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Florida patent lawyer faced with reciprocal discipline for ignoring clients

A Florida patent lawyer is faced with reciprocal discipline in Wisconsin for failing to speak and listen to the inventors he took on as clients.

The Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation charged Michael Starkweather with two counts of misconduct related to discipline he received from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in October.

Starkweather, founder of ClearStar IP in Tampa, Fla., provides patent and trademark services to clients. He had been taking on clients referred to him by World Patent Marketing, a company that connects inventors with services related to discount marketing, development and referrals.

Starkweather was charged with six counts of misconduct related to his work for WPM clients, including not listening to and informing the inventors. In October 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suspended Starkweather’s ability to practice for 36 months.

The Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation is seeking reciprocal discipline for Starkweather. His Wisconsin law license has been administratively suspended since November 2019 for failing to pay his bar dues and file a trust-account certification.

Starkweather was admitted to the Wisconsin State Bar in 1988, and he registered to practice patent law before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1990.

His previous disciplinary history consists of a public reprimanded from 2012 for appearing in a federal bankruptcy court in Utah without being admitted to practice in Utah courts.

Starkweather did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


About Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Michaela Paukner is the legal reporter for the Wisconsin Law Journal. She can be reached at (414) 225-1825 or by email at mpaukner@wislawjournal.com.

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