The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday announced a final rule to eliminate the provisions within the agency’s rules related to voluntary continuing legal education (CLE) certification and recognition for registered patent practitioners and individuals granted limited recognition to practice in patent matters before the USPTO. The rule also eliminates the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) Director’s ability to publish the CLE status of patent practitioners. It will go into effect on February 27. The agency received critical comments from a variety of patent practitioners and interest groups about the USPTO’s lack of compliance with federal administrative law statutes related to agency rulemaking. Additionally, stakeholders highlighted the increased administrative and financial burden for patent practitioners if the CLE program was implemented.
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