2804.01 Withdrawal of Attorney or Agent [R-11.2013]
For a practitioner to withdraw from representation in a patent, supplemental examination proceeding, or a reexamination proceeding, the Office no longer requires that there be at least 30 days remaining in any running period for response between the approval of a request to withdraw and the expiration date of any running period for response. Instead, pursuant to 37 CFR 11.116(d), a practitioner must take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests, such as giving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned or incurred. "Reasonable notice" should allow for a reasonable amount of time for the client to seek the services of another practitioner prior to the expiration of any applicable response period. When the correspondence address changes as a result of the withdrawal, the withdrawing practitioner(s) must request that the Office direct all future correspondence to the patent owner of record. Practitioners may do so by specifying either the correspondence address of the patent owner, or the address associated with the Customer Number of the patent owner. Withdrawing practitioner(s) cannot change the correspondence address to the address associated with the Customer Number of another law firm, or to any address other than that of the patent owner of record. See MPEP §§ 402.06 and 2805.