Fraudulent Trademark Solicitations Raise Ethical Concerns For TM Attys

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Attorney Fraud, Client Funds, Competence, Trademark EthicsLeave a Comment

The USPTO today issued a warning about the dangers of fraudulent trademark solicitations.  In a blog posted on the USPTO’s website (link here), Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison warned: Trademark solicitations have been a global problem for decades, including for USPTO customers, and we have implemented several measures to protect our customers against them. As many trademark practitioners are … 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

ABA’s “Tips For Practicing Law” Provides Valuable Ethics Guidance For USPTO Practitioners

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Diligence, IP Ethics, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO Ethics Investigation, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

“Mr. Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.” – Tom Hagen, The Godfather In the Summer 2016 issue of Litigation, Steven A. Weiss, Chair of the ABA’s Section of Litigation, authored an article entitled, “Eight More Tips For Practicing Law.”  Although the article focuses on a number of best practices from the perspective of a … Read More

When The Cover-Up Outweighs The Crime: Professional Discipline For Hiding Attorney Errors

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, IP Ethics, Office of Enrollment and Discipline1 Comment

“As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes” — Mel Brooks In bar disciplinary proceedings, the word “mistake” is often used either to explain, describe, or defend against, a charge of alleged unethical behavior. But is it unethical for an attorney to make an “honest mistake”?  Ethical guidance on what seems … Read More

What They Didn’t Teach You In Law School: Representing Client With Diminished Capacity

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, ConfidentialityLeave a Comment

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, the focus this month on “What They Didn’t Teach You in Law School” is on representing a client with diminished mental capacity.  According to the leading mental health organization in the country, 1 in 5 adults in the United States suffer from some form of mental health condition or disorder.  Thus, it is … Read More

Black Friday Comes Early: $4.95 Flat-Rate Legal Service Raises Ethical Concerns

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Conflicts of Interest, Malpractice, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

Attention all shoppers.  Legal fees now at deeply discounted prices.  The ABA and a cloud-based computing service have launched a new fixed-price program to provide on-demand legal advice for small businesses.  The price? A flat rate of $4.95.  That is not a typo. In a Thursday press release, the ABA and Rocket Lawyer announced that they have begun testing ABA Law Connect in Illinois, Pennsylvania and California. ABA Law Connect … Read More

“Your Honor, You Are Stupid, You Suck, Please Decide for Me”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Civility/Professionalism, CompetenceLeave a Comment

With last week’s post on patent attorney Andrew Schroeder, who ran amok in his filings with the USPTO (click), fresh on my mind, I had to chuckle at the blog posted recently in Wordrake (click here), entitled: “Your Honor, You Are Stupid, You Suck, Please Decide For Me.” The post cites several examples of what is purported to be real … Read More

Get Out Of Town: The Ethical Perils Of Outsourcing IP Services

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Confidentiality, IP Ethics, Outsourcing, Patent EthicsLeave a Comment

Many IP lawyers engage other lawyers or nonlawyers as independent contractors, directly or through intermediaries, to provide various legal and nonlegal support services. The outsourcing market, often referred to as the “legal process outsourcing” market or “professional employer organization” market, is a multi-billion dollar industry. While there is nothing per se unethical about a lawyer outsourcing legal and non-legal services, ethical … Read More