Appearance Of Conflict In USPTO Disciplinary Proceedings

Law360, New York (November 29, 2011, 12:48 PM EST) -- Attorney disciplinary proceedings have been described as quasi-criminal proceedings. As such, these proceedings require separate and distinct procedures: investigation, prosecution and judicial proceedings. Those who investigate a crime cannot prosecute an accused individual, and those who prosecute the individual cannot render a decision as to the individual’s guilt or innocence.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently reorganized, and there is no longer a separate and distinct director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline who is not associated with the USPTO office that makes the...
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