The Supreme Judicial Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (SJC) will decide an important legal malpractice case arising from an alleged conflict of interest that occurred during the prosecution of two patent applications. This decision will affect patent applicants and practitioners in Massachusetts, and courts in other states may look to this decision when analyzing alleged conflicts of interest in the patent prosecution context. Nutter attorney Heather B. Repicky recently filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) on this issue. The BPLA argues that the adoption of a new conflict of interest rule that would prevent a patent practitioner from representing applications filed by competitors on “similar inventions” would create a great deal of uncertainty for both applicants and patent practitioners. Further, if this blanket rule were adopted, applicants might attempt to monopolize the marketplace for lawyers with specific expertise in order to gain a competitive advantage.
Maximizing the protection and value of intellectual property assets is often the cornerstone of a business's success and even survival. In this blog, Nutter's Intellectual Property attorneys provide news updates and practical tips in patent portfolio development, IP litigation, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and licensing.