USPTO Reciprocal Discipline Case Illustrates Flaw In Rules

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal Education, Gross Misconduct, Moral turpitide, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Reciprocal Discipline, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

A recent disciplinary decision published by the USPTO Director illustrates a serious flaw in the Office’s rules governing reciprocal discipline.  In re Sanjeev Kumar Dhand, D2016-17 (USPTO Dir. Nov. 16, 2016). California Discipline The factual background of the Dhand case is eerily similar to our post from yesterday (link here).   This matter involves California-based patent attorney Sanjeev Kumar Dhand. Mr. … Read More

PTAB Awards Attorneys’ Fees As Sanction For Protective Order Violation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Ethics, PTAB SanctionsLeave a Comment

On July 1, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in RPX Corp. v. Applications in Internet Time LLC, IPR2015-01750, 01751 & 01752, ordered patent owner Applications in Internet Time (AIT) to pay petitioner RPX Corp. $13,500 in attorney’s fees as a sanction for violating the Board’s protective order.  The Board found sanctions were warranted because AIT  disclosed the confidential … 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

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

Tales From The OED Crypt: Using Forged Document To Trick Witness Can Get Counsel Treated To Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Patent Litigation Ethics, USPTO Decisions1 Comment

Lawyers often are accused of playing “tricks” in litigation. For those who are familiar with trial tactics, the “trick” label is usually nothing more than legal “tradecraft” – the techniques of experienced litigators to weave a story through a combination of arguments, documents, and witness testimony. Pretending to read from a document while asking a question unrelated to the substance … Read More

Bar Counsel Imposes Discipline For “Personal” Misconduct & Legal But Unethical Behavior

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Director Decisions, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

Many members of the public, and some attorneys themselves, believe that if they do not lie, they do not steal, and they do not cheat, then their conduct necessarily complies with the Rules of Professional Conduct.  This is a false assumption.  Others believe that an attorney’s “transgressions” in her personal life will not affect her ability to practice law.  This … 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

Can IP Litigation Counsel Be Jointly Liable Or Ethically Disciplined For Their Clients’ Intentional Destruction Of Evidence?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ITC SanctionsLeave a Comment

On October 29, 2014, ALJ Thomas B. Pender issued an order in Certain Opaque Polymers (Inv. No. 337-TA-883) granting a default judgment of trade secret misappropriation as a sanction for the respondent’s spoliation of electronic evidence and imposing sanctions of $1.9 million against the respondent and its counsel.  The joint liability determination raises troubling legal issues regarding the propriety of joint and several liability … Read More