Failure To Communicate No. 1 Cause Of USPTO Attorney Discipline

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Diligence, Discipline, Failure to Communicate, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

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

Excluded Patent Attorney Appeals To Federal Circuit

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, District Court Litigation, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Petition to E.D. Va.Leave a Comment

A patent attorney who was excluded from the USPTO has appealed to the Federal Circuit. By way of background, on July 15, 2015, the USPTO Director entered an order excluding Richard Polidi from practice before the Office.  The USPTO Director’s disciplinary action came after the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) filed a complaint for reciprocal discipline … Read More

Caveat IP Lawyer – Beware The Office of Enrollment and Discipline Violating The USPTO’s Reciprocal Discipline Rules

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, PTO Ethics Decisions, Reciprocal DisciplineLeave a Comment

At first glance, the USPTO’s most recently published disciplinary decision seems relatively bland and altogether innocuous. The case of In re Juliet M. Oberding, Proceeding No. D2016-06 (USPTO Dir. Feb. 12, 2016) involves a California-based trademark attorney who told a client on several occasions, over the course of roughly 18 months, that the client’s trademark application was being processed by … Read More

USPTO Suspends Former GWU Ethics Professor For Two Years

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, IP Ethics, Reciprocal DisciplineLeave a Comment

Mark H. Allenbaugh, a former award-winning Adjunct Professor on Ethics in Business and the Professions at the George Washington University, was suspended for two years from practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The suspension came as a result of a reciprocal disciplinary proceeding commenced by the Office of Enrollment and Discipline after the OED learned that Mr. Allenbaugh … 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

When It Comes To Teaching About Money, Law Schools Fail Miserably

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Safekeeping PropertyLeave a Comment

Law schools are failing miserably to teach up and coming lawyers the most fundamental aspects of the business of law.  The absence of such training is particularly troublesome in today’s legal climate, where new law school grads far out number available entry level jobs. This economic reality can drive many newly-minted Esquires to make some very difficult life decisions, including … Read More

USPTO Suspends Attorney For Six Months For Derogatory Patent Filings

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Civility/Professionalism, Patent Ethics, Suspension, USPTO OED4 Comments

This week at “Back to School Night,” I read with great interest some words of wisdom posted on the wall as part of a set of class “Rules.” The children agreed to three general principles of self-governance: Be nice to others. Don’t use bad words. Be respectful. Lawyers also have their own rules of self-governance, codified in the Rules of Professional … Read More

Law Firms Tell Mass. Supreme Court No Subject Matter Conflict In Patent Prosecution Unless Claims “Identical” Or “Mere Obvious Variants”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Malpractice, Patent Ethics, Patent Malpractice1 Comment

On August 20, 2015, eleven law firms filed a joint amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.  In Maling, the Massachusetts high court requested amicus briefing on whether Finnegan Henderson’s concurrent representation of two different clients who were allegedly seeking patent protection at the same time on similar inventions, … Read More