In The News
On March 11, 2020, Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in Law360 (including IP360 and Legal Ethics360) in an article entitled “Fed. Circ. Inequitable Conduct Case Alarms IP Ethics Attys” by Ryan Davis (sub. req’d).
The Law360 article addresses the Federal Circuit’s recent decision that Cantor Colburn attorneys and their client committed inequitable conduct in connection with prosecution of patents asserted by GS CleanTech Corp. in multidistrict patent litigation. See GS CleanTech Corp. v. Adkins Energy LLC, et. al, No. 2016-2231, 2017-1838 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 2, 2020). The Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s finding that the patents-in-suit were unenforceable. We discussed the implication of this decision in our March 5, 2020 blog post (here).
On February 25, 2020, Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in Law360 (including IP360 and Legal Ethics360) in an article entitled “$32 million Dentons Verdict Could Put Vereins in the Crosshairs” by Aebra Coe.
The Law360 article addresses the ethical risks of the Swiss verein structure as it relates to conflicts of interest. The case involved a claim that Dentons committed legal malpractice arising from an alleged conflict of interest in an ITC proceeding, in which the firm was disqualified. Subsequently Dentons was sued for legal malpractice predicated on its conflict of interest. Dentons has filed post-trial motions seeking to avoid the verdict, and it also announced its plans to appeal the verdict.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted on March 4, 2019 in an article published in Corporate Counsel, entitled Patent Lawyer Fights Identity Theft Over Fraudulent USPTO Filings From China (by Phillip Bantz) (sub. req’d). The Corporate Counsel article discusses a Canadian lawyer who had her identity stolen and used without her consent on hundreds of trademark applications filed in the USPTO on behalf of trademark applicants from China, all of whom forged the lawyer’s identity in an effort to mislead or deceive the USPTO. The article underscored the ease with which attorneys can have their identities stolen and the need for counsel to remain vigilant in the face of growing fraud in U.S. trademark practices.
A related article, entitled This Patent Agent’s Name was Forged on Hundreds of USPTO Docs: How She Coped (by Phillip Bantz), also was published in Law.Com.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted extensively in the lead feature story published on March 4, 2019 in Intellectual Property Law360 and Legal Ethics Law360 , entitled How Firms Can Avoid Conflicts Involving Corporate Affiliates (by Ryan Davis) (sub. req’d). The Law360 article discusses the ethical risks faced by lawyers who represent an entity that has multiple affiliates and whether the lawyer’s representation of one entity in a corporate family precludes a representation adverse to other entities within the same corporate family. The genesis of the article was the Federal Circuit’s February 8, 2019 decision and order disqualifying Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in a patent case due to a conflict of interest involving affiliates of its client.
We discussed the issue of corporate affiliate conflicts, as well as the Federal Circuit’s decision disqualifying the Katten firm, in our recent post here.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted on March 4, 2019 in an article published in Law.Com, entitled This Patent Agent’s Name was Forged on Hundreds of USPTO Docs: How She Coped (by Phillip Bantz). The Law.Com article discusses rampant theft of identity on USPTO trademark filings originating from China.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted by Bloomberg Law in an article published on September 11, 2018, entitled Lawyers Warn Employees About Social Media Use. The article addresses the ethics issues faced by lawyers and law firms regarding their social media practices.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in an article published on September 11, 2018, in an article entitled Lawyers Warn Employees about Social Media Use published in eChatter Social Media Monitoring & Research. The article addresses the ethical and legal challenges faced by law firms involving client confidentiality and cybersecurity issues.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in the April 2018 edition of the ABA Journal, in an article entitled Lawyers have an ethical duty to safeguard confidential information on the cloud (by Jason Tashea) (sub. req’d). The ABA Journal article discusses the ethical risks faced by lawyers who use internet-enabled technologies such as cloud storage of client information.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in the cover story of the March 2018 edition of Corporate Counsel magazine, entitled Legal Combat – When Companies Sue Their Outside Counsel, It Can Be One Big Brouhaha (by Stephanie Forshee) (sub. req’d). The Corporate Counsel article addresses some of the practical risks associated with legal malpractice claims filed by in-house corporate counsel and their outside litigation counsel.
On February 14, 2018, Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted by Law.Com in its weekly edition of Inside Track: In-House Ethics Fall-Out (by Stephanie Forshee) (sub. req.) The Law.Com article addressed the District of Columbia Court of Appeals’ decision in In re M. Adriana Koeck, in which the court suspended a former General Electric lawyer for 60 days for violating the duty of confidentiality. Ms. Koeck revealed confidential information about G.E. (her former client) after she was fired.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in an article entitled Tips and Tricks for Moving Between Law Firms (by Sarah Mills), published on November 21, 2017 in Above The Law. The article discusses the ethics of lawyer mobility, including conflicts of interest and other legal obligations that lawyers have when they change firms.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted by Bloomberg BNA in an article published on November 15, 2017, entitled “USPTO Trying Out Diversion Program for Struggling Practitioners” (by Joan C. Rogers) (sub req’d). The Bloomberg article addresses the Office of Enrollment and Discipline’s new Disciplinary Diversion Program, which we first reported in our November 3 blog post (here).
