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New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association (NJIPLA)

Ethics in IP

  • 12/06/2018
  • 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • APA Hotel Woodbridge, 120 S Wood Ave, Iselin, NJ 08830


  • Must be a full time student and can attend the lunch and the CLE seminar

Registration is closed

NJIPLA will hold its third
biennial Ethics in IP seminar where practitioners can earn 4 live ethics credits in one afternoon.  This year's seminar will feature an exciting slate of speakers discussing topics including unauthorized practice of law, patent agent privilege and other recent case law.



Shawn Blackburn
Susman Godfrey LLP


Sona De
Sidley Austin LLP


Aron Fischer 
Patterson Belknap
Webb & Tyler LLP

Carol Johnston
Supreme Court Clerk’s Office


Larry Sandell 
Mei & Mark LLP


12:00 – 12:50 PM   Luncheon

12:50 – 1:00 PM 

1:00 – 1:45 PM       IP Strategies, Enforcement Considerations, and Potential Ethical Pitfalls in the Burgeoning (Quasi-)Legal Cannabis Industry
Larry Sandell, Mei & Mark LLP
Notwithstanding its illegality under Federal law, cannabis is legal under New Jersey law for medical purposes--and legal recreation cannabis in the Garden State isn’t far behind. This ostensible conflict between state and federal law (and the newness of a legal cannabis industry) raises ethical pitfalls for attorneys seeking to represent cannabis industry clients. Recognizing this, the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct limits its prohibition of counseling “a client in conduct that the lawyer knows is illegal, criminal or fraudulent” in the medical marijuana context. 

1:45 – 2:30 PM       Inequitable Conduct after Regeneron v. Merus
Aron Fischer, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
In its recent decision Regeneron Pharmaceuticals v. Merus, the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s use of an adverse inference from litigation misconduct to hold a patent unenforceable for inequitable conduct.  This topic will explore the decision and its implications for inequitable conduct jurisprudence, including the extent to which alleged misconduct by litigation counsel may now be fair game for inequitable conduct defenses.

2:30 – 3:15 PM       Unauthorized Practice of Law and Attorney Advertising
Carol Johnston, Supreme Court Clerk’s Office

Explore what legal services may be provided by patent lawyers who are not New Jersey licensed lawyers; and the rules governing attorney advertising.

3:15 – 3:30 PM       Networking Break              

3:30 – 4:15 PM       Patent Agent Privilege: Where it came from, where it’s going, and some ethical considerations.
Shawn Blackburn, Susman Godfrey LLP

After decades of uncertainty regarding the status of communications with patent agents, the Federal Circuit ruled for the first time in In re Queen’s University that such communications can be privileged. This topic will examine the basis for the privilege, its limits, and best practices in view of these limitations.

4:15 – 5:00 PM       Litigating the Unclean Hands Doctrine in Patent Cases
Sona De, Sidley Austin LLP

The Federal Circuit has recently addressed the defense of unclean hands in the context of patent cases in Merck v. Gilead.  The discussion will focus on the implications of the Federal Circuit’s ruling on the limits of the doctrine and proofs under same and on pre-suit decisions, discovery, and trial.  It will also explore the place of this defense alongside other defenses such as derivation and inequitable conduct in patent cases. 

Members in good standing automatically receive a discount to any NJIPLA CLE programs. To review or update you membership status, log in at:


NJIPLA is pleased to offer sponsorship opportunities for our 2018 events. Benefits are recognition in our pre-event emails, logo and link on the NJIPLA website and acknowledgement of sponsorship during the event welcome remarks and five complimentary registrations to the sponsored event.  Interested? Please email