Counsel and law firms involved in patent prosecution must carefully evaluate client representations to avoid conflicts that can jeopardize clients’ rights, breach fiduciary duties, and violate PTO rules, Model Rules and state legal ethics rules. Patent prosecutors must also identify and address other ethical risks related to subject matter, client confidentiality, and difficult situations such as employers and investors with adverse interests. Goodwin Procter's Stephen Schreiner will present as one of the panelists, who will provide guidance to IP counsel on the conflicts issues that often arise in patent prosecutions. The panel will outline best practices to identify and address the risks—and to minimize conflicts that can lead to malpractice liability and ethical violations. The panel will review these and other key questions: What policies and practices should counsel have in place to identify potential conflicts in patent prosecutions? What steps can patent prosecutors take to minimize the risk of subject matter conflicts? How should patent counsel respond after identifying conflicts?
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