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The Morris Law Firm, P. C.

The following comment is submitted on behalf of myself (Paula Morris), my firm (The Morris Law Firm, P.C., including Alberto Amatong), Mark Wisner, Bob Strozier, and Guy McClung:

Comment:

A requirement for separate monitoring and/or recertification of all registered patent attorneys and agents by the USPTO would be costly, unnecessary, and would be very burdensome on already overburdened patent practitioners, their clients, and on PTO resources. We strongly oppose such rules.

Most states already have mandatory CLE requirements. It is unnecessary to duplicate the monitoring procedure. It may be acceptable for the USPTO to request that the respective State Bar Associations permit "certification" for IP practitioners based on the number of hours spent at CLE activities sponsored by IP associations or attendance at a PTO sponsored CLE event. But it is not necessary for the USPTO to undertake the expense and burden to administer its own CLE monitoring requirement. We recommend that:

(1) any attorney who satisfies his/her state CLE requirements should not be required to take any "re-certification" test, (2) satisfaction of annual state CLE requirements should be recognized as satisfying the requirement for "re-certification," (3) no annual fee or other assessment should be made for "re-certification," and (4) there should be a "grace period" for inadvertently missing a deadline for payment of any fee or for missing any activity required for "re-certification." Also, provision should be made for re-certification without having to meet additional requirements upon payment of a fee and/or requesting and paying for an extension of time, in much the same manner as when we request an extension of time to respond to an office action.

If a fee is assessed in order to maintain active status as a registered practitioner, the fee should not be required every year and the fee should not be used as a revenue raising mechanism. Any such fee should be solely an amount that recoups only the cost of administering the program.


Paula D. Morris
The Morris Law Firm, P.C.
10260 Westheimer, Suite 360
Houston, TX 77042
713/334-5151
FAX 713/334-5157

Paula D. Morris
The Morris Law Firm, P.C.
10260 Westheimer, Suite 360
Houston, TX 77042
713/334-5151
FAX 713/334-5157

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Last Modified: 7/4/2009 5:41:09 PM