37 CFR § 11.9 - Limited recognition in patent matters.

§ 11.9 Limited recognition in patent matters.

(a) Any individual not registered under § 11.6 may, upon a showing of circumstances that render it necessary or justifiable and that the individual is of good moral character and reputation, be given limited recognition by the OED Director to prosecute as attorney or agent a specified patent application or specified patent applications. Limited recognition under this paragraph shall not extend further than the application or applications specified. Limited recognition shall not be granted to individuals who have passed the examination or to those for whom the examination has been waived while such individual's application for registration to practice before the Office in patent matters is pending.

(b) A nonimmigrant alien residing in the United States and fulfilling the provisions of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section may be granted limited recognition if the nonimmigrant alien is authorized by the United States Government to be employed or trained in the United States in the capacity of representing a patent applicant by presenting or prosecuting a patent application. Limited recognition shall be granted for a period consistent with the terms of authorized employment or training. Limited recognition shall not be granted or extended to a non-United States citizen residing abroad. If granted, limited recognition shall automatically expire upon the nonimmigrant alien's departure from the United States.

(c) An individual not registered under § 11.6 may, if appointed by an applicant, prosecute an international patent application only before the United States International Searching Authority and the United States International Preliminary Examining Authority, provided that the individual has the right to practice before the national office with which the international application is filed as provided in PCT Art. 49, Rule 90 and § 1.455 of this subchapter, or before the International Bureau when the USPTO is acting as Receiving Office pursuant to PCT Rules 83.1 bis and 90.1.

(d) No individual will be granted limited recognition to practice before the Office under paragraph (b) of this section unless he or she has:

(1) Applied to the USPTO Director in writing by completing an application form supplied by the OED Director and furnishing all requested information and material; and

(2) Established to the satisfaction of the OED Director that he or she:

(i) Possesses good moral character and reputation;

(ii) Possesses the legal, scientific, and technical qualifications necessary for him or her to render applicants valuable service; and

(iii) Is competent to advise and assist patent applicants in the presentation and prosecution of their applications before the Office.

(e)

(1) To enable the OED Director to determine whether an individual has the qualifications specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the individual shall:

(i) File a complete application for limited recognition each time admission to the registration examination is requested. A complete application for limited recognition includes:

(A) An application for limited recognition form supplied by the OED Director wherein all requested information and supporting documents are furnished;

(B) Payment of the fees required by § 1.21(a)(1) of this chapter;

(C) Satisfactory proof of scientific and technical qualifications; and

(D) Satisfactory proof that the terms of the individual's immigration status or entry into the United States authorize employment or training in the preparation and prosecution of patents for others; and

(ii) Pass the registration examination. Each individual seeking limited recognition under this section must take and pass the registration examination to enable the OED Director to determine whether the individual possesses the legal and competence qualifications specified in paragraphs (d)(2)(ii) and (d)(2)(iii) of this section.

(2) An individual failing the examination may, upon receipt of notice of failure from OED, reapply for admission to the examination. An individual failing the examination for the first or second time must wait 30 days after the date the individual last took the examination before retaking the examination. An individual failing the examination for the third or fourth time must wait 90 days after the date the individual last took the examination before retaking the examination. An individual may not take the examination more than five times. However, upon petition under § 11.2(c), the OED Director may, at his or her discretion, waive this limitation upon such conditions as the OED Director may prescribe. An individual reapplying shall:

(i) File a complete application for limited recognition form, including all requested information and supporting documents not previously provided to OED;

(ii) Pay the application fee required by § 1.21(a)(1) of this chapter;

(iii) Provide satisfactory proof that the terms of the individual's immigration status or entry into the United States authorize employment or training in the preparation and prosecution of patents for others; and

(iv) Provide satisfactory proof of good moral character and reputation.

(3) An individual failing to file a complete application will not be admitted to the examination and will be notified of such deficiency. Applications for limited recognition that are incomplete will be considered only when the deficiency has been cured, provided that this occurs within 60 days of the mailing date of the notice of deficiency. Thereafter, a new and complete application for limited recognition must be filed. An individual seeking limited recognition under paragraph (b) of this section must satisfy the requirements of paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section to be admitted to the examination.

(4)

(i) A notice of admission shall be sent to those individuals who have been admitted to the registration examination. This notice shall specify a certain period of time in which to schedule and take the examination.

(ii) An individual may request an extension of this period of time by written request to the OED Director. Such request must be received by the OED Director prior to the expiration of the period specified in the notice, as extended by any previously granted extension, and must include the fee specified in § 1.21(a)(1)(iv). Upon the granting of the request, the period of time in which the individual may schedule and take the examination shall be extended by 90 days.

(iii) An individual who does not take the examination within the period of time specified in the notice may not take the examination without filing a new application for limited recognition as set forth in paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section.

(f) Applications for reinstatement of limited recognition.

(1) A person whose grant of limited recognition expired less than five years before the application for reinstatement may be reinstated provided the person:

(i) Files a complete application that includes:

(A) A request for reinstatement with the fee required by § 1.21(a)(9)(ii); and

(B) Satisfactory proof that the terms of the individual's immigration status or entry into the United States authorize employment or training in the preparation and prosecution of patents for others; and

(ii) Provides satisfactory proof of good moral character and reputation.

(2) Persons whose grant of limited recognition expired five years or more before filing a complete application for reinstatement must comply with paragraph (f)(1) of this section and provide objective evidence that they continue to possess the necessary legal qualifications to render applicants valuable service to patent applicants.

[69 FR 35452, June 24, 2004, as amended at 78 FR 20198, Apr. 3, 2013; 86 FR 28453, May 26, 2021]

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