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

Courts Sanction Patent Counsel for Litigation Misconduct–Will USPTO Discipline Be Next?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Misrepresentations, Patent Litigation Ethics0 Comments

What happens in patent litigation does not necessarily stay in litigation.  This is especially true if a court sanctions counsel for litigation misconduct.  News about such conduct travels quickly. Inevitably, it catches the attention of a different, and potentially more dangerous, audience–the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED).  Depending on the nature and severity of the litigation misconduct, an OED ethics investigation followed by formal charges alleging litigation counsel violated the USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct may prove far … Read More

“Super Lawyer” Resigns From USPTO Bar Following Ethics Complaint

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Director Decisions1 Comment

Warning to all patent and trademark practitioners—allowing a non-practitioner to “ghost sign” your name on papers filed with the USPTO can be hazardous to your law license. So learned the named partner of a large IP boutique firm who routinely allowed a non-attorney assistant to sign his name on documents filed with the Office. In re Druce, No. D2014-13 (Sept. … Read More

Patent and Trademark Ethics – Reciprocal Discipline at the USPTO

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, PTO Ethics Rules0 Comments

In 2013, the USPTO scrapped its old ethics rules based on the Model Code of Professional Responsibility and promulgated “new” rules modeled after the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The USPTO recognized it was late to this dance – 49 states and the District of Columbia had already adopted some version of the ABA Model Rules.  The Office’s goal, … Read More

USPTO Reprimands Patent Attorney for Misusing Confidential Client Information

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, Discipline0 Comments

T The USPTO publicly reprimanded a patent attorney who used information he learned while representing a former client to file, as named plaintiff, a false patent marking lawsuit for his own benefit.  In re Cipriani, No. D2012 This disciplinary action arose from attorney Glen Cipriani’s work as an associate on a patent litigation on behalf of his former law firm’s client, … Read More