Office of the General Counsel

  • Office of General Counsel
    Local: 571-272-7000
    Fax: 571-273-0099

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is concerned with defense of agency decisions in court and administrative tribunals, internal agency legal advice, and regulation of persons practicing before the USPTO. The OGC consists of three organizations, which are:

The OGC also manages the USPTO's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program.

The OGC is headed by a General Counsel, who is responsible for overall management of the division and acts as the Under Secretary and Director’s principal legal advisor in assuring the provision of legal advice and representation for the agency. The General Counsel has also been delegated authority to hear appeals from decisions in enrollment and discipline matters, and to determine whether special circumstances exist pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 122 for releasing information concerning patent applications. The General Counsel for the United States Patent and Trademark Office is Sarah Harris.

Serving a Complaint

In order to serve a complaint, summons or Notice of Appeal on the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") or on the Director of the USPTO or an employee in his or her official capacity you must serve as follows:

A. Any summons or complaint to be served in person or by registered or certified mail or as otherwise authorized by law on the Office to:

Office of the General Counsel
United States Patent and Trademark Office
P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

B. Service by hand should be made during business hours to:

Office of the General Counsel
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Madison Building East, Room 10B20
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

The Office of the General Counsel may be reached by telephone at (571) 272-7000 during business hours.

Office of the Solicitor

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Office of General Law

The Office of General Law (OGL) is responsible for representing the USPTO in matters other than those involving intellectual property issues. In this regard, the Deputy...

Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED)

The Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) is responsible for registering attorneys and agents to practice before the USPTO and for developing and administering the registration examination. Only registered attorneys and agents are permitted to practice before the USPTO in patent matters. Additionally, the OED investigates allegations of misconduct by practitioners and administers and oversees the USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program.