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. and IPethics & INsights were quoted by IPPro Patents in an article published on November 06, 2017, entitled “USPTO Launches Diversion Pilot for Minor Misconduct” (by Barney Dixon). The IPPro article discusses the Office of Enrollment and Discipline’s new Disciplinary Diversion Program.
The IPPro article quotes extensively from our November 3, 2017 blog post (here).
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in Reuters Legal in an article published on November 6, 2017, entitled “Patent Office Unveils Program for Attorneys with Addiction Issues” (by Jan Wolfe) (sub req’d). The Reuters article addresses the Office of Enrollment and Discipline’s new Disciplinary Diversion Program, which we first reported in our November 3 blog post (here).
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in The Recorder in its front-page article published on September 15, 2017, entitled, Did McKool Smith Violate Prosecution Bar in High-Profile Patent Case? (by Scott Graham) (sub req’d). The article addresses a district court’s finding that attorneys for Eolas Technologies, Inc. violated a patent “prosecution bar” prohibiting litigation counsel who received highly confidential information from working on certain patent prosecution matters for one year following the “entry of a final non-appealable judgment.” Amazon is seeking to have Eolas’ patents found unenforceable based on the asserted protective order violation. The case is Eolas Technologies, Inc. v. Amazon.com Inc., Case No. 17-cv-03022-JST (N.D. Cal. Sept. 1, 2017).
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in IP Law360 and Legal Ethics 360 in their lead article published on July 31, 2017, entitled “Ex-L’Oreal Atty Faces Tough Road in Wrongful Firing Case” (by Andrew Strickler) (sub req’d). The Law360 article addresses the ramifications of the Third Circuit’s decision in Steven Trzsaka v. L’Oreal USA Inc., Case No. 15-3810 (3rd Cir. July 25, 2017), a 2-1 decision finding that a patent attorney’s complaint for retaliatory discharge was sufficiently pled to survive Rule 12(b)(6). The complaint alleged that L’Oreal fired a patent attorney because the attorney allegedly refused to meet a company-wide “quota” of filing 40 new patent applications per year. The attorney objected to the quota, asserting that he believed the patent applications were for weak inventions and that to file such patent applications violated the USPTO’s Rules of Professional Conduct. The case was remanded to the district court for further proceedings.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted by The American Lawyer Daily Business Review on May 24, 2017, in an article entitled “Greenberg Traurig Agrees to Withdraw from Case in Which it was Faced with Conflict of Interest” (by Monika Gonzalez Mesa) (sub req’d). The article quotes IPethics & INsights, which first broke the story in our May 22 post here. As we previously reported, Greenberg had filed a counterclaim attacking the validity of two patents, but Greenberg attorneys had filed the provisional application to which both allegedly invalid patents claimed priority. The former client sought Greenberg’s disqualification from the lawsuit. Before the DQ motion could be decided, the law firm voluntarily agreed to withdraw from the case, and the court denied the DQ motion as moot.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted by The American Lawyer Daily Business Review on May 11, 2017, in an article entitled “Greenberg Traurig Accused of Trying to Invalidate the Same Patents it Prosecuted” (by Monika Gonzalez Mesa). The article discusses a lawsuit recently filed in California state court against Greenberg Traurig (complaint here), which represented a client in filing a provisional patent application. A different law firm filed a non-utility patent application that claimed priority to the provisional patent application filed by Greenberg Traurig. A patent eventually issued, and the former Greenberg client licensed it to a a third party, which subsequently breached its contract with the patent owner. When the patent owner sued to enforce its contractual rights, Greenberg Traurig, which appeared on behalf of the defendant/licensee, asserted a counterclaim alleging that its former client’s patent is invalid. The former client seeks monetary damages from Greenberg Traurig for breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contractual relations, and professional malpractice arising from Greenberg’s alleged conflict of interest.
Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted by IPPro Patents on April 10, 2017, in an article entitled “Chinese Patent Agent Denied USPTO License” (by Barney Dixon). The IPPro Patents article discussed the implications of the Federal Circuit’s April 5 decision affirming the USPTO’s denial of the application of Jinyang Guo to become registered as a patent agent. See Guo v. Lee, No. 2017-1244 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 5, 2017). The Court held that Mr. Guo, a Chinese national and nonimmigrant alien with an electrical engineering background, was limited in the type of work he was permitted to pursue based upon the authority he had received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which permitted him to pursue temporary employment in the area of electrical and electronics engineering–not patent law. The court reaffirmed decades of precedent that preparation and prosecution of patent applications is the practice of law, even if an engineering or science background may be necessary to provide such services.
On March 29, 2017, Michael E. McCabe, Jr. was quoted in IPPro Patents in an article entitled, “IP Lawyer Launches New Ethics Practice” (by Barney Dixon). The article announced the opening of McCabe Law LLC, a new firm dedicated to representing trademark and patent professionals in IP ethics matters, including investigations and disciplinary proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.