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6 Pages
  • 6 Pages

Administering Ethical and Admissible Pretext Investigations: The Problem


Can pretext investigations, utilizing fictitious identities and false pretenses, be reconciled with anti-deception rules?

Your client suspects infringement, counterfeiting, or violation of an injunction or settlement agreement, and wants to stop it by means of a civil action in federal court for an injunction and damages. To ascertain evidentiary support, an investigation is done to determine exactly what the adverse party is doing and selling, and confirm that infringing activities are taking place. Do you contact them directly? Pose as a customer? Not so fast. The ethical rules that govern lawyers' conduct prohibit lawyers from engaging in deceptive or fraudulent conduct, and from directly contacting those of adverse interest without their lawyers, or those unrepresented by lawyers.



Robert W. Sacoff

Robert W. Sacoff

Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP

  • Partner with Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson LLP
  • Focuses on trademark, copyright and unfair competition law and litigation for more than 30 years
  • Has spoken and presented papers at many seminars and workshops on trademark and unfair competition law
  • Regularly listed in professional reviews such as World Trademark Review, Legal 500, International Who's Who of Trademark Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, Illinois Super Lawyers, International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, and Leading Lawyers
  • J.D. degree, Northwestern University School of Law; member, Northwestern Law Review
  • Served as Chair of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law, and President of the AIPPI U.S. Group
  • Can be contacted at 200 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 2900, Chicago, IL 60606, by phone 312-554-7934 or email [email protected]
Ken Taylor

Ken Taylor

Com Laude USA

  • Director of Business Development at Com Laude 2014-present
  • Chairman and CEO Marksmen (a world leader in Brand Protection Services) 1998-2014
  • Licensed Private Investigator in North Carolina and California since 1998. In that time, directed more than 75,000 worldwide IP related investigations and acquisitions
  • Actively involved with various IP, anti-counterfeiting and Internet organizations since 1998 including INTA, IPO, PTMG, MARQUES, ICANN, AIPLA and the IACC
  • Frequent speaker on ethical investigations since 2000 at INTA, as well as at various state IP law association group meetings and law firm partner retreats around the country. His presentations have qualified for CLE in NC, DC, NY, CA, CO, GA, MN, WA, AZ, FL, PA, TX, NV, NJ, CT, AL
  • Can be contacted at 1751 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 600, McClean VA, 22102, by phone 919-271-5111 or email [email protected]

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