Portus Drops Subject Matter Conflict Claim Against Kenyon; Alleges Firm’s Prosecution Malpractice Shortened Patent Term By 3+Years

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, IP Malpractice, Patent Prosecution Malpractice0 Comments

For the past year, Portus Singapore Pte. Ltd. (“Portus”), a former client of the now-defunct Kenyon & Kenyon (“Kenyon”) law firm, has been trying to get a claim for legal malpractice to stick against its former IP counsel.   So far, Portus’ efforts have been unsuccessful.  On July 28, 2017, Portus took its third bite at the apple and filed another … Read More

To Encrypt, Or Not To Encrypt, That Is The Question

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, Confidentiality0 Comments

The ABA has dived head first into the pool of law firm cybersecurity.  On May 11, 2017, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility issued Formal Opinion 477 (here), which addresses a broad range of issues that lawyers must consider to protect client confidential information from “nefarious actors throughout the internet.”  Those “nefarious actors”—also known as … Read More

The Ethics Of IP Docketing Software

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence0 Comments

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 … Read More

Epic Ethics Legal Battle By Trademark Company Owner Ends Quietly With Resignation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Constitutional Law, District Court Litigation, Exclusion on Consent, Fee-Splitting, PTO Ethics Decisions, Unauthorized Practice of Law, USPTO Director Decisions0 Comments

The three-year ethics saga between Matthew Swyers, owner of The Trademark Company, and the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED), ended with a whisper, with Mr. Swyers agreeing to resign from practicing before the USPTO.  By entering into what is called an “exclusion on consent” agreement, Mr. Swyers voluntarily gives up the ability to provide U.S. trademark-related legal services for a minimum of five (5) years.  A copy of the exclusion … Read More

Fraudulent Trademark Solicitations Raise Ethical Concerns For TM Attys

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Attorney Fraud, Client Funds, Competence, Trademark Ethics0 Comments

The USPTO today issued a warning about the dangers of fraudulent trademark solicitations.  In a blog posted on the USPTO’s website (link here), Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison warned: Trademark solicitations have been a global problem for decades, including for USPTO customers, and we have implemented several measures to protect our customers against them. As many trademark practitioners are … 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

When The Cover-Up Outweighs The Crime: Professional Discipline For Hiding Attorney Errors

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, IP Ethics, Office of Enrollment and Discipline1 Comment

“As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes” — Mel Brooks In bar disciplinary proceedings, the word “mistake” is often used either to explain, describe, or defend against, a charge of alleged unethical behavior. But is it unethical for an attorney to make an “honest mistake”?  Ethical guidance on what seems … Read More