Top Seven Ethics Risks When Patent Practitioners Work With Invention Marketing Companies

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, Communications, Fee-Splitting, Invention Promoters, IP Ethics2 Comments

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 OED has been coming down … Read More

Failure To Communicate No. 1 Cause Of USPTO Attorney Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Diligence, Discipline, Failure to Communicate, Patent Ethics0 Comments

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 … Read More

OED Cracks Down On Patent Practitioners Working With Invention Promoters

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Conflicts of Interest, Patent Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OED1 Comment

George Foreman pitches their services on late night television commercials.  A Google search for “how to sell my invention” turns up scores of them. Many individual inventors believe they have designed the next “better mouse trap” but typically have no clue how to monetize or market their invention. That is where invention marketing or promotion companies step in. Generally speaking, … Read More

ABA’s “Tips For Practicing Law” Provides Valuable Ethics Guidance For USPTO Practitioners

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Diligence, IP Ethics, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OED0 Comments

“Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.” – Tom Hagen, The Godfather In the Summer 2016 issue of Litigation, Steven A. Weiss, Chair of the ABA’s Section of Litigation, authored an article entitled, “Eight More Tips For Practicing Law.”  Although the article focuses on a number of best practices from the perspective of a … Read More

What They Didn’t Teach You In Law School: Representing Client With Diminished Capacity

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Confidentiality0 Comments

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, the focus this month on “What They Didn’t Teach You in Law School” is on representing a client with diminished mental capacity.  According to the leading mental health organization in the country, 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffer from some form of mental health condition or disorder.  Thus, it is … Read More

“What We’ve Got Here Is Failure To Communicate”  – Preventing The Most Common Cause For Attorney Discipline And Malpractice

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Failure to Communicate, Malpractice, Patent Ethics2 Comments

It is one of the most iconic lines in the history of American cinema.  Spoken by “The Captain”–the sadistic prison warden portrayed in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke—the “failure to communicate” passage near the top of the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 movie quotations, nestled between “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” (Robert Duvall, … Read More

The Ethics of Independence

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Communications, Competence0 Comments

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom” – Albert Einstein As we prepare to celebrate the birthday of our country’s independence, I am reminded that we, as lawyers, owe a significant ethical duty to exercise independence in the representation of our clients.  As an attorney, independence is not a privilege … Read More

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

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, Communications, PTO Ethics Decisions0 Comments

“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 was it sufficient to avoid disbarment … Read More