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DOC/PTO RIN: 0651-AD67 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Changes to the Representation of Others in Design Patent Matters Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office 

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) amends the rules of practice in patent cases and the rules regarding the representation of others before the USPTO. In particular, this rulemaking would create a separate design patent practitioner bar wherein admitted design patent practitioners would practice in design patent proceedings only. Presently, there is only one patent bar that applies to those who practice in patent matters before the Office, including in the utility, plant, and design patent areas. The potential creation of a design patent practitioner bar would not impact the ability of those already registered to practice in any patent matters, including design patent matters, before the USPTO. It would also not impact the ability of applicants who meet the current criteria, including qualifying for and passing the current registration exam, to practice in any patent matters before the Office. The creation of a design patent practitioner bar reflects feedback received from a prior request for comments published on October 18, 2022, and extended through January 31, 2023.  A majority of commenters favored applicants taking the current registration examination, but with modified scientific and technical requirements. These requirements would be in line with those degrees required for design patent examiners. Based on the support of commenters, a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing the implementation of this proposal was published on May 16, 2023, and the USPTO is seeking further public comment through the rulemaking process.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 37 CFR 1    37 CFR 11    37 CFR 41   
Legal Authority: 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(D)   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Request for Comments  10/18/2022  87 FR 63044   
Comment Period Extended  01/19/2023  88 FR 3394   
Comment Period End  01/31/2023 
NPRM  05/16/2023  88 FR 31209   
NPRM Comment Period End  08/14/2023 
Final Action  11/00/2023 
Final Action Effective  12/00/2023 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
William Covey
Deputy General Counsel and Director for Enrollment and Discipline
Department of Commerce
Patent and Trademark Office
P.O. Box 1450,
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
Phone:571 272-4097
Fax:571 273-0074