PTO Suspends PTAB Atty Who Filed Multiple TM Apps For Cannabis Client

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Unauthorized Practice of Law, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO Ethics Investigation0 Comments

The USPTO has suspended a PTO-employed attorney for thirty (30) days for practicing trademark law before the Office for private clients, in violation of federal conflicts of interest laws.  See In re Tara K. Laux, Proc. No. D2016-39 (USPTO Dir. Mar. 9, 2017).  According to a settlement agreement reached with the OED Director, attorney Tara Laux, who has worked at … 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

New USPTO Discipline Search Engine Added To IPethics & INsights

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.USPTO Decisions, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO OED0 Comments

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 … Read More

2016 USPTO Disciplinary Decisions – The Year In Review

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.USPTO Decisions, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OED0 Comments

To all of you who have been dying to know what happened in the world of ethics and discipline at the USPTO in the past year, I am pleased to say your wait is finally over.  I have written, “2016 USPTO Disciplinary Decisions — The Year in Review.” Why was The 2016 Year in Review necessary?  I for one have … Read More

USPTO Reciprocal Discipline Case Illustrates Flaw In Rules

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal Education, Gross Misconduct, Moral turpitide, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Reciprocal Discipline, USPTO Director Decisions0 Comments

A recent disciplinary decision published by the USPTO Director illustrates a serious flaw in the Office’s rules governing reciprocal discipline.  In re Sanjeev Kumar Dhand, D2016-17 (USPTO Dir. Nov. 16, 2016). California Discipline The factual background of the Dhand case is eerily similar to our post from yesterday (link here).   This matter involves California-based patent attorney Sanjeev Kumar Dhand. Mr. … Read More

USPTO Director Reverses ALJ In Disciplinary Case, Rules In Favor Of Attorney

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

On August 5, 2016, the USPTO Director issued a Final Order reversing an administrative law judge’s initial decision, which had suspended a practitioner for 18 months. The Final Order held the OED Director violated USPTO precedent and mandatory rules regarding reciprocal discipline—37 C.F.R. § 11.24.  The Final Order is significant because it not only confirms the mandatory nature of reciprocal discipline, … 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

“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