USPTO Indefinitely Delays Implementation of the Voluntary Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Certification

Written December 16, 2021

On December 16, 2021, The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indefinitely delayed implementation of the voluntary continuing legal education (CLE) certification for registered patent practitioners and individuals granted limited recognition to practice before the USPTO in patent matters.

The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) assembled a joint committee task force comprised of the Patent Agents Committee, Patent Law Committee, Patent Relations with the USPTO Committee, and the Corporate Committee, to ensure that the proposed rules did not disproportionately impact patent agents and other practitioners for whom CLE self-certification would be a significant burden and/or legal risk, and to ensure that practitioners were made aware of requirements for the registration statement and the CLE self-certification. To read the full letter that was submitted in January 2021, please click here.

The USPTO plans to provide at least 120 days’ notice of any future implementation date for the voluntary CLE certification and at that time, will issue final CLE guidelines clarifying the types of courses and activities that qualify for CLE credit.