Patent Bar Character with Theft Conviction

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ucbboy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:27 pm

Patent Bar Character with Theft Conviction

Postby ucbboy » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:52 pm

I have put quite a bit of study into getting ready to take the patent bar exam in the next couple of months. While attempting to register, I learned that a prior conviction for gross misdemeanor conspiracy to commit theft would trigger a determination of whether or not I had good moral character. I'm well aware that I'll almost certainly be required to pay the $1600 registration fee for a crime of moral turpitude instead of the $40 regular fee. I'm just trying to figure out what my chances of being determined able to sit for the exam are.

Here are some details:
I was arrested at age 18 a few months after high school graduation. I was charged with felony aiding and abetting theft and felony conspiracy to commit theft. A plea bargain knocked it down to a gross misdemeanor conspiracy charge. I was convicted at age 19. I had a bunch of jail time and fines stayed, did lots of court-mandated community service, and two years of probation. The case was finally closed at age 21. I have since gotten a BS summa cum laude, BA, left the state I was convicted in, and am nearing completion of my PhD at a top research school. I'm nearly 27 years old, so the case has been closed for over 5 years. I haven't been arrested or charged in any state or country since. I'm also now eligible to have the crime pardoned and am actively pursuing that. However, a pardon will take at least another 9 months, if it ever happens at all.

I'd like to register for the patent bar exam and make a showing of good moral character, but I don't want to drop $1600 just to get rejected. My reading of 37 CFR 11.7(i) suggests that the factors work this way:

(1) Involved moral turpitude - not in my favor; isolated incident - in my favor.
(2) Age and education at time of conduct - in my favor (young and dumb); age and education now - in my favor (older and highly educated).
(3) Length of time since misconduct - unknown.
(4) Resitution - unknown; I paid court fees and did community service, but never for the victim.
(5) Expungement - not in my favor.
(6) Successful completion of probation/parole - in my favor;
(7) Abstinence from drugs/alcohol - irrelevant
(8) Mental disease - irrelevant
(9) Payment of fine - in my favor, I think; does it matter that most of the fine was stayed pending probation?
(10) Correction of behavior - in my favor, I think; I certainly haven't done it since.
(11) Involvement in programs to provide social benefits - not sure; haven't volunteered on my own that much, but I've taught and tutored (for pay) a ton.
(12) Changes in attitude - not sure; I can certainly provide a statement; my family as well, though I'm sure that doesn't count for much; maybe a probation officer that I never really saw or a former shrink.

I'm also thinking about references. My adviser doesn't know about this, but I think I could probably get him to write up something. I had a pretty good relationship with a former student's father who is a trial judge (any ethical code that prevents him from writing a character reference). Beyond that, I could get former employers and such.

Any thoughts on this? Write this up as is? Wait for a pardon determination in 9 months? I'd like to get this wrapped up ASAP since I've spent a ton of time studying already and am most likely graduating in less than 9 months. Does anyone know of any petitions to the Director of USPTO that had a similar fact pattern? Involved a theft conviction at a relatively young age? Know of an attorney (preferably in the San Francisco Bay Area, but elsewhere if that's all I can get) who has experience in these kinds of things?

Thanks.

Allenowen
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:12 am

Re: Patent Bar Character with Theft Conviction

Postby Allenowen » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:56 pm

No one is really qualified to give you any sound advice on this. Talk with a lawyer or your counselor at school.

ucbboy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Patent Bar Character with Theft Conviction

Postby ucbboy » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:20 pm

I'm sure that there must be someone who knows of some USPTO petitions related to this or about a lawyer who might have some experience with this type of thing. This is a rather arcane area of the law and I'd much rather consult with someone with experience than a general practice attorney.

Plenty of answers were provided about a similar question involving a different offense:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=117865

ucbboy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:27 pm

Re: Patent Bar Character with Theft Conviction

Postby ucbboy » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:39 pm

And by "someone with experience", I just mean a lawyer (preferably in the SF Bay Area) who has dealt with OED at the USPTO. I obviously don't expect to find someone who's had an exactly analogous case. I'm hoping someone might have a connection.




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