Patent Agent Faq And Practice Of Law
Q: Nothing seems to generate more discussion here than patent agents and their limitations relating to the unauthorized practice of law. It seems that everybody has an opinion. Here's what I'd really like to know. Does anybody know of any specific instances where an agent has been disciplined for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law? What exactly did that person do to get in trouble?
A: -No, of course not. Patent agents are authorized to practice law by the US PTO. The last time any state tried to limit the practice of a patent agent was in 1963, and the US Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor of the patent agent. -The case you cite doesn't support your overly broad statement: "Patent agents are authorized to practice law by the US PTO." Practically the very first line of your citation reads: "Florida may not prohibit petitioner from performing within the State tasks which are incident to the preparation and prosecution of patent applications before the Patent Office." This holding is clearly limited to "tasks which are incident to the preparation and prosecution of patent applications." Naturally, the fighting issue in any disciplinary action is what are the specific tasks incident to the preparation of patents? I've seen lots of barbs traded back and forth prefaced with "I think this," or "I think that." I'm just wondering if anyone can provide anything in the way of concrete examples where someone was disciplined for the unauthorized practice of law.
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