USPTO Director Decisions

State Bar Discipline Can Be Hazardous To IP Attorneys’ Right To Practice Before The USPTO (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second of a two-part series on reciprocal discipline in the USPTO.  To read the first part click here. Once the notice requirements set forth in Sections 11.24(a) and (b) have been satisfied, Section 11.24(d) dictates the manner in which the disciplinary hearing shall proceed. In accordance with Section 11.24(d), “the USPTO Director shall …

State Bar Discipline Can Be Hazardous To IP Attorneys’ Right To Practice Before The USPTO (Part 2 of 2) Read More »

State Bar Discipline Can Be Hazardous To IP Attorneys’ Right To Practice Before The USPTO (Part 1 of 2)

Consider the following – a patent attorney is investigated and charged by her state bar for violating the state’s code of ethics.  The patent attorney believes her state law license is not particularly relevant or necessary because 100% of her practice is dedicated to patent prosecution.  Therefore, to make the state bar matter “go away” with …

State Bar Discipline Can Be Hazardous To IP Attorneys’ Right To Practice Before The USPTO (Part 1 of 2) Read More »

Patent Attorney Disbarred For Attempting To Extort Fees From Former Law Firm

On December 31, 2014, the USPTO Director issued an Order of Reciprocal Discipline excluding a Bellevue, Washington patent attorney from practicing before the Office. Former patent attorney Jeffrey T. Haley’s exclusion followed his voluntary resignation from the State Bar of Washington, where he had been charged with attempted extortion from his former law firm. The Compensation …

Patent Attorney Disbarred For Attempting To Extort Fees From Former Law Firm Read More »

Patent Attorney Who Lied to Client and Bar Counsel Receives Two-Month Suspension

“It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed when the informed and the experienced fail.” – Mark Twain in Eruption In the world of attorney discipline, the mental state of the attorney is an important factor in determining the type and severity of discipline bar counsel will seek. …

Patent Attorney Who Lied to Client and Bar Counsel Receives Two-Month Suspension Read More »

OED Disciplines Patent Attorney Accused of Child Molestation

Not long ago, David C. Plache was a licensed physician, a licensed attorney, and a registered patent practitioner. Then came a 29-count indictment for child sex abuse, which ultimately led to a conviction for child endangerment. Plache subsequently lost his right to practice medicine and his state bar license was suspended for three years. On …

OED Disciplines Patent Attorney Accused of Child Molestation Read More »

“Super Lawyer” Resigns From USPTO Bar Following Ethics Complaint

Warning to all patent and trademark practitioners—allowing a non-practitioner to “ghost sign” your name on papers filed with the USPTO can be hazardous to your law license. So learned the named partner of a large IP boutique firm who routinely allowed a non-attorney assistant to sign his name on documents filed with the Office. In …

“Super Lawyer” Resigns From USPTO Bar Following Ethics Complaint Read More »

Domestic Violence Conviction Nets Attorney USPTO Reprimand

In a reciprocal discipline matter, the USPTO publicly reprimanded a successful and experienced patent attorney following his criminal conviction for domestic battery. See In re Gortler, No. D2013-06 (USPTO Dir.). Attorney Hugh P. Gortler’s problems began in 2011, soon after he told his wife he wanted a divorce. See In re Gortler, Case Nos. 11-C-2562-DFM (Cal. …

Domestic Violence Conviction Nets Attorney USPTO Reprimand Read More »

USPTO Suspends Ethically-Challenged Patent Attorney

On August 19, 2014, the USPTO Director issued a final order suspending a patent attorney for 20-months based on three separate suspensions issued by the Supreme Court of California. The USPTO added an additional six-month period to the suspension—for a total suspension of 26 months—based on the attorney’s failure to cooperate with the OED’s disciplinary …

USPTO Suspends Ethically-Challenged Patent Attorney Read More »

Scroll to Top