What You Risk

A Review of Subject Matter Conflicts of Interest in Intellectual Property Prosecution

Dr. Sandra P. Thompson

©2017. Published in Landslide, Vol. 9, No. 4, March/April 2017, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Client-driven litigation and malpractice complaints against intellectual property (IP) practitioners are not decreasing anytime soon. One area that is ripe for concern is the review and addressing of conflicts of interest. Attorneys who have been practicing for more than a day are familiar with the process of conflicts of interest searches. When a new client comes into the office or firm, the attorney or conflicts team searches a client database for the name of the person or entity. If a potential conflict surfaces, the conflict must be cleared or waived, or the client sent elsewhere.

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