Five Strikes And You’re Out At The USPTO

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Exclusion on Consent, Failure to Communicate, Misrepresentations, Neglect, Unauthorized Practice of Law0 Comments

The USPTO Director excluded a patent attorney on consent following a disciplinary investigation arising from numerous alleged violations of the USPTO’s ethics rules.  See In the Matter of Edward Etkin, Proc. No. D2016-05 (USPTO Dir. Jan. 8, 2016). The OED conducted a disciplinary investigation into the conduct of patent attorney Edward Etkin of Brooklyn, New York. The OED found that … Read More

Don’t Do Me Like That: IP Lawyer Claims Former Partner Stole Firm Trade Secrets

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Law Firm Breakups, Trade Secret Misappropriation1 Comment

“Baby why you hurt me leave me and desert me?” — Foolish (2002) Ashanti A California attorney sued his former law partner for allegedly stealing trade secrets and fraudulent billing practices, in violation of a contract detailing the disbanding of the attorneys’ prior partnership. In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on May … 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

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

Former Siemens Patent Attorney Indicted In $2.4 Million Fraudulent Billing Scheme

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, Patent Criminal0 Comments

“The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” — Gorden Gekko, Wall Street. Maybe “greed works” for some.  For Alexander James Burke, however, greed may end up being his downfall. On October 16, 2014, Burke, a patent attorney once employed by … Read More

EXTRA EXTRA: Attorney Abides By Rules Of Professional Conduct; No Discipline Imposed

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty to Tribunal, IP Litigation Sanctions, Misrepresentations4 Comments

Attorney disciplinary matters involving illegal, immoral, incompetent, negligent, unprofessional, or unethical behavior by intellectual property practitioners are a frequent source of news in the IP media outlets. When an attorney does not violate the ethics rules, that fact, in and of itself, is rarely the subject of discussion. Then there are those rare occasions where an attorney’s adherence to the … 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 Phillip Pippenger is one very lucky patent attorney.  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 … Read More

Alj Fernández Issues Initial Decision Excluding Patent Attorney Who Kept Fees After Failing To Provide Services

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, Communications, Discipline, PTO Ethics Decisions0 Comments

Administrative Law Judge Alexander Fernández issued an initial decision excluding a patent attorney from practice before the USPTO because the attorney accepted fees from a client to prepare a patent application, failed to provide any legal services, and failed to return any of the client’s fee even after the client was awarded a money judgment against the attorney in state court.  In … Read More