Litigators Beware: Bad News Can Trigger USPTO Ethics Investigation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation Ethics0 Comments

Bad news sells.  As the author Douglas Adams observed, “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.” Take IP litigation, for example.  The mainstream IP media regularly reports on both allegations and court decisions regarding issues relating to attorney conduct–or alleged misconduct.  Some of the more common … Read More

Failure To Communicate No. 1 Cause Of USPTO Attorney Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Diligence, Discipline, Failure to Communicate, Patent Ethics0 Comments

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, since it is the New Year I thought it would be helpful to remind you all, again, of what is in my opinion the First Commandment of Ethics:  Thou Shalt Communicate With Thy Clients. Seriously.  Clients do not like to be ignored by their attorneys.  This means that when they call … Read More

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

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

IP Attorney Challenging Constitutionality Of USPTO OED’s “Abusive” Ethics Investigation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OED1 Comment

An IP attorney has filed a lawsuit against the United States Patent and Trademark Office seeking to prohibit the Agency’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) from continuing to investigate him for alleged ethics violations because the process employed in conducting the ethics investigation is abusive and violates due process. The complaint, which was filed on January 6, 2016 by … Read More

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

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation Ethics, Trademark Ethics, USPTO OED0 Comments

Bad news on the doorstep.  I couldn’t take one more step.  Don McLean – American Pie In the last year, many “bad news” articles have been published arising from IP litigation. Not surprisingly, a growing number of those articles have been based on exceptional case findings and awards of attorneys’ fees under the Octane Fitness standard. Other “bad news” IP … Read More