Office of Enrollment and Discipline Statute of Limitations
The America Invents Act, in section 3, provides the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) with a longer statutory period for initiating a disciplinary proceeding against any person who fails to comply with 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2)(D). No changes were made to the process for initiating a disciplinary proceeding or what actions constitute misconduct.
Under previous regulations, the statute of limitations was understood to be five years pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2462. The new provision allows for the OED to initiate a disciplinary proceeding no later than "one year after the date on which the OED Director receives a grievance. . . ." A grievance must be filed within ten years of the occurrence of the misconduct on which it is based. In 37 C.F.R. § 11.1, the USPTO defines grievance as "any source received by the OED Director that presents possible grounds for discipline of a specified practitioner."
Upcoming Events/Key Dates
This provision became effective on September 16, 2011, and applies to all conduct in which the time period for initiating a proceeding has not lapsed. The rules implementing this provision became effective on August 30, 2012.