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Alt Legal IP Docketing Blog has a nice post on The Ethics of IP Docketing Software (found here). While I am not advocating for Alt Legal’s docketing software products–there are many customized and off-the-shelf software product vendors who pitch such solutions to IP lawyers–the point of the post is well taken. As the author correctly points out, missing a deadline can mea ...
Working with invention promotion or marketing companies can be hazardous to your law license. That is the clear message coming from the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline, which is in charge of policing and enforcing the Rules of Professional Conduct governing patent attorneys, patent agents, and others who practice before the Office.
“The Trademark Company,” whose owner Matthew Swyers agreed last month to give up his license to practice before the USPTO, ending a three-year ethics battle, appears to be alive. While still operating under the old name, logo and URL, The Trademark Company has shifted gears away from offering trademark-related services and is now offering only copyright-related services.
On February 27, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia affirmed a decision by the USPTO Director excluding a registered patent agent from practice before the USPTO because the agent practiced trademark law. Factual Background Bang-er Shia became a registered patent agent in 2005; she has never been admitted to the bar of any court as an attorney. Ms.
The fallout from the Niro, Haller & Niro law firm’s doomed litigation on behalf of Intellect Wireless continues. For patent litigator David J. Mahalek, the most junior member of the Niro litigation team, the disciplinary shoe of the USPTO did not just drop–it kicked him in the teeth with an 18-month suspension of his law license.
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 Di ...
The American Bar Association’s House of Delegates voted on Monday to change the ABA’s Model Rule for Minimum Continuing Legal Education to include a recommended one hour of CLE training every three years focused on substance abuse and mental health issues. Currently, only three jurisdictions–California, North Carolina and Nevada–require such courses.
I am pleased to announce the addition of a new family member to this Blog: A USPTO disciplinary decision search engine and reader-friendly digest of USPTO disciplinary decisions. This feature can be found by clicking here or on the “PTO Discipline” tab beneath the IPethics & INsights banner. Why A Search Engine Why go through this effort? It all stems from my frustratio ...
On January 26, 2017, a New York state appeals court panel affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a $10 million malpractice complaint filed against Alston & Bird LLP. The court held that the complaint filed by Alston’s former client, high-tech fabric maker Brookwood Cos., Inc., failed to state a plausible claim that Brookwood would have avoided millions of dollars in addition ...
It says a lot when the busiest patent judge in the United States calls a patent lawsuit “the clearest example of an exceptional case” he has ever seen. That is precisely what happened earlier this week, when Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas, who personally handles one-quarter of all patent cases filed nationwide, awarded a defendant nearly $500,000 in at ...
On January 25, 2017, the Federal Circuit ruled a district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded the prevailing party’s attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 based upon the losing party’s conduct with respect to responding to one particular issue in discovery. In National Oilwell Varco, L.P. v. Omron Oilfield & Marine, Inc., No.
The rules of ethics–particularly rules that prohibit conflicts of interest and require the utmost loyalty–apply to the President of the United States. That is the premise underlying a lawsuit filed today by a group of ethics experts against President Trump. See Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington v. Donald J. Trump, Case No. 1:17-cv-00458-RA (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 23, 2017).
A recent patent malpractice action filed in federal court in New York against an IP firm raises once again the issue of subject matter conflicts between concurrent clients in prosecuting patent applications in a similar field of technology. The issue of subject matter conflicts in concurrent patent representation continues to be an area of significant interest–and concern–for I ...
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, since it is the New Year I thought it would be helpful to remind you all, again, of what is in my opinion the First Commandment of Ethics: Thou Shalt Communicate With Thy Clients. Seriously. Clients do not like to be ignored by their attorneys. This means that when they call or write about the status of their matter, they expect a response—and fast.
The Federal Circuit on Friday affirmed a district court’s order imposing sanctions against a Colorado patent attorney and his patentee client for vexatious litigation. Doubling down, the Federal Circuit imposed its own sanctions for what it says was a frivolous appeal. See Walker v. Health International Corp., No. 15-1676 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 6, 2017).