In-House Lawyer Fired for Complaining that Application Filing Quota Caused Ethics Violation Able to Sue

The Third Circuit reversed the grant of the dismissal of a lawsuit by in-house counsel who sued because, he alleged, he was forced to choose between complying with an application filing quota or complying with his ethical obligations to the USPTO.  The case, Trzaska v. L’Oreal USA, INc., (3rd Cir. July 25, 2017), is here.

The claim was based upon New Jersey’s whistle blower statute, the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”), N.J. Stat. Ann. § 34:19-1 et seq.  The complaint alleged that complying with the quota meant filing “frivolous” patent applications.  In a two-one panel decision, the Third Circuit held the complaint stated a claim.

One thought on “In-House Lawyer Fired for Complaining that Application Filing Quota Caused Ethics Violation Able to Sue

  1. I can see this potentially having some rather ugly ethical wrinkles.

    Could (and separately would) the Office seek to enforce some type of ethics enforcement against the likes of IBM and Microsoft and other macro users whose race for pure numbers can easily be seen to include applications which would fail any type of reasonableness test as to being able to stand up to the oaths being taken? Note: this is not a “anti-software” view and applies to any of the macro filers that aim merely for volume.)

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