Office of Enrollment and Discipline

Are Your Firm’s Foreign Associate Practices Ethical?

It is commonplace for IP law firms in the United States to receive referrals for patent and trademark application filing, prosecution, and related services from sources other than the actual client.  In one of the most common scenarios, patent and trademark services are directed to a U.S. IP law firm through an intermediary, such as …

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Sue-And-Settle NPE Patent Litigation Tactics May Violate USPTO Ethics Rules

Non-practicing entities who engage in a pattern of filing numerous lawsuits without any intention of testing the merits, solely to extract low ball settlements, should take note that the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) takes a keen interest in such conduct.  A recent “exceptional case” decision in a patent case from federal court …

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This Post Could Save Your Patent Law License

Some patent attorneys and agents are under the impression that once they have passed the Patent Bar exam and have earned a PTO registration number, they are essentially registered for life, with no further action required on their part.  If you are one of those people, then you should read on. One of the jobs …

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Litigators Beware: Bad News Can Trigger USPTO Ethics Investigation

Bad news sells.  As the author Douglas Adams observed, “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.” Take IP litigation, for example.  The mainstream IP media regularly reports on both allegations and court decisions regarding issues relating to attorney conduct–or alleged misconduct. …

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You Just Received An OED Bar Grievance. Now What?

The only time a patent attorney or agent ever wants to hear from the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline is when they are admitted to the Patent Bar and issued a registration number. Other than that, no news is good news. So if an envelope arrives from the OED (certified mail, return receipt requested), …

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USPTO Reciprocal Discipline Case Illustrates Flaw In Rules

A recent disciplinary decision published by the USPTO Director illustrates a serious flaw in the Office’s rules governing reciprocal discipline.  In re Sanjeev Kumar Dhand, D2016-17 (USPTO Dir. Nov. 16, 2016). California Discipline The factual background of the Dhand case is eerily similar to our post from yesterday (link here).   This matter involves California-based patent …

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USPTO Disbars Siemens’ Outside Patent Atty For $2.5M Billing Fraud

Each year, a number of patent and trademark practitioners agree to exclusion from the USPTO rather than face an OED ethics investigation or USPTO disciplinary action.  While not always the case, such consent exclusions usually involve very serious–and often criminal–practitioner misconduct. One such matter is the case of former patent attorney David N. Caracappa.  See In …

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