On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at 2:00 PM EST, I will be participating in a webinar hosted by IPO Chat Channel on Conflicts of Interest in Patent Prosecution in light of the recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson. In Maling, a case of first impression, the court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that representing two clients in related technology areas is a per se violation of ethical rules. But the court stressed that representing competing companies with similar inventions could give rise to ethical violations in other factual scenarios. The opinion admonished firms to carefully police their cases to avoid conflicts, “no matter how complex such a protocol might be … law firms run significant risks, financial and reputational, if they do not avail themselves of a robust conflict system adequate to the nature of their practice.”
The IPO panel includes Martin Kaminsky, who serves as the General Counsel of Greenberg Traurig; Scott Markow, the Senior Group Patent Counsel for Stanley Black & Decker; and yours truly. We will be discussing best practices for law firms and clients in light of Maling, and consider hypotheticals where the answer about conflicts is tough to call.
The one-hour webinar is hosted by Pamela Sherrid, former editor of IP Law & Business magazine. To register for the webinar, please contact IPO online at www.ipo.org/IPChatChannel.
Continuing Legal Education Credit (CLE) is available for the program.