Changes to the OED Disciplinary Rules

Cameron K. Weiffenbach

©2013. Published in Landslide, Vol. 5, No. 5, May/June 2013, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

On April 3, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published new ethics rules based on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules).1 The rules are effective May 3, 2013, and replace the current rules of professional conduct (37 C.F.R. §§ 10.20–.112), which were based on the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility (Model Code) and implemented in March 1985.2 While at the time the 1985 rules were implemented the Model Code was the basis for prevailing ethics rules of almost all states and the first Model Rules had just been published by the ABA, the USPTO decided not to pattern its rules after the Model Rules. However, by the end of the 1990s, almost all states had adopted some form of the Model Rules.

The USPTO is now following suit

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