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.
OED Director’s Bio
William R. Covey is the Deputy General Counsel and Director for the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). As the Deputy General Counsel, he manages an office of attorneys, paralegals and support staff which is responsible for registering practitioners (patent attorneys and agents) to practice before the USPTO. OED also develops and administers a practitioner's registration examination to determine if applicants for registration have the necessary knowledge of patent law and practice to assist applicants. In addition, OED maintains a public roster of attorneys and agents recognized to practice before the Office in patent cases, and investigate complaints alleging unethical conduct by individuals practicing before the Office. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Covey served as the USPTO's Deputy General Counsel for the Office of General Law for over four years. Mr. Covey was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2007.
Mr. Covey received his undergraduate degree from Fordham University (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and earned his J.D. from Fordham University Law School in 1991. He graduated from Harvard University's JFK School of Government (Senior Executive Fellowship) in 2005 and the U.S. Army War College with an M.S. (Strategic Studies) in 2010.
Prior to joining the USPTO in 2000, Mr. Covey served at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia in the U.S. Army's Office of the General Counsel. He continues to serve in the Army Reserve, completed combat tours in Iraq (2007) and Afghanistan (2011). He served as Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and is currently assigned to the Office of the Army General Counsel.
General Mailing Address:
Mail Stop OED
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
PO Box 1450
Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450