Learn about applying for registration to practice in patent matters before the USPTO, including requirements, forms, and exam information.
Learn about the contents of the examination for registration to practice before the USPTO, updates to the exam, exam statistics, and review sessions.
General Requirements Bulletin
Individuals seeking registration or recognition must meet the requirements of 37 CFR § 11.7, including the legal, scientific, and technical qualifications, as well as good moral character and reputation. General instructions for demonstrating possession of the necessary qualifications can be found in the General Requirements Bulletin. The bulletin also contains information regarding applicable fees and includes the application form (PTO 158) and credit card authorization form (PTO 2038).
Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents can be registered to practice law in patent matters before the USPTO. See 37 CFR § 11.6(a) and (b). It has been the longstanding practice of the Office to grant limited recognition under 37 CFR § 11.9(b) to nonimmigrant aliens who demonstrate that they are authorized to be employed or trained by a specific employer in the capacity of preparing and prosecuting patent applications.
Individuals granted limited recognition under 37 CFR § 11.9(b) may hold themselves out to the public only as having been granted limited recognition to practice in patent matters before the Office. For example, any published biographical information regarding their ability to practice before the Office in patent matters must include an indication of their limited recognition status and shall not reference that they are registered to practice in patent matters before the Office. Individuals who fail to comply with this requirement may have their grant of limited recognition revoked. Individuals granted limited recognition may apply for registration should their immigration status change to United States permanent residence or citizenship.
Further information regarding limited recognition for nonimmigrant aliens is available in the General Requirements Bulletin.