USPTO OED

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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Allowing Someone Else To Type In Your S-Signature On USPTO Documents Is Unethical

I still remember vividly today the very first time I signed a paper, as an attorney at law, for filing in court.  It was 22 years ago.  I remember being nervous. I practiced my signature on a scratch pad, wanting to get it just right, before finally putting ball point to paper.  The paper was of heavy bond, …

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IP Litigators Beware: Bad News May Be Hazardous To Your Law License (Part 2 of 2)

Bad news on the doorstep.  I couldn’t take one more step.  Don McLean – American Pie In the last year, many “bad news” articles have been published arising from IP litigation. Not surprisingly, a growing number of those articles have been based on exceptional case findings and awards of attorneys’ fees under the Octane Fitness …

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IP Litigators Beware: Bad News May Be Hazardous To Your Law License (Part 1 of 2)

Many years ago, before Al Gore invented the internet and teenagers rode their bicycles before dawn, their palms black with ink, to deliver “the paper,” science fiction novelist Douglas Adams observed, “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”  Truer words today could not be …

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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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Is The USPTO’s One-Year Statute Of Limitations For Filing An Ethics Complaint Triggered By The OED’s Failure To Investigate Or Willful Blindness?

One of the lesser publicized changes to patent law made by the America Invents Act was the amendment to Title 35, Section 32, which included two separate limitations periods for USPTO disciplinary complaints. As amended, Section 32 states a USPTO disciplinary proceeding must be commenced: not later than the earlier of either the date that …

Is The USPTO’s One-Year Statute Of Limitations For Filing An Ethics Complaint Triggered By The OED’s Failure To Investigate Or Willful Blindness? Read More »

To Err Is Human – But Is It Unethical?

“I made a wrong mistake” – Yogi Berra   Before his sentencing for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, Bernie Madoff explained to the court he had “made a terrible mistake.”  To borrow a line from my 11-year old daughter: “No duh.” Madoff’s “mistake” led to a 150-year prison sentence. In bar disciplinary …

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