Get Out Of Town: The Ethical Perils Of Outsourcing IP Services

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Confidentiality, IP Ethics, Outsourcing, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

Many IP lawyers engage other lawyers or nonlawyers as independent contractors, directly or through intermediaries, to provide various legal and nonlegal support services. The outsourcing market, often referred to as the “legal process outsourcing” market or “professional employer organization” market, is a multi-billion dollar industry. While there is nothing per se unethical about a lawyer outsourcing legal and non-legal services, ethical … Read More

USPTO Disciplines Attorney For Billing $1,000 Hourly “Relationship Fee”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, Discipline, PTO Ethics Decisions2 Comments

The USPTO settled a disciplinary action filed against a non-patent attorney who billed a client thousands of dollars, at a rate of $1,000 per hour, to prepare a patent application and then, without his client’s knowledge or consent, outsourced the legal work to an unaffiliated patent attorney for a fraction of the fee paid by the client.   In re Lehat, No. D2013-04. This disciplinary action arose … Read More