MPEP Q & A 207: When Can a Practitioner Enter a Business Transaction with a Client

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Question:

When can a practitioner enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client?

Answer:

A practitioner shall not enter into a business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire an ownership, possessory, security or other pecuniary interest adverse to a client unless:

  • The transaction and terms on which the practitioner acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;
  • The client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel in the transaction; and
  • The client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the practitioner’s role in the transaction, including whether the practitioner is representing the client in the transaction.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in a USPTO supplement. This chapter covers correction of patents.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 08.2017 USPTO supplement. Depending on future changes to the MPEP and the tested supplements, the question and answer may or may not be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question comes from the following supplement: Changes to Representation of Others Before the USPTO Final Rules

Changes to Representation of Others Before the USPTO Final Rules

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) is adopting the new USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct (USPTO Rules), which are based on the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct (ABA Model Rules).

The Office has also revised the existing procedural rules governing disciplinary investigations and proceedings.