5 Myths About USPTO Ethics Investigations and Disciplinary Complaints

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

Many IP practitioners are misinformed about the function of the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). Here are the top 5 myths about OED ethics investigations and attorney discipline at the USPTO. Myth #1 – The OED Only Cares About Practice Before the USPTO There is a perception that the USPTO only cares about enforcing its ethics rules in … Read More

PTAB And District Court Litigators Risk USPTO Ethical Discipline For Protective Order Violations

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, PTAB Discipline, PTO Ethics Decisions, USPTO OED2 Comments

In patent litigation, one of the first orders of business is entry of a protective order protecting the participant’s confidential information. While protective orders come in all shapes and sizes, such orders uniformly prohibit a receiving party from disclosing a producing party’s confidential information except to a limited universe of defined individuals. In addition, a standard provision in protective orders … Read More

Circuit Courts Warn: The New “F-Bomb” In Litigation Is “Frivolous”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Duty to TribunalLeave a Comment

It pays to be nice. That is the message from two recent Circuit Courts of Appeal decisions that criticized parties for lack of civility because counsel characterized their opponent’s arguments as “frivolous.” In the first case, Bennett v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 731 F.3d 584, 585 (6th Cir. 2013), the Sixth Circuit reversed a judgment in favor of State Farm … Read More

“What We’ve Got Here Is Failure To Communicate”  – Preventing The Most Common Cause For Attorney Discipline And Malpractice

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Failure to Communicate, Malpractice, Patent Ethics2 Comments

It is one of the most iconic lines in the history of American cinema.  Spoken by “The Captain”–the sadistic prison warden portrayed in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke—the “failure to communicate” passage near the top of the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 movie quotations, nestled between “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” (Robert Duvall, … Read More

IP Litigators Beware: Bad News May Be Hazardous To Your Law License (Part 1 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Patent Litigation Ethics, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

Many years ago, before Al Gore invented the internet and teenagers rode their bicycles before dawn, their palms black with ink, to deliver “the paper,” science fiction novelist Douglas Adams observed, “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”  Truer words today could not be spoken. Indeed, today the on-line … Read More

“Rising Star” Falls For Suspended Trademark Attorney

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, PTO Ethics Rules, Trademark, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

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

State Bar Discipline Can Be Hazardous To IP Attorneys’ Right To Practice Before The USPTO (Part 2 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Reciprocal Discipline, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

This is the second of a two-part series on reciprocal discipline in the USPTO.  To read the first part click here. Once the notice requirements set forth in Sections 11.24(a) and (b) have been satisfied, Section 11.24(d) dictates the manner in which the disciplinary hearing shall proceed. In accordance with Section 11.24(d), “the USPTO Director shall hear the matter . . … Read More

Patent Attorney Disbarred For Attempting To Extort Fees From Former Law Firm

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Reciprocal Discipline, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

On December 31, 2014, the USPTO Director issued an Order of Reciprocal Discipline excluding a Bellevue, Washington patent attorney from practicing before the Office. Former patent attorney Jeffrey T. Haley’s exclusion followed his voluntary resignation from the State Bar of Washington, where he had been charged with attempted extortion from his former law firm. The Compensation Dispute In 1979, Mr. Haley … Read More