It’s deja vu all over again: a second ex-Niro IP attorney has received an 18-month suspension from practice before the USPTO. Attorney Paul C. Gibbons, one of four attorneys from the now defunct Niro, Haller & Niro who were sanctioned for vexatious litigation arising from the firm’s representation of NPE Intellect Wireless, settled a disciplinary complaint with the USPTO Director by agreeing to an 18-month suspension from practice before the Office. A copy of the USPTO’s suspension is posted here.
Mr. Gibbons is the second former Niro attorney to be suspended for one-and-a-half years by the USPTO for their conduct in the Intellect Wireless litigation. Earlier today, we reported here that on January 27, 2017, former Niro IP attorney David J. Mahalek settled a USPTO ethics complaint by agreeing to an 18-month suspension.
Notably, Mr. Gibbons’ suspension was entered by the USPTO General Counsel over ten (10) months ago, on April 29, 2016. For reasons that are presently unclear, the suspension order was not posted on the USPTO’s “OED FOIA Reading Room” until some time in 2017.
The Gibbons’ suspension order is substantively identical to the suspension order entered by the USPTO Director against Mr. Mahalek.
Interestingly, Mr. Gibbons left the Niro firm in June 2013 and joined the Boston office of Robins Kaplan. He no longer is listed on the Robins Kaplan website. Mr. Gibbons was a member of the Massachusetts and Illinois bars. According to both Bar’s websites, Mr. Gibbons’ status is “retired.”