11 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2008 Last revised: 14 May 2014
Date Written: July 31, 2008
The Agency Practice Act, 5 U.S.C. § 500(b), provides that any lawyer in good standing in a state bar may practice before any federal agency. Sec. 500(e), however, provides that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) may impose additional requirements upon those who prosecute patent applications.
The accompanying file contains: (1) my February 2006 petition to the PTO that requests notice and comment rulemaking to address specific technical qualifications attorneys need to sit for the so-called patent bar, (2) a December 2005 declaration by Professor Stanley C. Eisenstat, Dept. of Computer Science, Yale University, pointing out that criteria for admission of lawyers holding computer science degrees were irrational, and (3) a May 2006 response from James A. Toupin, General Counsel, PTO denying the petition. Building on these documents, prior related work and substantial later work, Ralph C. Clifford, Jon Cavicchi and I published “A Statistical Analysis of the Patent Bar, Where are the Software-Savvy Patent Attorneys?” 11 N. Car. J. Law & Tech. 223 (2010).
Keywords: agency practice act, patent attorney, patent bar, rulemaking petition, law and technology, law and science, software patents
JEL Classification: K23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation