Patent and Trademark Ethics – Reciprocal Discipline at the USPTO

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, PTO Ethics RulesLeave a Comment

In 2013, the USPTO scrapped its old ethics rules based on the Model Code of Professional Responsibility and promulgated “new” rules modeled after the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The USPTO recognized it was late to this dance – 49 states and the District of Columbia had already adopted some version of the ABA Model Rules.  The Office’s goal, … Read More

Patent Lawsuit Dismissed With Prejudice As Sanction For Counsel’s Misrepresentations

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Misrepresentations, Patent Litigation EthicsLeave a Comment

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison may share the German philosopher Nietzsche’s view on lying in the wake of his recent decision in  Tesco Corporation v. Weatherford International Inc., 4:08-cv-02531 (S.D. Tex.), in which he dismissed a patent infringement action with prejudice … Read More

Why No Mandatory Ethics Training for Patent Agents?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal Education, Patent AgentLeave a Comment

Since 1974, legal ethics instruction has been required by the major accreditation institute for law schools. Legal ethics subjects are now covered in the essay portion of state bar examinations across the country; passage of the bar examination is a condition of licensure in most states. Further still, most states require lawyers to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) as … Read More

Domestic Violence Conviction Nets Attorney USPTO Reprimand

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Reciprocal Discipline, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

In a reciprocal discipline matter, the USPTO publicly reprimanded a successful and experienced patent attorney following his criminal conviction for domestic battery. See In re Gortler, No. D2013-06 (USPTO Dir.). Attorney Hugh P. Gortler’s problems began in 2011, soon after he told his wife he wanted a divorce. See In re Gortler, Case Nos. 11-C-2562-DFM (Cal. Bar Ct. Oct. 29, 2012). … Read More

USPTO Suspends Ethically-Challenged Patent Attorney

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Client Funds, Communications, Competence, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

On August 19, 2014, the USPTO Director issued a final order suspending a patent attorney for 20-months based on three separate suspensions issued by the Supreme Court of California. The USPTO added an additional six-month period to the suspension—for a total suspension of 26 months—based on the attorney’s failure to cooperate with the OED’s disciplinary investigation. In re Donrad, No. … Read More

USPTO Reprimands Patent Attorney for Misusing Confidential Client Information

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Confidentiality, DisciplineLeave a Comment

T The USPTO publicly reprimanded a patent attorney who used information he learned while representing a former client to file, as named plaintiff, a false patent marking lawsuit for his own benefit.  In re Cipriani, No. D2012 This disciplinary action arose from attorney Glen Cipriani’s work as an associate on a patent litigation on behalf of his former law firm’s client, … Read More

Upcoming IP Ethics Continuing Legal Education

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Continuing Legal EducationLeave a Comment

On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, DuPont and Widener University School of Law will be holding the 2014 Intellectual Property Continuing Legal Education Seminar at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.  The full-day seminar will include a lecture on ethics by Professor David Hricik, a noted author, speaker, and expert on ethical issues in intellectual property law. On Thursday, October 2, 2014, from 1:00-2:30 … Read More

USPTO Suspends Patent Attorney Convicted Of Soliciting Sex With Minor

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Discipline, Gross Misconduct, PTO Ethics DecisionsLeave a Comment

On August 19, 2014, USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee temporarily suspended a 44-year old patent attorney after his conviction for soliciting sex online with an undercover officer posing as a 14-year old girl. Attorney Robert M. Bohanek’s license will remain suspended until completion of disciplinary proceedings. In re Bohanek, No. D2014-30. According to the Texas Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit, Mr. … Read More