Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED)

Mailing Address:
Mail Stop OED
Director, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
P. O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

OED's director is attorney Harry Moatz.

  The OED investigates complaints alleging unethical conduct by registered patent attorneys and agents, as well as attorneys practicing before the USPTO in trademark cases (collectively "practitioners"). The Office's Disciplinary Rules are found in Title 37 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 10.
  The disciplinary system is designed to protect the public, not punish practitioners. The Office can only discipline practitioners after a full hearing with the presentation of clear and convincing evidence of misconduct. The Office receives and, in appropriate cases, acts upon complaints against attorneys and agents. The fees charged to inventors by patent attorneys and agents for their professional services are not subject to regulation by the Office. Definite evidence of overcharging may afford basis for Office action, but the Office rarely intervenes in disputes concerning fees. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, a practitioner can be given a warning, reprimanded, suspended from practicing law before the Office for a period of time, or excluded (i.e., disbarred) - prohibited from practicing law before the Office. Discipline can be imposed pursuant to a settlement that is accepted by the USPTO Director, or after a full hearing with the presentation of clear and convincing evidence concerning the misconduct.
  Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, the USPTO, including OED, cannot disclose the existence or non-existence of an investigation and any information gathered unless made a matter of public record in proceedings brought before the USTPO Director or in the courts. Information available to and for the protection of the public is on our OED Final Decisions web page.


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