William P. Smith
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 3:39 PM
To: ethicsrules comments
Subject: Comments on proposed rules changes
We would like to submit the following comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published December 12, 2003, in the Federal Register, 37 CFR Parts 1, 2, 10 and 11: Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office; Proposed Rule.
We oppose the Rule proposed as 35 CFR Sect. 11.804 because it assumes that patent practitioners cannot independently and zealously represent clients who have been referred by invention promotion firms. The proposed rule constitutes interference with the relationship between the practitioner and the client, and perhaps between the promoter and the client, by requiring disclosure of information of complaints that may not be proven correct or relevant to the individual client's circumstances.
Moreover, the proposed rule violates a central tenet of U.S. law that all persons accused of misconduct by the government are innocent until proven guilty. By requiring the disclosure of pending complaints, the Office is seeking to place a stigma of misconduct on companies or persons who may later be exonerated or resolve a complaint favorably. The potential injury to the relationship between the inventor and the promoter caused by the mandatory disclosure will not be able to be undone by later disclosure that the complaint was resolved favorably.
William P. Smith
Terry L. Schnell
Roberta R. Wilson
Registered Patent Attorneys
DKW Law Group@...
58th Floor - U.S. Steel Tower
600 Grant St.
Pittsburgh PA 15219
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