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Nils H. Ljungman


LAW OFFICES
NILS H. LJUNGMAN & ASSOCIATES
Attorneys At Law
Patent and Trademark Attorneys
428 BOVARD STREET (corner of Gaither Way), P.O. BOX 130, GREENSBURG, PA 15801-0130, U.S.A.

TELEPHONE: 724-838-2905 TELEFAX: T24-523-5230 or 724-836-2313 E-Moll: nhlawehzon.net or nhlaQeerthlink.net


Via Facsimile - 703-306-4134
Mail Stop OED-Ethics Rules
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, Virginia 22 313-1450 February 6, 2004

Attn.: Mr. Harry I. Moatz
Director of Enrollment and Discipline
Ethics Rules

RE: Changes to Representation of Others Before the United
States Patent and-Trademark Office.

Dear Mr. Moatz:

1. Because of the voluminous nature of the materials referenced above, more time is required, especially for small firms, to be able to
adequately study these materials.

2. There should be public hearings because of the voluminous nature of these materials. Therefore, it is imperative that it should be possible to allow persons registered before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and others to voice their concerns and refine the proposed Changes to Representation of Others Before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

3. Because of the further degradation of the quality of the proposed examination, and thus the competence of people passing the exam, a preceptorship should be introduced. The ability to pass the examination to be admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has become easier and easier. The historical procedure was to have a prospective attorney or agent work under a registered patent attorney and be supervised in the preparation of patent applications and for prosecutions, which applications were then studied by a committee of skilled personnel at the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office who then would conduct an interview and oral
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fEB. 6.2004 5:16PM LJUNGMAN LAW OFFC 1 724 523 5230 N0.174 P. 2


Attn.: Mr. Harry I. Moatz
Director of Enrollment and Discipline February 6, 2004

examination of the candidate. Subsequently, an examination of an essay type was introduced which included drafting of claims, replacing the former procedure. About a decade ago, the requirement for claim drafting was discontinued.

The present proposal of a multiple choice computer based examination using a slate of questions randomly selected from a large data base of questions and answers that would be publically available would encourage persons who have virtually no capabilities, other than the ability to memorize these questions and answers, to pass the examination. If such a proposal would be accepted, the qualifications for testing would then decrease to a dangerously low level. I suggest that, in addition to the testing, a system of preceptorship, of no less than one year, preferably two years, under a patent attorney or agent who has successfully prosecuted at least several hundred patent applications would ensure that practitioners, when licensed, would have at least minimal qualifications to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

' Apparently, the only goal of a multiple choice computer based examination is to reduce the cost of the examination fee from $450.00
to about $150.00. This is exactly the wrong way to go in licensing practitioners before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

4. If there is no preceptorship system introduced or other means of improving the quality of competence of people passing the examination, all attorneys registered to practice in the country should be permitted to practice in the patent area just as in the trademark area; and the Office of Enrollment and Discipline should be abolished for attorneys, and discipline handled by the State Bars.

5. This improved system of licensing competent representatives would be invaluable to small businesses and inventors who are not able to judge the qualifications of a registered practitioner. Allowing even more incompetent practitioners to prey on small businesses and individuals will greatly increase the costs of obtaining meaningful patent protection to small businesses and individuals because of the loss of rights due to the drafting of inadequate specifications and claims. Such patents, when issued, would not give adequate protection to small businesses and individual inventors.

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DEB. 6.2004 5:16PM LJUNGMAN LAW OFFC 1 724 523 5230 N0. 174 P.3

Attn.: Mr. Harry I. Moatz
Director of Enrollment and Discipline
February 6, 2004

In conclusion, more time and public hearings are definitely required to formulate meaningful changes to the rules.

Respectfully submitted,

Nils H. Ljungman, Esq.
. Reg. No. 25,997
Nils H. Ljungman & Associates
P.O. Box 130
Greensburg, PA 15601-0130
Telephone: (724) 836-2305
Facsimile: (724) 836-2313
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