IP Ethics

Atty’s Final Act For Porn Film Copyright Shakedown Scheme: Disbarment

Once upon a time, John Steele, the founder of the law firm formally known as Prenda Law, believed he had found the perfect recipe for a successful niche copyright law practice. First, monitor certain file-sharing websites containing porn and obtain the IP addresses of individuals who downloaded or attempted to download said porn. Next, file …

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New Lawsuit Accuses IP Counsel Of Attacking Same Patents It Prosecuted

It is Ethics 101 that a law firm cannot use its former client’s confidential information in a substantially related matter on behalf of a different client directly adverse to the former client, at least not without the former client’s informed consent.  The reason for this common sense rule, which prohibits “side-switching,” is that a lawyer’s …

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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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