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

Tales From The OED Crypt: Using Forged Document To Trick Witness Can Get Counsel Treated To Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Patent Litigation Ethics, USPTO Decisions1 Comment

Lawyers often are accused of playing “tricks” in litigation. For those who are familiar with trial tactics, the “trick” label is usually nothing more than legal “tradecraft” – the techniques of experienced litigators to weave a story through a combination of arguments, documents, and witness testimony. Pretending to read from a document while asking a question unrelated to the substance … Read More

USPTO Disbars Attorney For Engaging In Pattern Of Client Neglect, Deceit, And Misappropriation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, PTO Ethics Decisions0 Comments

Never lie, never cheat, never steal. – John Wooden Patent attorney Rodney K. Worrel should have listened to the sage advice of UCLA’s legendary basketball coach. The California-based attorney has been excluded from practice before the USPTO for engaging in a pattern of misconduct that involved multiple acts of neglect, deceit, and conversion of client funds. Administrative Law Judge Alexander … Read More

A Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde—Former IP General Counsel and His Spouse Accused Of Racketeering, Theft In Alleged $5 Million Patent Search Billing Scheme

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Civil RICO, Civil Theft, District Court Litigation, Moral turpitide2 Comments

Mary and Jason Throne are not really Bonnie and Clyde. According to a recent lawsuit, however, Jason Throne, who worked for 20 years as a senior patent counsel for Hunter Douglas, and his wife Mary, carried out a fifteen-year fraudulent patent search billing scheme that might have impressed the notorious bank-robbing duo of days yonder. And in the process of allegedly … 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

Patent Attorney Who Lied to Client and Bar Counsel Receives Two-Month Suspension

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Misrepresentations, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, USPTO Director Decisions0 Comments

“It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed when the informed and the experienced fail.” – Mark Twain in Eruption In the world of attorney discipline, the mental state of the attorney is an important factor in determining the type and severity of discipline bar counsel will seek. When the USPTO imposes discipline, an … Read More