The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proposes an update to its professional conduct rules to conform to the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct as amended through 2011. Some specific language would be tailored to “circumstances particular to practice before the office.” Comments are requested by December 17, 2012.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launches two new regional pro bono patent programs to assist “financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses” that might otherwise be unable to afford patent protection. The new programs in California and the District of Columbia region, including Virginia and Maryland, join four others already established under the America Invents Act. USPTO plans to get 10 started by the end of 2013.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seeks comments on an information collection relating to patent applications containing nucleotide sequence and/or amino acid sequence disclosures. It estimates that it will take the public six minutes to six hours “to gather the necessary information, prepare the form or sequence listing, and submit it to the USPTO” at an estimated annual cost burden of $2.5 million. Comments are requested by December 28, 2012.