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Dave Hoffman
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Ah, sorry. I should pay closer attention to who writes what here, I suppose. I didn't take the comment personally -- I started as an attorney and didn't sit for the patent bar until I'd been practicing nearly two years because I never had to sign anything myself until around that time. And I've always promptly updated my status with all applicable state bars and the USPTO whenever I've changed jobs since then because I'm meticulous that way. You're probably right that most attorneys were unaware of this requirement, but I'm not sympathetic -- it's not hard to find the info at the OED page, after all.
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It didn't, and I didn't say that it did -- I was referring to updating my info with my state bar, though what I wrote was hardly a model of clarity. That post spoke more to Dennis's somewhat sarcastic comment that those patent agents who didn't update their status with the USPTO 'were just really busy'. The reality is that very little junior associates do requires the ability to sign papers on their own -- because of Finnegan's second attorney review process, for example, junior associates generally prepare documents for signature by the reviewing associate or partner. So there is little incentive for those attorneys to update their status until they finally get to the point they start signing off on things themselves, which takes a while at Finnegan.
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Well, I can only speak for myself -- I updated my info promptly after passing my second state bar exam because I was litigating and needed to be able to sign off on all sorts of discovery-related correspondence. I was admitted pro hac vice to the court hearing our case, but was not licensed in the state where I was practicing, so I had an incentive to update my info despite being incredibly busy. Not everyone has that same incentive, especially if one is already a registered patent practitioner doing almost entirely prosecution work. But mostly, I think it depends in large part on whether the firm they're working for has a process in place for attorneys to ensure that all their relevant practice information is updated appropriately, from the relevant state bar or bars, to the USPTO, the AIPLA, and any other professional organizations. When I lateraled from an IP boutique to a larger general practice firm a number of years ago, the new firm gave me a list of contact info and helped me to send out all the necessary updates as part of the HR orientation process during my first week or two. Clearly many firms (Finnegan included, apparently) don't have such a structured process for doing so.
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"Although certainly not strong evidence, an attorney's failure to provide this information is at least minimally suggestive of a desire to keep the various regulatory bodies from talking with one another about particular persons of interest." I'm not prepared to make the inference you did here, Dennis, which strikes me as preposterous, to be completely honest. I think your follow-up comment is far more accurate -- attorneys are just not paying attention, and they have no incentive to do so, because there is absolutely no consequence to failing to update their records with the USPTO. You can bet if their ability to get paid as an attorney depended on updating their status, it would get done promptly.
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And that's one of the two reasons I listed, right?
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There are two relatively simple explanations for that number; first, the firm has a significant number of student associates attending law school part-time, as well as a number of technical specialists who are expected to enroll in part-time programs as well; and second, it often takes student associates a while to update their status from patent agent to attorney at the USPTO after they have passed a state bar.
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You might enjoy reading 'Paris to the Moon' by Adam Gopnik or 'Into a Paris Quartier' by Diane Johnson while you're over there. The former describes the experiences of a writer for the New Yorker who moved his young family to Paris for five years, the latter delves into the history of a neighborhood where the author keeps an apartment. Both are quite engrossing! You might also enjoy two of the smaller museums in Paris (I find them much more manageable than the gigantic Orsay or Louvre, and I suspect anyone with two young children might feel the same): the Musee Picasso and the Musee Rodin. The Rodin Museum has a lovely sculpture garden with fountains in the back, plus a nice little cafe -- perfect for passing some time on a summer afternoon! Have fun!
You might enjoy reading 'Paris to the Moon' by Adam Gopnik, and 'Into a Paris Quartier' by Diane Johnson. The former describes the experiences of a New Yorker who moved to Paris with his young family, and the latter describes the history of a neighborhood where the author keeps an apartment. Both are manageable little slices of Parisian life and history. Also, you might enjoy visiting the Musee Picasso and the Musee Rodin -- the Rodin Museum has a lovely sculpture garden out back with some fountains and a nice little cafe -- perfect for passing some time on a lazy summer afternoon. I find the smaller museums to be more manageable than the massive Louvre and Orsay (though they are both wonderful as well), and they might be more suited to short visits with kids. Have fun!
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Jun 2, 2012