Patent Prosecution Malpractice: Minimizing the Risk of Claims

Malpractice in patent prosecution can be an expensive (very expensive) and time-consuming proposition. Defense costs alone can run well into the seven figures. No patent prosecutor or law firm wants to face that kind of exposure.

On February 21, 2019, I will be presenting a 90-minute CLE webinar hosted by Strafford on best practices for minimizing the risks of being sued for malpractice arising from patent prosecution. Here is the announcement of our program:

This CLE webinar will guide patent counsel on minimizing the risk of malpractice claims in patent prosecution. The panel will examine common pitfalls and problematic behavior as well as how the courts have dealt with recent malpractice claims in the patent context.


Malpractice risks for patent practitioners increase with the rising complexity of patent practice. For many companies, the most valuable assets are its IP. Consequently, protecting and enforcing IP rights becomes more important. With such high stakes, patent counsel are an easy target if something fails during the prosecution process, whether due to missing deadlines or a strategy that does not work.

Malpractice claims may come from the client’s belief that not all the patent claims asserted led to a later invalidity determination or an inadequate conflicts check. Malpractice claims against patent attorneys are growing, and patent attorneys should take steps to minimize the likelihood that they could face such claims.

Listen as our authoritative panel discusses where common pitfalls arise and problematic behavior that may lead to claims. The panel will also discuss how the courts have dealt with recent malpractice claims in the patent context and steps counsel can/should take to minimize the likelihood of malpractice. The panel will also address the issue of damages.


  1. Key issues in a malpractice case including causation
  2. Problem behavior and common pitfalls
  3. Court treatment
  4. Damages
  5. Best practices to minimize the risk of malpractice claims
    1. Conflicts checks
    2. Intake process
    3. Termination letters
    4. Firm culture
    5. Insurance


The panel will review these and other important issues:

  • What behavior could be problematic and put patent counsel at risk of malpractice claims?
  • How does patent law representation differ from most other matters in terms of malpractice claims?
  • What steps can patent counsel take to minimize the risk of malpractice claims?

This should be a great program and I am looking forward to presenting with Amy Richardson of Harris Wiltshire & Grannis.

For information on how to sign up for the webinar click here.

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