Charles L. Willis
From: Charles Willis@...
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 4:51 PM
To: ethicsrules comments
1. Sections 11.11(d)(6), 11.11(e) and 11.12 (c) appear to be inconsistent in the steps they specify that one must follow to be re?instated. Please re?word them in such a way that they are both clear and consistent. The provisions for reinstatement should be no more harsh than the provisions for initial admission. The proposed provisions appear to be punitive.
Also, it's not clear how someone can take six years' worth of CLE. One assumes that all past CLE's will be available at all times, so that someone can do them all at once. But that is not clearly stated. For example, if someone should become ill for a year or more (e.g. cancer) and be too weak to do CLE (and too distracted), but then recovers, there should be a reasonable way for the practitioner to be re?admitted.
2. Section 11.13(b) would require a practitioner to use the internet, if available. I strongly believe that even someone who has access to the internet should be permitted to opt for non?internet CLE. The internet is still in its infancy. The software can be unfriendly and expensive, and malfunctions are common. I, for one, would be loath to think that my career is in the hands of Bill Gates.
Moreover, I am sure that my employer is not the only one that strictly controls what software is permissible on the computers. For example, the security controls here are such that the computers have a specified browser and only that browser. If the PTO's CLE course should require something different, then I would have to take the course at home (and perhaps spend hours on my dial?up connection to download the approved browser).
3. Sections 11.10(b) (1) and (2) appear to present grammar and syntax problems. I think that you are trying to jam too many thoughts into a single sentence, and it doesn't work.
Additionally, because of all the "or's," (especially the "or" between (ii) and (iii)) one can read, say, (1) as saying "To not aid in any manner the representation of any other person with the intent to assist in any manner the making of any oral or written communication on behalf of any other person to the United States." In other words, you can't prepare someone's tax return or help them write a letter to their congressman.
4. In Section 11.11(a), the second sentence does not parse.
5. In Sections 11.13(c) and (d), some of the paragraph references appear to be incorrect.
6. As a general proposition for CLE, there is much that goes unsaid in the proposed regulation. In particular, the content of the CLE should be handled carefully. Although it will be difficult, to the extent possible I think that the PTO should try to avoid a "one size fits all" approach. The CLE will take time to complete, so it should be as productive as possible. Depending on the level of experience, some practitioners will benefit from "nuts?and?bolts" MPEP material, while highly?experienced "power prosecutors" might benefit more from advanced topics.
Charles L. Willis Corporate Patent Counsel Foster Wheeler
Inc. phone 908 730 4066
fax 908 730 4149 charles_willis@... Registration Number 31067