by Dennis Crouch
37 C.F.R. § 11.18(b) imposes crucial responsibilities on patent applicants, attorneys, and agents. Documents submitted to the USPTO implicitly certify that:
- Statements made are true or are are believed to be true (based upon information and belief) and do not include any attempt to conceal a material fact; and
- That a reasonable inquiry was conducted to confirm that: (i) statements have no improper purposes, (ii) legal contentions are supported by existing law or valid arguments for change, (iii) allegations and factual contentions have or are likely to have evidentiary support, and (iv) denials of factual contentions are based on evidence or a reasonable lack of information or belief.
Recent USPTO disciplinary cases underscore the seriousness of these obligations. Examples include filing a micro entity status request without proper investigation and submitting an information disclosure statement (IDS) by a non-practitioner without practitioner review. Rubber stamping is not permitted.
The PTO Just released a final order in a case against Jinggao Li, operator of the Dragon Sun Law Firm. In re Li, D2023-19 (PTO Order). Li received a public reprimand for relying on foreign counsel’s guidance on micro entity status, resulting in unwarranted status in 19 of 27 cases.