Law Firms Tell Mass. Supreme Court No Subject Matter Conflict In Patent Prosecution Unless Claims “Identical” Or “Mere Obvious Variants”

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Malpractice, Patent Ethics, Patent Malpractice1 Comment

On August 20, 2015, eleven law firms filed a joint amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in Maling v. Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.  In Maling, the Massachusetts high court requested amicus briefing on whether Finnegan Henderson’s concurrent representation of two different clients who were allegedly seeking patent protection at the same time on similar inventions, … Read More

“Rising Star” Falls For Suspended Trademark Attorney

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, PTO Ethics Rules, Trademark, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

By all accounts, Jeremy Blackowicz is a fine trademark attorney with a long and bright future ahead. According to a recent version of his law firm’s website, Mr. Blackowicz was an associate in the Boston, Massachusetts intellectual property department of Day Pitney, LLP.  According to the firm’s website, Mr. Blackowicz, a 2001 graduate of Boston University School of Law, has been recognized … Read More

Delaware Court Disqualifies Patent Lit. Counsel For Conflict Of Interest

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, District Court Litigation, IP EthicsLeave a Comment

On May 15, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware granted a defense motion disqualifying plaintiff’s counsel in a patent infringement action due to a former client conflict of interest. Innovative Memory Solutions, Inc. v. Micron Tech., Inc., No. 14-1480-RGA (D. Del. May 15, 2015) (order here). Innovative Memory Solutions, Inc. (“IMS”) filed the infringement action against … Read More

Mass. Sup. Ct. Schedules Oral Argument on Subject Matter Conflicts in Patent Prosecution

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, MalpracticeLeave a Comment

How close is too close?  That is a question that has perplexed patent attorneys who prepare and prosecute patent applications for multiple clients in the same, or similar, fields of technology.  At least one state appeals court has decided to take this question head on. As previously reported in our January 2, 2015, posting, the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court of … Read More

Massachusetts Supreme Court To Tackle Thorny Issue Of Subject Matter Conflicts In Patent Prosecution

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, MalpracticeLeave a Comment

On December 26, 2014, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued the following Announcement in an appeal pending before the court: ANNOUNCEMENT: The Justices are soliciting amicus briefs. Whether, under Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.7, an actionable conflict of interest arose when, according to the allegations in the complaint, attorneys in different offices of the same law firm simultaneously represented … Read More

Sony Alleges Conflict Of Interest, Wants Acacia In-House And Outside Patent Litigation Counsel DQ’d

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, District Court Litigation, IP EthicsLeave a Comment

Motions to disqualify opposing counsel are not uncommon, especially in patent litigation. In many cases, disqualification is sought based on an alleged former client conflict of interest. Former client disqualification motions normally allege that an attorney working in the law firm representing one of the parties to a litigation previously represented the opposing party in a “substantially related matter.” Under … Read More

Mega Firm Withdraws From Patent Infringement Suit After Former Client Alleges Conflict of Interest

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

On September 29, 2014, K&L Gates voluntarily withdrew as defendant’s counsel in a patent infringement action after the plaintiff asked a California federal district court to disqualify the Am Law 100 firm for a conflict of interest because the firm had previously represented the plaintiff regarding the same patents at issue in the litigation. See Cyber Switching Patents, LLC v. … Read More