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question.jpgIn Patents

Who can practice law before the PTO?

An inventor may file and prosecute his or her own patent application “pro se” before the PTO without being an attorney or having any other qualifications. However, if an attorney wants to practice before the PTO (for example, to file a client’s patent application or trademark application on the client’s behalf), they may need an additional license to do so.┬áIn particular, while any attorney can practice trademark law before the PTO, an attorney wishing to practice patent law before the PTO (e.g., to file and prosecute patent applications on behalf of an inventor) must obtain certification by taking the USPTO Registration Exam, which tests the attorney’s knowledge of the patent law system.