June 24, 2005
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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.
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.