Intellectual Property Forums (

(Message started by: YO on Nov 25th, 2005, 4:09pm)

Title: IP privacy issues re: consecutive firm employment
Post by YO on Nov 25th, 2005, 4:09pm
Quick question:

If you join one IP firm as a patent agent and then decide to work at another a year or two later, what kind of rules are typically in place to maintain IP confidentiality? When you sign a contract at the first firm do you also sign a contract agreeing to NOT work in another IP firm (competitor or not) for X amount of time? This sounds ridiculously inconvenient and limiting to me but it is something that I was told this afternoon exists.

Any thoughts? Much appreciated!!


Title: Re: IP privacy issues consecutive firm employment
Post by Isaac on Nov 25th, 2005, 6:53pm
The attorney ethics rules would forbid an attorney from signing such an agreement.  I believe that patent practitioners are similarly prohibited against signing away their right to work for someone else.
You might sign agreement to work exclusively for your employer.

You do have an obligation to maintain confidentiality of your past clients.

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