

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP is committed to educating clients and friends of the firm with respect to significant developments and trends in the areas of intellectual property law.