The Customer Number: A Trap for the Unwary

Law360, New York (September 16, 2009, 1:10 PM EDT) -- Almost every firm dealing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office uses a customer number in patent cases to identify registered practitioners of the firm who have the power of attorney to prosecute patent applications for the firm’s clients.

Customer numbers are a convenience, but in some situations, a customer number can also become a trap for a firm that can cause a series of undesirable events.

For example, what happens if a registered practitioner in the firm is disciplined by the office for a violation...
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