IPethics & INsights is reporting that on August 5, 2016, the USPTO Director issued a Final Order reversing an administrative law judge’s initial decision, which had suspended a practitioner for 18 months. The Final Order is significant for two reasons. First, it appears to be the first time ever (at least since the USPTO set up a formal attorney disciplinary system and adopted rules of ethics) that an attorney has actually won a disciplinary case before the Patent Office.
Second, the decision is important for every attorney who is subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of both the USPTO and any state bar because the USPTO Director has now made it crystal clear that the USPTO’s reciprocal disciplinary process is mandatory, not discretionary.
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