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"No Job Is Safe"—A Patent Attorney Reader Reports More Displacement
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June 24, 2005, 05:00 AM
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June 24, 2005

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A Reader Suggests Spreading The Word Of Guzzardi On Baseball; We Say How

From: [Name Withheld]:

I am a patent attorney. In reviewing some of the recent proposed rule changes in the weekly-published Official Gazette [Provisions for Persons Granted Limited Recognition To Prosecute Patent Applications and Other Miscellaneous Matters], I noticed a proposed change to allow non-citizen, non-permanent resident "patent practitioners" who are here under a work visa to prosecute patent applications. Historically, only inventors or their registered patent agents/attorneys have been recognized to do this.

My guess is that U.S. companies are importing non-citizen "patent practitioners" under one of the infamous work visa programs, and pressuring the Patent Office to amend its rules.

Anecdotally, a third of U.S. Patent Office examiners I encounter these days seem to be foreign born, with heavy accents and exotic names (Asia and Africa seem heavily represented).

I ran a quick review of my pending cases, and surprising number appear to be foreign (roughly 35% of my cases where examiners have been assigned). An increasing number of examiners seem to be foreign-born. This trend has been ongoing for several years—maybe since the mid-nineties.

No job is safe.