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An ethics blog for IP attorneys

Can IP Litigation Counsel Be Jointly Liable Or Ethically Disciplined For Their Clients’ Intentional Destruction Of Evidence?

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | November 10, 2014

On October 29, 2014, ALJ Thomas B. Pender issued an order in Certain Opaque Polymers (Inv. No. 337-TA-883) granting a default judgment of trade secret misappropriation as a sanction for the respondent’s spoliation of electronic evidence and imposing sanctions of $1.9 million against the respondent and its counsel.  The joint liability determination raises troubling legal issues regarding the propriety […]

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CAFC Disciplines Patent Litigator Who Forwarded Former Chief Judge’s “BFF” Email To Clients

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | November 6, 2014

On November 5, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an order publicly reprimanding IP litigator Edward R. Reines.  See In re Edward R. Reines, 14-MA004 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 5, 2014) (en banc).  The discipline is the latest chapter in an unusual saga surrounding an email to Reines from former Chief Circuit Court Judge […]

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After the Protostorm – Court Restricts Intellectual Property Firm’s Spending Following $8 Million Malpractice Judgment

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | November 1, 2014

In the wake of a multi-million patent malpractice verdict against Antonelli Terry Stout & Kraus LLP, a federal judge has imposed “temporary” financial restrictions on the Virginia-based IP firm. Protostorm LLC et al. v. Antonelli Terry Stout & Kraus LLP, No. 1:08-cv-00931 (E.D.N.Y.) As discussed in our October 13, 2014 post, Protostorm LLC engaged the Antonelli firm […]

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After Winning Decade-Long Battle To Fix One-Day Late Filing Error, Pharma Company Sues Former IP Counsel For Patent Malpractice

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | October 31, 2014

What a difference a day made Twenty-four little hours Brought the sun and the flowers Where there used to be rain – Dinah Washington In the world of pharmaceutical patents, every day of exclusive rights can translate into millions of dollars in additional revenue. Global biopharmaceutical company The Medicines Company (MDCO) knows this all too […]

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A Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde—Former IP General Counsel and His Spouse Accused Of Racketeering, Theft In Alleged $5 Million Patent Search Billing Scheme

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | October 24, 2014

Mary and Jason Throne are not really Bonnie and Clyde. According to a recent lawsuit, however, Jason Throne, who worked for 20 years as a senior patent counsel for Hunter Douglas, and his wife Mary, carried out a fifteen-year fraudulent patent search billing scheme that might have impressed the notorious bank-robbing duo of days yonder. And […]

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After Confessing To Ethics Violation, Patent Attorney Disbarred For Commingling And Converting Client Funds

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | October 23, 2014

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain Give patent attorney Stephen Robinson at least a little credit – he was honest about being dishonest. The fact he self-reported his ethical violations to the Kansas Bar was not enough to save his state law license.  In re Stephen R. Robinson, No. 107,311 (Kan. Sup. Ct.). Nor […]

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Former Siemens Patent Attorney Indicted In $2.4 Million Fraudulent Billing Scheme

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | October 21, 2014

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” — Gorden Gekko, Wall Street. Maybe “greed works” for some.  For Alexander James Burke, however, greed may end up being his downfall. On October 16, 2014, Burke, […]

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After a Decade of Frivolous Litigation, IP Lawyer Finally Ousted From California Bar

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | October 17, 2014

It should come as no surprise that California intellectual property lawyer Patrick Missud was disbarred for moral turpitude.  After all, Missud clogged the federal and state courts for years with frivolous lawsuits and bizarre, often outrageous, litigation conduct. On October 1, 2014, a Review Board of the State Bar Court of California adopted a hearing panel’s recommendation […]

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The Perfect Protostorm: Jury Awards Startup $8 Million For Botched Patent Application

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | October 13, 2014

Most patent malpractice cases are the result of not a single error by one person, but a combination of errors, often involving multiple individuals. Such a combination of errors led to a Virginia intellectual property firm’s failure to file its client’s, Protostorm LLC’s, patent application. The end result: on October 10, 2014, a federal judge in […]

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EXTRA EXTRA: Attorney Abides By Rules Of Professional Conduct; No Discipline Imposed

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | October 10, 2014

Attorney disciplinary matters involving illegal, immoral, incompetent, negligent, unprofessional, or unethical behavior by intellectual property practitioners are a frequent source of news in the IP media outlets. When an attorney does not violate the ethics rules, that fact, in and of itself, is rarely the subject of discussion. Then there are those rare occasions where […]

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