A New Horizon: Design Patent Practitioner Bar Proposed by USPTO

by Dennis Crouch

America Patent and Trademark Workplace has proposed a rule to create a separate design patent practitioner bar. The USPTO is publishing this proposal within the Federal Register on Could 16, 2023 (hyperlink beneath to the prepub).

Because it stands right this moment, there’s a single patent bar that applies to these practising in patent issues earlier than the USPTO, overlaying utility, plant, and design patents.  And, despite the fact that design patents cowl ornamentally, the present guidelines require that the  design patent practitioner be an engineer or scientist.

The proposed rule goals to determine a further separate bar for many who solely specialise in design patents, guaranteeing that they’ve the required {qualifications}, whereas opening the door to non-engineers.  The proposal seems to not have an effect on these already registered to follow. Current patent practitioners will proceed to follow as earlier than, and new candidates who meet the present standards, together with passing the prevailing registration examination, will even be permitted to follow in all patent issues, together with design patent issues.

In Fall 2022, the USPTO requested for feedback on proposals on this course and obtained largely constructive feedback. Stakeholders acknowledged that the transfer would encourage broader participation within the patent system.

The proposal would nonetheless have a ‘technical’ requirement, usually a level in one of many following: industrial design, product design, structure, utilized arts, graphic design, effective/studio arts, or artwork trainer training. The diploma necessities right here align with the present hiring practices of the USPTO for design patent examiners.  Along with the diploma necessities, candidates must meet the opposite necessities to register for the bar, together with taking and passing the present registration examination and passing an ethical character analysis.

The USPTO will settle for feedback on the proposed rulemaking via August 14, 2023 by way of the rules.gov portal.