Ethics of Prior Art

1. Question: Assuming that you know of non-cumulative prior art that is materially related to your pending patent application, would you be committing an ethical violation by failing to submit the reference to the PTO?
2. How does your answer change if you learned of the prior art only after receiving a notice of allowance?
3. Situation: Assume that you learn of material, non-cumulative prior art after receiving a notice of allowance, but before the patent issues. The in-house patent attorney demands that you to pay the issue fee and not submit the reference.

Question: What do you do?
Strongly DisagreeUnsure Strongly Agree
Report the in-house attorney to the USPTO Office of Enrollment & Discipline (OED).
Follow the client's orders.
Advise the client of the duty of candor.
Go ahead and file an IDS with the reference (against the clients orders).
Withdraw your firm from the case.
4. Situation: Assuming that you receive a package labeled "PRIOR ART RELATED TO PENDING CASE NO 11/XXX,XXX." Your firm handles that pending case.

Question: May you ethically leave the package unopened?
5. Following the above question: Assume you open the package and find material, non-cumulative prior art along with a claim chart linking each element of the pending claims are found in the references.

Question: Are you ethically required to submit the claim chart to the PTO?
6. How many years have you been working with intellectual property or other legal issues?
7. Your position (Check all that apply):
8. Area of business or technology
9. OPTIONAL: Feel free to provide your contact information.
Powered by SurveyMonkey
Check out our sample surveys and create your own now!