Finding a patent practitioner

Finding a registered patent practitioner

The Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) maintains a register of active patent practitioners who are eligible to represent others before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in all patent matters, or design patent matters only. Only registered patent attorneys and agents, and individuals granted limited recognition, may represent patent applicants before the USPTO in all patent matters, including utility, design, plant matters. Registered design patent attorneys and design patent agents may represent patent applicants before the USPTO in design patent matters only. Individuals not listed on the register are generally unable to represent others before the USPTO in patent matters.

While OED maintains the register, the USPTO cannot aid in the selection or recommendation of an attorney or agent. You may also consider the services of the Law School Clinic Certification or Patent Pro Bono programs.

Disciplined practitioners

For information about practitioners who have been disciplined, search OED Final Decisions in the FOIA documents.

Historical roster books

View and download roster books published since 1883.

Filing a grievance about an attorney or agent who practices before the USPTO

All registered patent attorneys and agents (registered practitioners), as well as attorneys practicing in trademark and other non-patent law cases before the USPTO, are bound by the ethical standards set forth in USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, 37 C.F.R. § 11.101. Allegations that a registered practitioner or attorney acted unethically are serious, and filing a grievance should not take the place of communicating with the registered practitioner or attorney to resolve differences or misunderstandings. 

If you believe a registered practitioner or attorney practicing before the USPTO has violated any of the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, you may submit a written grievance[1] to OED by mail[2] or email:

Mail Stop OED 
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 
P.O. Box 1450 
Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1450

If you believe you have been involved in a scam, or have received suspicious non-USPTO solicitations from non-attorneys offering patent renewal services or misleading trademark-related notices, please consider reviewing the USPTO webpages concerning those matters.

Content of a grievance

It is suggested, but not required, that a written grievance contain the following information:

  • Your name, email address, mailing address, and daytime telephone number where you can be reached.
  • The name, email address, mailing address, and telephone number of the registered practitioner or attorney.
  • Whether you have filed this grievance with any another agency or bar association. If yes, the name of that agency, when the grievance was filed, and what happened to the grievance.
  • Whether your grievance involves patent or trademark matter(s) that are pending before the USPTO. If yes, the identity of the patent or trademark matter(s) by the application number(s).
  • The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of persons (witnesses) who can provide information, if necessary, in support of your grievance.
  • Explanation of the facts of your grievance in chronological order, including dates.
  • Description of the conduct committed by the practitioner that you believe is unethical.
  • Attached copies (do not send originals) of any correspondence and documents, including any emails, retainer agreements, and payment receipts that support your grievance.

After a grievance is received

Once a grievance is received, it will be screened and referred to an OED staff attorney for consideration and appropriate action. If an investigation is warranted, the staff attorney may gather additional information and documentation from you, the respondent, and other witnesses. Depending on the evidence and the seriousness of the offense, the investigation may be dismissed or the respondent may be privately disciplined, publicly reprimanded, suspended from practicing law before the USPTO for a period of time, or excluded (i.e., disbarred) from practicing law before the USPTO.

Please note that, as a grievant, you are not a party to any investigation that may occur. Since all grievances, investigations of grievances, and private discipline are confidential, OED will not be able to confirm or deny that a grievance has been filed against the respondent, that the respondent is being investigated for an alleged violation of the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, or that the respondent has received private discipline.

Furthermore, all OED investigations are limited to whether there are possible grounds for discipline for a violation of the ethical standards set forth in rules. See 37 C.F.R. § 11.22(a). To the extent you have other issues at stake (e.g., refund of monies owed by a registered practitioner or attorney, dispute of inventorship, legal assistance for pending patent or trademark matter), you may want to consider contacting an attorney of your own choice for advice about your potential legal rights, remedies, or civil actions.

[1] It is important to note that the submission of a grievance may waive the attorney-client privilege that would otherwise keep discussions between you and your attorney confidential.

[2] If you intend to submit a large volume of documents electronically, please note that emails incoming to OED have size restrictions. Accordingly, please contact OED to arrange for the establishment of a secure KiteWorks account into which you may deposit the documents.