Patent Ethics by David Hricik

Patent Ethics, by David Hricik, comprehensively covers issues of principle about whether a patent attorney can or should provide services to a given client considering what that attorney or his firm has, is, or will be doing for other clients who be directly or tangentially involved in a case, or considering knowledge or opinions that attorney may hold prior to an engagement. Each section presents the situation for study with examples and cases for illustration and further review. Citations are included as footnotes instead of endnotes with commentary, easing reading the material.

Chapters include:

1: Introduction

2: Choice of Law in Federal Court Litigation

3: Conflicts of Interest

4: Competency, Diligence, and Communication

5: Pre-Pleading Investigations

6: Ethical and Other Constraints on Pre-Suit Enforcement Efforts

7: Pleading Ethically

8: Expert Witnesses

9: Ethical Issues in the Information Exchange Process

10: Combining Prosecution and Other Forms of Representation

As an IP strategist, I tend to read books of this nature for ideas that provide leverage for holding the initiative in given scenarios. While this book helps to answer questions about whether you can or should take actions associated with obtaining or enforcing patents, it also provides material that a thoughtful attorney can use in a case against an opponent by showing that an opponent’s actions are logically or emotionally questionable against accepted codes of conduct. While much that involves ethics has been codified into rules, an ample portion interpreting ethics remains in the eye of the beholder. All logic presented, legal decisions will always have a strong emotional component on what a judge, jury, or other decider considers to be right or wrong.

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