37 CFR 11.20: Disciplinary sanctions; Transfer to disability inactive status

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

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11.20    Disciplinary sanctions; Transfer to disability inactive status.

  • (a) Types of discipline. The USPTO Director, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, and where grounds for discipline exist, may impose on a practitioner the following types of discipline:
    • (1) Exclusion from practice before the Office;
    • (2) Suspension from practice before the Office for an appropriate period of time;
    • (3) Reprimand or censure; or
    • (4) Probation. Probation may be imposed in lieu of or in addition to any other disciplinary sanction. Any conditions of probation shall be stated in writing in the order imposing probation. The order shall also state whether, and to what extent, the practitioner shall be required to notify clients of the probation. Violation of any condition of probation shall be cause for imposition of the disciplinary sanction. Imposition of the disciplinary sanction predicated upon violation of probation shall occur only after an order to show cause why the disciplinary sanction should not be imposed is resolved adversely to the practitioner.
  • (b) Conditions imposed with discipline. When imposing discipline, the USPTO Director may condition reinstatement upon the practitioner making restitution, successfully completing a professional responsibility course or examination, or any other condition deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
  • (c) Transfer to disability inactive status. The USPTO Director, after notice and opportunity for a hearing may, and where grounds exist to believe a practitioner has been transferred to disability inactive status in another jurisdiction, or has been judicially declared incompetent; judicially ordered to be involuntarily committed after a hearing on the grounds of incompetency or disability, or placed by court order under guardianship or conservatorship, transfer the practitioner to disability inactive status.
[Added, 73 FR 47650, Aug. 14, 2008, effective Sept. 15, 2008; paras. (a)(4) and (b) revised, 78 FR 20180, Apr. 3, 2013, effective May 3, 2013]