37 CFR 11.503: Responsibilities regarding non-practitioner assistance

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

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11.503    Responsibilities regarding non-practitioner assistance.

With respect to a non-practitioner assistant employed or retained by or associated with a practitioner:

  • (a) A practitioner who is a partner, and a practitioner who individually or together with other practitioners possesses comparable managerial authority in a law firm shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that the person’s conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the practitioner;
  • (b) A practitioner having direct supervisory authority over the non-practitioner assistant shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the person’s conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the practitioner; and
  • (c) A practitioner shall be responsible for conduct of such a person that would be a violation of the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by a practitioner if:
    • (1) The practitioner orders or, with the knowledge of the specific conduct, ratifies the conduct involved; or
    • (2) The practitioner is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the person is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.
[Added 78 FR 20180, Apr. 3, 2013, effective May 3, 2013]