OED Discipline For IP Practitioners Who Use “Snitch” Threats For Tactical Gain

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Duty to Report Misconduct, IP Ethics, OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, PTO Ethics Rules, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

  “You’re building a rat ship here. A vessel for seagoing snitches” – Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman You represent a patentee in a highly contentious litigation against an accused infringer.  The parties hate each other, and the gloves came off months ago–if they were ever on in the first place. Then extraordinarily you catch your opposing counsel in a … Read More

Allowing Someone Else To Type In Your S-Signature On USPTO Documents Is Unethical

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, USPTO OED4 Comments

I still remember vividly today the very first time I signed a paper, as an attorney at law, for filing in court.  It was 22 years ago.  I remember being nervous. I practiced my signature on a scratch pad, wanting to get it just right, before finally putting ball point to paper.  The paper was of heavy bond, the way papers filed in court … Read More

IP Litigators Beware: Bad News May Be Hazardous To Your Law License (Part 2 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Patent Ethics, Patent Litigation Ethics, Trademark Ethics, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

Bad news on the doorstep.  I couldn’t take one more step.  Don McLean – American Pie In the last year, many “bad news” articles have been published arising from IP litigation. Not surprisingly, a growing number of those articles have been based on exceptional case findings and awards of attorneys’ fees under the Octane Fitness standard. Other “bad news” IP … Read More

IP Litigators Beware: Bad News May Be Hazardous To Your Law License (Part 1 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Litigation Sanctions, Patent Litigation Ethics, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

Many years ago, before Al Gore invented the internet and teenagers rode their bicycles before dawn, their palms black with ink, to deliver “the paper,” science fiction novelist Douglas Adams observed, “Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”  Truer words today could not be spoken. Indeed, today the on-line … Read More

The Ethical Risks of Paraprofessionals Providing IP Legal Services (Part 2 of 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, OED, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

In this part, we continue to address some of the ethical risks involving delegation of intellectual property legal services to non-lawyer paraprofessionals. Ethical Responsibilities of Practitioners Regarding Paraprofessionals The USPTO ethics rules state the responsibilities of practitioners over non-practitioners as follows: First, a practitioner who is a partner, and a practitioner who individually or together with other practitioners possesses comparable managerial … Read More

Is The USPTO’s One-Year Statute Of Limitations For Filing An Ethics Complaint Triggered By The OED’s Failure To Investigate Or Willful Blindness?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Patent Attorney Disciplinary Matters, Statute of limitations, USPTO OEDLeave a Comment

One of the lesser publicized changes to patent law made by the America Invents Act was the amendment to Title 35, Section 32, which included two separate limitations periods for USPTO disciplinary complaints. As amended, Section 32 states a USPTO disciplinary proceeding must be commenced: not later than the earlier of either the date that is 10 years after the … Read More

To Err Is Human – But Is It Unethical?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.IP Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, USPTO OED2 Comments

“I made a wrong mistake” – Yogi Berra   Before his sentencing for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, Bernie Madoff explained to the court he had “made a terrible mistake.”  To borrow a line from my 11-year old daughter: “No duh.” Madoff’s “mistake” led to a 150-year prison sentence. In bar disciplinary proceedings, the word “mistake” is … Read More