Colorado Man Stole Lawyer’s Identity To Create Fictional Online Law Firm: Criminal Complaint

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Fraud, Internet Scams, Lawyer Identity Theft, Unauthorized Practice of LawLeave a Comment

Prosecutors in Eagle County, Colorado have filed a five-count criminal complaint against Dak Steiert, alleged mastermind behind a fictitious IP law firm.  According to state prosecutors, Steiert stole the identities of a real patent lawyer and two others to create a fake law firm which he used to lure unsuspecting inventor “clients” into paying thousands of dollars for patent applications … Read More

Owner Of Phony Patent Law Firm Wants Colorado UPL Case Dismissed

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Unauthorized Practice of Law2 Comments

The owner of a fake IP law firm that is being sued in Colorado for allegedly engaging in the unauthorized practice of law has filed a motion to have the case dismissed for alleged lack of subject matter and personal jurisdiction. Dak Steiert, the owner of “Intelligent Patent Services,” which purports to be a “patent law firm,” is the subject … Read More

May The LegalForce Be With You: California IP Firm Sues To Stop LegalZoom’s Unauthorized Practice Of Trademark Law

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Antitrust litigation, LegalZoom Ethics, PTO Ethics Decisions, Trademark ethics, Unauthorized Practice of Law3 Comments

A California IP law firm today filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to stop LegalZoom for what it alleges are the on-line company’s pervasive and unabated unauthorized practice of trademark law (UPL), in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, antitrust law, and state and federal unfair competition law, among other causes of action. LegalForce RAPC Worldwide, P.C. (“LegalForce”), … Read More

Are Your Firm’s Foreign Associate Practices Ethical?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Communications, Competence, Conflicts of Interest, IP Ethics, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patent Ethics1 Comment

It is commonplace for IP law firms in the United States to receive referrals for patent and trademark application filing, prosecution, and related services from sources other than the actual client.  In one of the most common scenarios, patent and trademark services are directed to a U.S. IP law firm through an intermediary, such as a non-U.S. law firm or … Read More

Epic Ethics Legal Battle By Trademark Company Owner Ends Quietly With Resignation

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Competence, Constitutional Law, District Court Litigation, Exclusion on Consent, Fee-Splitting, PTO Ethics Decisions, Unauthorized Practice of Law, USPTO Director DecisionsLeave a Comment

The three-year ethics saga between Matthew Swyers, owner of The Trademark Company, and the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED), ended with a whisper, with Mr. Swyers agreeing to resign from practicing before the USPTO.  By entering into what is called an “exclusion on consent” agreement, Mr. Swyers voluntarily gives up the ability to provide U.S. trademark-related legal services for a minimum of five (5) years.  A copy of the exclusion … Read More

2016 USPTO Disciplinary Decisions – The Year In Review

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

To all of you who have been dying to know what happened in the world of ethics and discipline at the USPTO in the past year, I am pleased to say your wait is finally over.  I have written, “2016 USPTO Disciplinary Decisions — The Year in Review.” Why was The 2016 Year in Review necessary?  I for one have … 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

Five Strikes And You’re Out At The USPTO

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Exclusion on Consent, Failure to Communicate, Misrepresentations, Neglect, Unauthorized Practice of LawLeave a Comment

The USPTO Director excluded a patent attorney on consent following a disciplinary investigation arising from numerous alleged violations of the USPTO’s ethics rules.  See In the Matter of Edward Etkin, Proc. No. D2016-05 (USPTO Dir. Jan. 8, 2016). The OED conducted a disciplinary investigation into the conduct of patent attorney Edward Etkin of Brooklyn, New York. The OED found that … Read More