On June 10, 2021, the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline will announce its intention to delay by two years its previously-published requirement for biennial mandatory “registration statements” from all registered patent attorneys and agents. The USPTO’s announcement has no impact on trademark attorneys. Last year, the USPTO published a final rule stating that the registration and CLE requirements would go into effect on March 1, 2022.
In the forthcoming advisory, the USPTO explains that, in the Spring of 2022, practitioners will be able to voluntarily certify the completion of CLE, but it will not be required of practitioners until November 1, 2024. The USPTO has not published an explanation for the delay. However, because of the significance of the proposed change from prior practices that have not had any mandatory registration requirements, the delay should give the USPTO more time for public outreach and to test and perfect whatever registration system it designs.
We hope the USPTO will also develop an effective means for communicating its new system to all potentially affected practitioners. In our experience, patent practitioners may not remember to inform the Office of Enrollment of Discipline when they change addresses or firms, which can lead to difficulties later on if OED sends important correspondence to a stale or inactive address. As such, we believe this is an important reminder for all registered practitioners to update their contact information with OED. This may be done through OEDIS-CI by visiting https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/. Of note, a practitioner should log in using a specific OED User ID, which is neither their registration number nor customer number.