An ethics blog for IP attorneys

Patent Lawsuit Dismissed With Prejudice As Sanction For Counsel’s Misrepresentations

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | September 22, 2014

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison may share the German philosopher Nietzsche’s view on lying in the wake of his recent decision in  Tesco Corporation v. Weatherford International Inc., 4:08-cv-02531 (S.D. Tex.), in which he dismissed a […]

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Why No Mandatory Ethics Training for Patent Agents?

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | September 18, 2014

Since 1974, legal ethics instruction has been required by the major accreditation institute for law schools. Legal ethics subjects are now covered in the essay portion of state bar examinations across the country; passage of the bar examination is a condition of licensure in most states. Further still, most states require lawyers to pass the Multistate […]

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Domestic Violence Conviction Nets Attorney USPTO Reprimand

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

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. […]

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USPTO Suspends Ethically-Challenged Patent Attorney

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | September 15, 2014

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 […]

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USPTO Reprimands Patent Attorney for Misusing Confidential Client Information

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | September 12, 2014

T The USPTO publicly reprimanded a patent attorney who used information he learned while representing a former client to file, as named plaintiff, a false patent marking lawsuit for his own benefit.  In re Cipriani, No. D2012 This disciplinary action arose from attorney Glen Cipriani’s work as an associate on a patent litigation on behalf of […]

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Upcoming IP Ethics Continuing Legal Education

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

On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, DuPont and Widener University School of Law will be holding the 2014 Intellectual Property Continuing Legal Education Seminar at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.  The full-day seminar will include a lecture on ethics by Professor David Hricik, a noted author, speaker, and expert on ethical issues in intellectual property law. On Thursday, […]

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USPTO Suspends Patent Attorney Convicted Of Soliciting Sex With Minor

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | August 29, 2014

On August 19, 2014, USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee temporarily suspended a 44-year old patent attorney after his conviction for soliciting sex online with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year old girl. Attorney Robert M. Bohanek’s license will remain suspended until completion of disciplinary proceedings. In re Bohanek, No. D2014-30. According to the Texas Attorney […]

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USPTO Suspends Patent Attorney After State Discipline For UPL And Drug Conviction

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | August 25, 2014

The USPTO suspended a patent attorney for six months from practicing before the Office following the attorney’s six-month suspension from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts bar. See In re Ramos, No. D2014-09. Timothy A. Ramos’ legal troubles began in 2009 as a result of his work for the Ramos Law Group, Inc., in Ohio. During an […]

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Former Client Publicly Blasts Attorney Suspended by USPTO for Failure to Communicate

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

The USPTO recently settled a disciplinary action filed against an IP attorney by suspending him from practice before the Office for five (5) months for failing to communicate and allowing his clients’ trademark applications to become abandoned without their knowledge or consent.  In re Shaffer, No. D2014-18. This disciplinary matter arose from an attorney’s representation of two […]

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USPTO Disciplines Attorney For Billing $1,000 Hourly “Relationship Fee”

By Michael E. McCabe, Jr. | August 14, 2014

The USPTO settled a disciplinary action filed against a non-patent attorney who billed a client thousands of dollars, at a rate of $1,000 per hour, to prepare a patent application and then, without his client’s knowledge or consent, outsourced the legal work to an unaffiliated patent attorney for a fraction of the fee paid by the client.   In re Lehat, No. […]

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