Epic Ethics Legal Battle By Trademark Company Owner Ends Quietly With Resignation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Constitutional Law, District Court Litigation, Exclusion on Consent, Fee-Splitting, PTO Ethics Decisions, Unauthorized Practice of Law, USPTO Director Decisions0 Comments

The three-year ethics saga between Matthew Swyers, owner of The Trademark Company, and the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED), ended with a whisper, with Mr. Swyers agreeing to resign from practicing before the USPTO.  By entering into what is called an “exclusion on consent” agreement, Mr. Swyers voluntarily gives up the ability to provide U.S. trademark-related legal services for a minimum of five (5) years.  A copy of the exclusion … Read More



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

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Confidentiality, IP Ethics, Outsourcing, Patent Ethics0 Comments

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



What They Didn’t Teach In Law School: The Ethical Duty Of “Technical Competence”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Competence, Confidentiality, Continuing Legal Education0 Comments

“True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.” — Confucius One of my former partners, a brilliant patent lawyer who was (and is) widely respected in the patent bar, used his desktop computer for one purpose and one purpose only—as a convenient surface on which to attach yellow sticky post-it notes to himself. To my knowledge, he never turned his … Read More



“Rising Star” Falls For Suspended Trademark Attorney

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, PTO Ethics Rules, Trademark, USPTO Director Decisions0 Comments

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



Arizona Bar IP Section Hot for Ethics

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal Education0 Comments

On Friday, May 15, I was honored to be a presenter at the Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Law Section of the Arizona Bar, held in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona.  Roberta Tepper of the State Bar of Arizona and I went a full two hours, providing the section members with treasured ethics CLE credits. The IP Bar in Arizona is a remarkable group of practitioners.  … Read More