PTO Ethics Rules

Trademark Ethics: 5 Things That Might Keep You Up At Night

Emil Ali has been keeping very busy representing trademark practitioners in USPTO ethics investigations and disciplinary proceedings.  Next Thursday, May 12, Emil will be sharing his insights into the perilous ethical landscape faced by trademark counsel, in a live online webinar.  Every trademark practitioner should watch and learn from the mistakes others have made!  This …

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USPTO Orders Six-Month Suspension For Patent Agent Who Lied To Client About Design App And Failed To Cooperate With OED

The USPTO has ordered a registered patent agent who allowed a patent application to go abandoned, failed to communicate with his client, and failed to cooperate with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline’s ethics investigation to serve a six-month license suspension and one-year probation.  This case presents a cautionary tale for IP practitioners and teaches …

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Breadth Of PTO Ethics Opinion Could Alter How IP Firms Interact With Foreign Associates

This post is the last of a three-part series reviewing how the USPTO interprets and applies its ethics rules to IP practitioners who represent patent and trademark clients through non-practitioner intermediaries. Where Are We Now: Evolution of PTO Ethics Opinions Thirty years ago, the PTO issued (in 1987 and 1988) ethics opinions regarding very discrete …

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“The Trademark Company” Pivots To A Copyright Company

“The Trademark Company,” whose owner Matthew Swyers agreed last month to give up his license to practice before the USPTO, ending a three-year ethics battle, appears to be alive.  While still operating under the old name, logo and URL, The Trademark Company has shifted gears away from offering trademark-related services and is now offering only …

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OED Cracks Down On Patent Practitioners Working With Invention Promoters

George Foreman pitches their services on late night television commercials.  A Google search for “how to sell my invention” turns up scores of them. Many individual inventors believe they have designed the next “better mouse trap” but typically have no clue how to monetize or market their invention. That is where invention marketing or promotion …

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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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Bar Counsel Imposes Discipline For “Personal” Misconduct & Legal But Unethical Behavior

Many members of the public, and some attorneys themselves, believe that if they do not lie, they do not steal, and they do not cheat, then their conduct necessarily complies with the Rules of Professional Conduct.  This is a false assumption.  Others believe that an attorney’s “transgressions” in her personal life will not affect her …

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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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