USPTO ethics

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

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

“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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“Super Lawyer” Resigns From USPTO Bar Following Ethics Complaint

Warning to all patent and trademark practitioners—allowing a non-practitioner to “ghost sign” your name on papers filed with the USPTO can be hazardous to your law license. So learned the named partner of a large IP boutique firm who routinely allowed a non-attorney assistant to sign his name on documents filed with the Office. In …

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Why No Mandatory Ethics Training for Patent Agents?

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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