USPTO Withdraws Continuing Legal Education Certification for Patent Practitioners
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) has issued a final rule eliminating provisions of 37 CFR part 11 that pertain to continuing legal education (CLE) certification and recognition for patent practitioners. The final rule eliminates 37 CFR 11.11(a)(3), which previously provided that registered patent practitioners and individuals granted limited recognition to practice in patent matters before the USPTO could certify their completion of a specified amount of CLE to the Director for the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). After considering public comments, the USPTO has determined that the voluntary CLE certification and recognition for patent practitioners will not be implemented. The USPTO relayed its intent to continue releasing more detailed guidance, both for those within the USPTO and for those who practice before the USPTO, to provide education (e.g., via video sessions and materials) on applicable cases and guidance, and on any updates to USPTO practice. The USPTO encouraged practitioners to avail themselves of all materials relevant to their practice and to add themselves to the relevant USPTO email lists. The USPTO also encouraged practitioners to engage in pro bono efforts.
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