In re Robert K. Tendler, Proc. No. D2013-17 (USPTO Dir. Jan. 8, 2014)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Neglect, USPTO

Disposition: Four (4)-year suspension with right to apply for reinstatement after two (2) years. After being suspended for two (2) years, the practitioner filed, and the OED Director granted, a petition for reinstatement to practice before the USPTO.  Final decision here, and order granting petition for reinstatement here.

Related to USPTO Practice?  Yes

Related Proceeding: Petition for reinstatement granted, In re Tendler, R22 (OED Director Feb. 29, 2016)

Summary: A patent practitioner filed a Rule 131 declaration that contained materially false statements that the practitioner failed to correct expressly and in writing, in violation of Rule 1.56. The practitioner and OED Director entered into a settlement agreement, which was accepted by the USPTO Director, suspending the practitioner for four years with the right to apply for reinstatement after two (2) years, plus an eighteen (18)-month period of probation following reinstatement. After two (2) years of suspension, the practitioner filed a petition for reinstatement. The OED Director granted the petition.

Facts: This proceeding arose from a patent prosecution matter. In 2007, Mr. Tendler, a patent practitioner from Boston, Massachusetts, filed a Rule 131 declaration signed by his client, the inventor, to antedate a reference. The declaration asserted that the inventor had actually reduced his invention to practice.

Thereafter, the inventor disclosed to Mr. Tendler that he had not actually reduced his invention to practice. Mr. Tendler orally notified the USPTO examiner of the error in the declaration but did not inform the USPTO of the error in writing. In subsequent litigation, a district court found that the patent had been procured by inequitable conduct, which the Federal Circuit affirmed.  The Federal Circuit’s memorandum opinion in Intellect Wireless v. HTC is here.

In a settlement agreement, the practitioner agreed that his conduct was prejudicial to the administration of justice. Mr. Tendler agreed to a four-year suspension with the right to apply for reinstatement after two (2) years and an eighteen (18)-month probationary period after reinstatement.

After two years of actual suspension, Mr. Tendler petitioned the OED Director for reinstatement to practice before the USPTO. The OED Director granted the practitioner’s petition.