OED

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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Caveat IP Lawyer – Beware The Office of Enrollment and Discipline Violating The USPTO’s Reciprocal Discipline Rules

At first glance, the USPTO’s most recently published disciplinary decision seems relatively bland and altogether innocuous. The case of In re Juliet M. Oberding, Proceeding No. D2016-06 (USPTO Dir. Feb. 12, 2016) involves a California-based trademark attorney who told a client on several occasions, over the course of roughly 18 months, that the client’s trademark …

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IP Attorney Challenging Constitutionality Of USPTO OED’s “Abusive” Ethics Investigation

An IP attorney has filed a lawsuit against the United States Patent and Trademark Office seeking to prohibit the Agency’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) from continuing to investigate him for alleged ethics violations because the process employed in conducting the ethics investigation is abusive and violates due process. The complaint, which was filed …

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OED Discipline For IP Practitioners Who Use “Snitch” Threats For Tactical Gain

  “You’re building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches” – Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman You represent a patentee in a highly contentious litigation against an accused infringer.  The parties hate each other, and the gloves came off months ago–if they were ever on in the first place. Then extraordinarily you …

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The “Rat Rule” And USPTO Discipline – Reporting Ethical Violations To OED (Part 1)

“Never rat out your friends. And always keep your mouth shut.” – Robert De Niro, GoodFellas I am of Sicilian ancestry, raised in an Italian household in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn.  Despite this upbringing, it was not until I was an adult when I first learned about the “Code of Silence” known as “omertà.” …

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The Ethical Risks of Paraprofessionals Providing IP Legal Services (Part 2 of 2)

In this part, we continue to address some of the ethical risks involving delegation of intellectual property legal services to non-lawyer paraprofessionals. Ethical Responsibilities of Practitioners Regarding Paraprofessionals The USPTO ethics rules state the responsibilities of practitioners over non-practitioners as follows: First, a practitioner who is a partner, and a practitioner who individually or together with …

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The Ethical Risks of Paraprofessionals Providing IP Legal Services (Part 1 of 2)

“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” –Vince Lombardi Every successful IP lawyer, whether a solo practitioner or a senior partner in a mega-firm, has one thing in common: a great support team of secretaries, legal assistants, technical advisors, and paralegals. …

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USPTO Suspends Patent Attorney For Neglect, UPL And Failure To Cooperate

On May 15, 2015, the USPTO Director issued an Order suspending Seattle, Washington-based patent and trademark attorney Nam D. Dao for six months for allowing multiple patent and trademark applications to go abandoned without client knowledge or consent, engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and failing to cooperate with the Office of Enrollment and …

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