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   When an agent/attorney becomes an inventor
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   Author  Topic: When an agent/attorney becomes an inventor  (Read 1644 times)
Mark Reeves
When an agent/attorney becomes an inventor
« on: Jan 5th, 2008, 1:44pm »
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How do you handle the situation where you as a patent agent/attorney become an inventor on your client's patent?
By nature, experience, and training I am very good at innovation and creative problem solving.  The last 10 years I have been an innovation consultant teaching and using TRIZ.  TRIZ is a systematic method for analyzing and solving problems.
I have recently became a registered patent agent.  My initial reason for becoming a patent agent was to understand the process better for my innovation consulting.  However, as people have approached me about working on patents, when they describe the problem and their solution to it, I see typically see other ways to do the same things or the next generation of that product.  That is a great talent as an innovation consultant.  I have always signed NDA's ahead of time and assigned the rights to my clients.  
However, as a patent agent, what happens when a client comes to me and I contribute to their invention?  Do I need to be listed on the patent as an inventor?  What about assigning rights?  What if I see the next generation of that  invention beyond what they envision?
I would make a great patent troll, but I have high ethical standards.  I do not want to mess up my clients in any way.  If it were a simple idea, I would ask them thoughtful questions and hope they come up with the idea.  I do that frequently when facilitating an innovation session/class.  However, sometimes that is not going to work.
So, if a patent agent/attorney legitimately becomes an inventor on a client's patent, what are the legal and moral obligations?
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Re: When an agent/attorney becomes an inventor
« Reply #1 on: Jan 5th, 2008, 8:19pm »
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I would never become an inventor because it impairs my professional and independent judgement - conflict of interest.
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Registered Patent Agent Specializing in All Areas of Biotechnology
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