Week of April 17, 2017

Jones Corp. filed a nonprovisional patent application for an important invention in September 2016. The company is the applicant. Their patent attorney who has a power of attorney has been going through a difficult divorce and Jones Corp. is unsure if their representative will be able to give his best effort going forward. What would be the best way to handle this situation?

(A) The power of attorney may be revoked at any time by the applicant and the applicant may hire another practitioner.
(B) Jones may revoke the attorney’s power of attorney and authorize the attorney under 37 CFR 1.34 to handle each separate requirement as time goes along.
(C) The company may revoke the power of attorney and act as their own representative.
(D) Both (A) and (B) would be proper.
(E) All of the answers (A), (B) and (C) would be proper.

 

 

ANSWER: (D).

See MPEP 402.05(a), first and third paragraphs, and 37 CFR 1.36(a).

“A power of attorney may be revoked only by the applicant or patent owner. An assignee who is not the applicant may revoke a power of attorney only if the assignee becomes the applicant per 37 CFR 1.46(c) (which requires compliance with 37 CFR 3.71 and 3.73).

“This … does not preclude a practitioner from acting pursuant to 37 CFR 1.34, if applicable. See MPEP § 402.03 for information pertaining to acting in a representative capacity.”

Note that Jones Corp. is a juristic entity and must be represented by a patent agent or patent attorney before the USPTO. All papers submitted on behalf of a juristic entity must be signed by a patent practitioner. See 37 CFR 1.31 and 37 CFR 1.33(b)(3).

 

Questions prepared by David E. Meeks, Esq. © 2017 Institute for Patent Studies, Inc. All rights reserved.