November 14, 2018 CLE: USPTO Presentation on Ethics & Pro Bono

Event Notes: USPTO Presentation on Ethics & Pro Bono
This presentation material is provided by Dahlia George as a courtesy to the WSPLA members. The use of the slides and any information contained therein by the recipient does not constitute legal advice.


A one-hour ethics presentation will be given by Dahlia George, OED staff attorney, to discuss recent changes in OED and current ethical issues encountered by patent practitioners.  In particular, the presentation will review several fact patterns taken from OED decisions.  A second portion of the presentation will focus on the national Patent Pro Bono Program and Washington’s program hosted by University of Washington’s School of Law.  Information will be presented on how patent practitioners can volunteer and considerations in representing patent applicants, pro bono. 


Speaker’s bio: Dahlia George first joined the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in January 2005 as a Trademark Examining Attorney. In January 2008, she joined the USPTO Office of General Law where she investigated and prosecuted EEOC complaints, grievances, and Merit Systems Protection Bureau appeals. She also responded to subpoenas for Government witnesses and documents, investigated Federal Tort Claims Act claims and IG inquiries, and handled Reasonable Accommodation requests for legal sufficiency. In addition, she was the USPTO FOIA Officer. Since January 2011 to the present, she joined the USPTO Office of Enrollment and Discipline where she investigates grievances and complaints alleging misconduct by patent and trademark practitioners; conducts moral character and “fitness to practice” applications for individuals seeking registration before the USPTO; and heads the Diversion Pilot Program for impaired practitioners.

Before working at the USPTO, Ms. George was an Assistant Attorney General for the N.H. Office of Attorney General where she investigated and prosecuted professional misconduct cases against licensed professionals such as physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, before their respective licensing boards.

Prior to her stint as a N.H. Assistant Attorney General, she served a tour of duty as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the United States Air Force where she served as a prosecutor for the United States in courts-martial and administrative discharge proceedings; handled procurement and claims matters; and advised base and wing commanders on the legality of base activities such as bingo night and mess activities. Later she was promoted to the position of Area Defense Counsel for three bases covering 15,000 military and civilian personnel, where she represented military personnel in courts-martial (felony trials) and discharge proceedings.

She is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.


Entree Choices:

Grilled flat iron steak Heirloom cherry tomato and roasted corn salsa, crispy triple pepper polenta, and roasted butternut squash, cilantro oil

Honey-soy grilled marinated chicken Dungeness crab fried rice and gingered bok choy

Vegetable quesadilla With yellow squash, zucchini, red and orange peppers, Monterey Jack, and scallions on a tomato tortilla; served with a grilled corn tomato salad in a lime vinaigrette