How do I protect my idea before I hand it over to an attorney for a patent search? 4 Answers as of June 02, 2011

How do I protect my idea before I hand it over to an attorney to search for a patent?

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Intellectual Property Center, LLC
Intellectual Property Center, LLC | Ak Shaf
You could file for a patent prior to disclosing it to your attorney. Generally, it is not your attorney that you have to worry about because depending on the nature of your relationship, you could be covered by the attorney-client relationship which will prevent the attorney from unauthorized disclosure or from taking or using your confidential information without your permission. Hope that helps.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 6/2/2011
DANIEL NESBITT | Hasse & Nesbitt
If you believe you need to have protection for your idea before you hand it over to an attorney for searching, then I suggest you work with a different attorney that you trust. But if you must work with that attorney, ask them to initial and date each page of information you provide, and give a copy of these to you. You can also have your attorney file a provisional patent application using only the papers that you provide the attorney.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/1/2011
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
You and the attorney should sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before you disclose your invention to the attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/24/2011
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
There is no need to fear your attorney. Attorneys would not keep their licenses very long if they stole inventions from clients. All attorneys are bound by state ethics rules that require confidentiality. For example, Washington State lawyer are obliged to follow RPC 1.6 which states that A lawyer shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unless the client gives informed consent, the disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to carry out the representation or the disclosure is permitted in certain limited circumstances such as to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm, to prevent the client from committing a crime, etc.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/24/2011
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