Yesterday, the USPTO issued an alert regarding emails that U.S. attorneys have been receiving from unlicensed persons offering to pay attorneys in exchange for use of the attorneys’ bar credentials in trademark filings. The USPTO views such communications as a tool intended to circumvent the U.S. counsel rule.
The USPTO cautioned U.S. attorneys that, by agreeing to such an arrangement, an attorney is aiding the unauthorized practice of law and violating the Federal Rules, including the USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct, 37 C.F.R. Part 11.
U.S. practitioners should be on the look out for these types of solicitations. If you receive a solicitation requesting use of your bar credentials, the USPTO has requested that you report it to TMScams@uspto.gov.