I want to speak to a patent attorney about a new invention, would NDA agreements or any other agreements be needed in order to share the operational and non operational ideas/inventions?
I am in general agreement with the responses thus far. An NDA is not needed if you communicate with a California attorney. Additionally, if you are speaking with a USPTO registered practitioner (agents and attorneys) those practitioners are also subject to the USPTO's Professional Responsibility (ethics) rules, which largely mimic the ABA Model Rules and do include an ethical duty of confidentiality. And many California attorneys and/or USPTO registered practitioners will routinely sign a NDA with a prospective client, if for no other reason than to provide some peace of mind to the prospective client.
I only add, technically what is protecting the client and often the prospective client, is often not so much the attorney client privilege - which is an evidentiary privilege - but rather our ethical duty of confidentiality, which in California stems from our oath (and case law). And note, that our ethical duty of confidentiality is actually broader in terms of scope than the attorney client privilege.
No. The Attorney Client privilege provides security of confidentiality. See IP counsel.
My comments have been made without discussion. An attorney client relationship has not been established. There may be conflicts which prohibit my providing you with specific legal guidance. Any contact with you beyond these few general words will start with a disclosure of opposing parties so that a conflict check can be made. You should discuss with an attorney.
In California the rules regarding Professional Responsibility that govern attorneys require that any information that is exchanged with a lawyer is subject to attorney client privilege such that a non-disclosure agreement is not necessary. Good luck. There are many of us here in Los Angeles that would be available to assist you.
Its not a requirement as I doubt a patent attorney would "steal" your idea. However, with that being said, I always offer an NDA to first time inventors that contact me as it is a good habit/practice to put NDAs in place until your patent application is filed and in some instances before publication.
All conversations with any IP attorney should be confidential. You may want to confirm, but I used to have a managing partner who would ask clients to leave if they impugned his integrity by asking him to sign and NDA.
Whether a patent is required to sign an NDA v. the prudence in filing the NDA are two different things.
I agree, that due to the RPC there is no requirement for an NDA to be signed to protect the confidentiality of the invention.
However, for client reassurance, you may want to sign the agreement. A client facing a potential attorney who will not agree in writing to protect the inventor's information has reason to question the motives of the resisting attorney.
Be that as it may, I think I have signed one NDA over the course of my career.
Just my two cents but I won't sign a non-disclosure agreement if asked to by a prospective or actual client.
As noted, an attorney's ethical responsibilities to his or her client requires maintaining the client's confidences and, in California at least, that obligation has also been codified into law [see B&P Code section 6068(e)].
Entering into a contract to do what one must do by law anyway:
(1) is redundant,
(2) devolves and, yes, impugns what should be an inherent trust relationship between attorney and client, (3) raises the risk the attorney will be sued for breach of contract rather than, or in addition to, malpractice which may or may not be covered by the attorney's malpractice coverage and, in any event, increases the risk of suit,
(4) requires that the prospective client or client to hire a different attorney to draft and negotiate the non-disclosure agreement, and
(5) it's just wrong.
The above response is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
No, you don't need an NDA with your lawyer.
Mr. Sack's postings on Avvo are of a general nature, based on the facts provided and are not intended to be taken as legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with the others and will only add the following to reinforce. The only way an NDA will have any chance of being enforceable is if it is drafted with care and particularized. That is it cannot be neither over-broad nor too narrow. So responsible parties will have a lawyer properly prepare an NDA/NNN and in so doing that lawyer will of course be required to understand fully exactly what you are seeking to protect. This being the case, what protects you from the lawyer you hire to prepare the NDA? I hope you understand where I am going here. The whole point of hiring a fiduciary is that you automatically get certain protections.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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