Are Your Firm’s Foreign Associate Practices Ethical?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Ethics1 Comment

It is commonplace for IP law firms in the United States to receive referrals for patent and trademark application filing, prosecution, and related services from sources other than the actual client.  In one of the most common scenarios, patent and trademark services are directed to a U.S. IP law firm through an intermediary, such as a non-U.S. law firm or … 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

The Ethics of Independence

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Communications, CompetenceLeave a Comment

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom” – Albert Einstein As we prepare to celebrate the birthday of our country’s independence, I am reminded that we, as lawyers, owe a significant ethical duty to exercise independence in the representation of our clients.  As an attorney, independence is not a privilege … Read More

IP Counsel Who Blindly Follow Client “Instructions” Risk Loss Of Law License

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Supreme Court Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of LawLeave a Comment

Intellectual Property law firms often receive substantive documents, including original applications and amendments, with “instructions” from their client to file the paper in the USPTO, essentially as is. And just as often, IP counsel dutifully follow their clients’ orders and simply have a non-lawyer “clean up” the document so it “looks” right and, without any substantive review by counsel, sign and … Read More