CAFC Sanctions Patent Atty For Frivolous Appeal; Is USPTO Discipline Next?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.District Court Litigation, IP Litigation Sanctions, Litigation Ethics, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation EthicsLeave a Comment

The Federal Circuit on Friday affirmed a district court’s order imposing sanctions against a Colorado patent attorney and his patentee client for vexatious litigation.  Doubling down, the Federal Circuit imposed its own sanctions for what it says was a frivolous appeal.  See Walker v. Health International Corp., No. 15-1676 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 6, 2017).  The CAFC’s ruling opens the door to a possible ethics … Read More

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

The Danger Of Failing To Cooperate In A USPTO Ethics Investigation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”  Cool Hand Luke A law school professor once told me the easiest question to grade on an exam is the one where the student fails to provide any answer at all.  So too is the case for the IP practitioner who chooses to ignore a USPTO ethics investigation. Indeed, for those practitioners … Read More

Is Working From Home Unethical? Telecommuting And Unauthorized Practice Of Law

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Patent Ethics, Unauthorized Practice of LawLeave a Comment

I have lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. metro area my entire adult life.  Washington is notorious for its traffic. The math for my office commute is simple.  Ten hours per week.  500 hours per year.  For 30 years.  That’s 15,000 hours–or 1.71 years of my life–just going to and from the office. I know I am not alone. … Read More

USPTO Disbars Siemens’ Outside Patent Atty For $2.5M Billing Fraud

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Consent Resignation, Criminal Conviction, OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

Each year, a number of patent and trademark practitioners agree to exclusion from the USPTO rather than face an OED ethics investigation or USPTO disciplinary action.  While not always the case, such consent exclusions usually involve very serious–and often criminal–practitioner misconduct. One such matter is the case of former patent attorney David N. Caracappa.  See In re David N. Caracappa, Proc. … Read More

Vote For IPethics & INsights

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics4 Comments

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Dear Readers, Two years ago, I started IPethics & INsights as a forum for discussing my passion and interest in ethical issues for the intellectual property practitioner.  I am very pleased to announce that IPethics & INsights has been nominated for inclusion in The Expert Institute’s “Best Legal Blog” contest in the category of niche and specialty blogs.  I would greatly … Read More

OED Cracks Down On Patent Practitioners Working With Invention Promoters

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Conflicts of Interest, Patent Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OED1 Comment

George Foreman pitches their services on late night television commercials.  A Google search for “how to sell my invention” turns up scores of them. Many individual inventors believe they have designed the next “better mouse trap” but typically have no clue how to monetize or market their invention. That is where invention marketing or promotion companies step in. Generally speaking, … Read More

5 Myths About USPTO Ethics Investigations and Disciplinary Complaints

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Ethics, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

Many IP practitioners are misinformed about the function of the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). Here are the top 5 myths about OED ethics investigations and attorney discipline at the USPTO. Myth #1 – The OED Only Cares About Practice Before the USPTO There is a perception that the USPTO only cares about enforcing its ethics rules in … Read More