IP Ethics

Untying The IP Ethics Knot

Do you worry about ethics in your IP practice?  If not, you should.  There is way too much going on out there, and not knowing what is happening can leave you exposed to ethics and malpractice risk. If you can spare 90 minutes, tune in tomorrow from 1:00-2:30 pm EST for the ABA-IPL Landslide Webinar Series, …

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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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ABA’s “Tips For Practicing Law” Provides Valuable Ethics Guidance For USPTO Practitioners

“Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.” – Tom Hagen, The Godfather In the Summer 2016 issue of Litigation, Steven A. Weiss, Chair of the ABA’s Section of Litigation, authored an article entitled, “Eight More Tips For Practicing Law.”  Although the article focuses on a number of best practices …

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When The Cover-Up Outweighs The Crime: Professional Discipline For Hiding Attorney Errors

“As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes” — Mel Brooks In bar disciplinary proceedings, the word “mistake” is often used either to explain, describe, or defend against, a charge of alleged unethical behavior. But is it unethical for an attorney to make an “honest …

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TM Lawyer’s Attack on Constitutionality of OED Investigation Dismissed–For Now

A federal district judge has dismissed a trademark lawyer’s complaint alleging that the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline’s (“OED’s) investigation of him violated his rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.  The Court held that dismissal of his federal complaint was appropriate because the matters raised in the complaint are …

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Don’t Do Me Like That: IP Lawyer Claims Former Partner Stole Firm Trade Secrets

“Baby why you hurt me leave me and desert me?” — Foolish (2002) Ashanti A California attorney sued his former law partner for allegedly stealing trade secrets and fraudulent billing practices, in violation of a contract detailing the disbanding of the attorneys’ prior partnership. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern …

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Mass. Court Nixes Conflict Claim Against Gillette Former In-House IP Attorney Who Provided Competitor With Infringement Opinions Regarding Ex-Client’s Patents

On May 5, 2016, a Massachusetts state court dismissed Gillette’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty against its former in-house IP counsel who left Gillette and went to work for a competitor, where he used allegedly privileged information gained during his prior employment and helped his new employer analyze and avoid infringement of Gillette’s patents—including …

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IP Conflicts of Interest, Hot Potatoes, and “The Game of [Litigation] Life”

“You will learn about life when you play The Game of Life” – original TV jingle for “The Game of Life” Plaintiffs, alleged owners of the IP rights to the “The Game of Life”, want to end up on Millionaire Estates.  Defendants, including the toy company that has been making and selling “The Game” for …

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