37 CFR 1.32 (pre‑AIA): Power of attorney

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

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1.32 (pre‑AIA)    Power of attorney.

[Editor Note: Certain* paragraphs below are not applicable to patent applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111, 363, or 385 on or after Sept. 16, 2012]

  • (a) Definitions.
    • (1) Patent practitioner means a registered patent attorney or registered patent agent under § 11.6.
    • (2) Power of attorney means a written document by which a principal authorizes one or more patent practitioners or joint inventors to act on his or her behalf.
    • (3) Principal means either an applicant for patent (§ 1.41(b) ) or an assignee of entire interest of the applicant for patent or in a reexamination proceeding, the assignee of the entirety of ownership of a patent. The principal executes a power of attorney designating one or more patent practitioners or joint inventors to act on his or her behalf.
    • (4) Revocation means the cancellation by the principal of the authority previously given to a patent practitioner or joint inventor to act on his or her behalf.
    • (5) Customer Number means a number that may be used to:
      • (i) Designate the correspondence address of a patent application or patent such that the correspondence address for the patent application, patent or other patent proceeding would be the address associated with the Customer Number;
      • (ii) Designate the fee address (§ 1.363 ) of a patent such that the fee address for the patent would be the address associated with the Customer Number; and
      • (iii) Submit a list of patent practitioners such that those patent practitioners associated with the Customer Number would have power of attorney.
  • (b) A power of attorney must:
    • (1) Be in writing;
    • (2) Name one or more representatives in compliance with paragraph (c) of this section;
    • (3) Give the representative power to act on behalf of the principal; and
    • (4) Be signed by the applicant for patent (§ 1.41(b) ) or the assignee of the entire interest of the applicant.
  • (c) A power of attorney may only name as representative:
    • (1) One or more joint inventors (§ 1.45 );
    • (2) Those registered patent practitioners associated with a Customer Number;
    • (3) Ten or fewer patent practitioners, stating the name and registration number of each patent practitioner. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(1) or (c)(2) of this section, the Office will not recognize more than ten patent practitioners as being of record in an application or patent. If a power of attorney names more than ten patent practitioners, such power of attorney must be accompanied by a separate paper indicating which ten patent practitioners named in the power of attorney are to be recognized by the Office as being of record in the application or patent to which the power of attorney is directed.
[Added, 69 FR 29865, May 26, 2004, effective June 25, 2004; paras. (a) and (c)(3) revised, 70 FR 56119, Sept. 26, 2005, effective Nov. 25, 2005]
[*See § 1.32 for more information and for the rule applicable to patent applications filed on or after Sept. 16, 2012]