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Mass. High Court Provides Guidance On Patent Malpractice, Law360

February 03, 2016

In Chris E. Maling v. Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP, the Massachusetts Supreme Court provided guidance on a topic of interest to every law firm with a significant patent prosecution practice, namely, the potential for subject matter conflicts when law firms prepare and prosecute patent applications, or provide patent counseling services, for multiple clients in the same industries.

Maling is not the first case to address subject matter conflicts in the patent context, but in Maling the court seized an opportunity to address straight-on the issue of subject matter conflicts, among other things, by taking the case sua sponte on direct appeal and by inviting amicus briefing.

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