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   Patent Agents & Conflicts of Interest
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   Author  Topic: Patent Agents & Conflicts of Interest  (Read 343 times)


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Patent Agents & Conflicts of Interest
« on: Sep 18th, 2006, 5:53am »
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I am currently carrying out research on patent agents and conflicts of interest.  
I have a query on cases related to the use of law firms as patent agents in jurisdictions outside of PCT and EPO. Therefore in these jurisdictions, registration of patents needs to be done through domentic registration. Therefore, local patent agents are necessary.  
From what i have concluded till now, registration in these countries is essentially an administrative task, which does not require any substantive assessment of the subject matter of an application. Therefore, it is believed that as such, no potential conflicts arises.  
Many times, in these jurisdictions, not even the patent office carries out substantive examination of the patent and only formal / legal assessments are carried out.  
I need some feedback and opinions on potential conflicts when these firms act for different clients pretty much in the same field of operation (eg mechanical, biotech) and assist in the domentic registration of the patent. These firms are obviously law firms bound by confidentiality of contents of documents. However, do you see any potential conflict?  
Also, many times, from interviews i carried out, these firms get order for patent searches in a public registry. What if they are asked to carry out a search that also involves another of their clients? is there potential conflict? the search results are still public results that can be accessed by anyone carrying out a search.  
I look forward to some feedback on this...  
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