“The Trademark Company” Pivots To A Copyright Company

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Exclusion on Consent, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, Trademark ethics0 Comments

“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. According to its … 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



Bar Counsel Imposes Discipline For “Personal” Misconduct & Legal But Unethical Behavior

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO OED0 Comments

Many members of the public, and some attorneys themselves, believe that if they do not lie, they do not steal, and they do not cheat, then their conduct necessarily complies with the Rules of Professional Conduct.  This is a false assumption.  Others believe that an attorney’s “transgressions” in her personal life will not affect her ability to practice law.  This … Read More



OED Discipline For IP Practitioners Who Use “Snitch” Threats For Tactical Gain

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Duty to Report Misconduct, IP Ethics, OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO OED0 Comments

  “You’re building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches” – Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman You represent a patentee in a highly contentious litigation against an accused infringer.  The parties hate each other, and the gloves came off months ago–if they were ever on in the first place. Then extraordinarily you catch your opposing counsel in a … Read More



The “Rat Rule” And USPTO Discipline – Reporting Ethical Violations To OED (Part 1)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Duty to Report Misconduct, IP Ethics, OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, PTO Ethics Rules0 Comments

“Never rat out your friends. And always keep your mouth shut.” – Robert De Niro, GoodFellas I am of Sicilian ancestry, raised in an Italian household in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn.  Despite this upbringing, it was not until I was an adult when I first learned about the “Code of Silence” known as “omertà.” I learned that “the Code” … Read More



“Rising Star” Falls For Suspended Trademark Attorney

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, PTO Ethics Rules, Trademark, USPTO Director Decisions0 Comments

By all accounts, Jeremy Blackowicz is a fine trademark attorney with a long and bright future ahead. According to a recent version of his law firm’s website, Mr. Blackowicz was an associate in the Boston, Massachusetts intellectual property department of Day Pitney, LLP.  According to the firm’s website, Mr. Blackowicz, a 2001 graduate of Boston University School of Law, has been recognized … Read More



“Super Lawyer” Resigns From USPTO Bar Following Ethics Complaint

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Director Decisions1 Comment

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 re Druce, No. D2014-13 (Sept. … Read More