The Ethics & OED series continues, today looking at three more orders in reciprocal disciplinary proceedings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The totality of this series will make up the backbone of my ethics presentation at the 8th Annual Patent Law Institute sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, which will take place in New York at the beginning of February 2014, and which will be reprised live in San Francisco in mid-March 2014.
These three proceedings, like every other reciprocal disciplinary proceeding, demonstrate the overwhelming importance of obtaining the best resolution possible when the State ethics authorities come knocking. Because there is a presumption that reciprocal discipline is appropriate, to prevail at the USPTO you would need to demonstrate that there was a lack of due process, complete lack of evidence or that there is some manifest injustice that would occur if discipline were to be handed out by the USPTO.
Whether we like it or not, you are going to be disciplined by the USPTO to the same extent you were disciplined by the State ethics panel, or a Federal Court (see Graham below). However, this sometimes seems to lead to unequal treatment of practitioners who are similarly situated but for the State in which they are admitted. Eventually someone will raise an equal protection argument, but you don’t want that to be you. It would have a significant uphill battle no doubt like all such arguments, but it would be very nice for OED to take a step back and consider whether it is fair to simply defer its own disciplinary authority to the States.
My 2013 ethics series continues, today looking at three disciplinary orders from June 2013. The theme today is failure to respond to a complaint from OED, which will guarantee that you are disciplined to whatever extent the Director of OED seeks. Failure to respond will result in a determination that there is no genuine issue of material fact, so if you should ever find yourself facing a disciplinary inquiry not responding is not an option. Your problems will not go away. Furthermore, failure to respond also prevents any good will that can be generated toward mitigating factors.
These summaries, as well as others in the 2013 Ethics & OED series, will be discussed during my ethics presentation on February 4, 2014, at the 8th Annual Patent Law Institute in New York City, and then again on March 18, 2013, in San Francisco.
In this disciplinary proceeding Hugh Gortler was publicly reprimanded by the USPTO in a reciprocal disciplinary proceeding. Gortler had been “publicly reproved” by the State of California as the result of his guilty plea to the misdemeanor of spousal battery.
My 2013 ethics series continues, today looking at several final orders in disciplinary proceedings resolved in April 2013.
These, together with the other orders from the Office of Enrollment and Discipline from our 2013 ethics series, will be at the core of my ethics presentation on February 4, 2014, at the 8th Annual Patent Law Institute in New York City. The event will be live and webcast, and then reprised on March 18, 2013, in San Francisco.
This case relates to Leonard Tachner of Irvine, California. Tachner was suspended from practice before the Office in patent, trademark, and non-patent matters for five years for severely neglecting his patent practice to the detriment of his clients, but with a provision that would allow him to apply for reinstatement after serving four years of the suspension. This action is the result of a settlement agreement between Tachner and the OED Director pursuant to the provisions of35 U.S.C. §§ 2(b)(2)(D) and 32 and 37 C.F.R. §§ 11.19, 11.26, and 11.59.
My 2013 ethics series continues, today looking at several more final orders in disciplinary proceedings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The title here is a little misleading. There was only a single final action in March 2013, so I’ve also included one decision from April 2013. Discussion of the remaining two decisions from April will appear in the next installment of the series.
The totality of this series will make up the backbone of my ethics presentation at the 8th Annual Patent Law Institute sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, which will take place in New York at the beginning of February 2014, and which will be reprised live in San Francisco in mid-March 2014.
Next year I will be speaking at the 8th Annual Patent Law Institute sponsored by the Practising Law Institute. The event, like in previous years, will be bi-coastal. We will be live from New York City on February 3-4, 2013, and live from San Francisco, CA on March 17-18, 2013, with the San Francisco location also being webcast. My topic will be ethics, which will provide the all important and highly sought after ethics CLE credit.
In addition to discussing ethical issues generally raised by the practice of patent law, perhaps spending some time discussing the Traps for the Unwary within the America Invents Act, I also always like to do a rundown of recent OED disciplinary proceedings. For more articles on this topic please see Ethics & OED.
With this in mind, I will be publishing summaries of the disciplinary proceedings before the Office of Enrollment and Discipline at the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 2013. I have already published the first article in the series, which related to the reinstatement petition granted to Hunaid Basrai in June of 2013.
What follows are the OED decisions from the first quarter of 2013. There were no decisions in January 2013.
It is that time of the year again where I am preparing my materials for my yearly ethics presentation, which will take place during the 8th Annual PLI Patent Law Institute. This year the Patent Law Institute will take place in New York City on February 3-4, 2013, and in San Francisco on March 17-18, 2013. The webcast will be from the New York location on February 3-4.
One of the primary segments of my ethics presentations is always a rundown of the activities of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline over the last year or so. As I started to review the cases one case jumped out at me that deserved stand alone attention. The case is In re Hunaid Basrai, which was decided on June 18, 2013.
According to §11.15 “Any practitioner who is suspended or excluded under this Part shall not be entitled to practice before the Office in patent, trademark, or other non-patent matters while suspended or excluded.” However, reinstatement to practice after is possible. In order to be reinstated, however, the disciplined practitioner must serve the sentence and then petition the Office for reinstatement.
It is not common to see a petition for reinstatement, much less an actual reinstatement. That is, however, what happened with respect to Mr. Basrai, who was suspended nunc pro tunc from October 26, 2009, for a period of 60 months, but with the last 24 months stayed. Basrai’s petition for reinstatement was successful, and he is once again a patent agent registered to practice at the USPTO.
What follows are the decisions from April and May 2012. In this time period in 2012 at the OED the Office found themselves dealing with a patent attorney that accepted referrals from an invention promotion company, a patent attorney that didn’t notify a client of an abandoned application, a trademark attorney that submitted false statements in three petitions to revive abandoned applications and a reciprocal discipline involving negligence associated with maintaining a Trust Account.
On February 5, 2013, I will be in New York City giving a presentation on ethics at the 7th Annual Patent Law Institute. My lecture will be revisited in San Francisco, California on March 19, 2013, an event that will be webcast live.
In addition to discussing the impact of the America Invents Act on ethics, specifically from a malpractice standpoint, I will also discuss the enforcement efforts of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) during 2012.
So far I have written the following articles in Ethics & OED series:
After starting with January and then fearing I would run out of time as I marched forward through all 48 disciplinary actions taken by OED during 2o12, I decided to start at the end of the year and work my way backwards. There were no reported decisions in September 2012, so that was an easy month to handle.