The Ethics of Outsourcing

The IP Ethics and Insights blog covers some interesting issues.

They’ve recently posted a disciplinary hearing against an Attorney-in-Law who collected fees from a client for a patent application and then outsourced to a small-timer at a fraction of the cost. The sub-contractor was not a partner or associate of the Attorney, and the disciplinary court ruled that in the circumstances, the client’s permission should have been obtained. See here for more details.

I find the case interesting as there are a couple of IP boutiques in Israel that have trouble holding on to competent staff and which outsource prosecution work to sole-practitioners, tech-transfer professionals that are moon-lighting and the like. One wonders if their clients are aware of and would approve of the relationship? Clearly the clients are paying over the odds for the service they receive.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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