Fee-Splitting

Top Seven Ethics Risks When Patent Practitioners Work With Invention Marketing Companies

Working with invention promotion or marketing companies can be hazardous to your law license.  That is the clear message coming from the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline, which is in charge of policing and enforcing the Rules of Professional Conduct governing patent attorneys, patent agents, and others who practice before the Office.   The …

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Epic Ethics Legal Battle By Trademark Company Owner Ends Quietly With Resignation

The three-year ethics saga between Matthew Swyers, owner of The Trademark Company, and the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED), ended with a whisper, with Mr. Swyers agreeing to resign from practicing before the USPTO.  By entering into what is called an “exclusion on consent” agreement, Mr. Swyers voluntarily gives up the ability to provide U.S. trademark-related legal services for a minimum of five (5) years.  …

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Ethical Fee-Splitting for IP Practitioners & New ABA Guidance

Some IP practitioners are unaware of the ethical rules regulating the practice known as “fee-splitting.” In this context, “fee-splitting” refers to the situation where a first USPTO practitioner divides a portion of a client’s fee with a second practitioner who is from a different firm as the first. According to 37 C.F.R. Section 11.105(e), a …

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