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Author Topic: work in a firm asked to represent a client  (Read 1375 times)


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work in a firm asked to represent a client
« on: 04-10-12 at 08:19 am »

Is it appropriate for a patent agent to represent an independent inventor while working for a firm and having his/her reg. No. associated with that firm? Meaning, the inventor doesn't want to pay the hefty fee of using a firm and wants to strike up a deal to use the patent agent only. Can the patent agent do this?


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Re: work in a firm asked to represent a client
« Reply #1 on: 04-10-12 at 11:44 am »

I think that depends on whether your firm will allow you to moonlight outside of the firm. I'm sure the firm will have conflict of interest issues and malpractice issues, but in the end it's something you'd have to ask your boss about. If the client is already a client of the firm, I have a feeling that it is inappropriate. If the client is someone that you know, like a friend, whom you're helping, that's more of a gray area and you might have to talk to your boss about it. That's my feeling. Perhaps someone else will have a more concrete answer.


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Re: work in a firm asked to represent a client
« Reply #2 on: 04-11-12 at 06:47 am »

Most firms really frown on that type of activity, for a couple of reasons.  First, when an attorney employed by a firm represents a client independently from that firm, professional liability concerns are raised.  Most firms would prefer that their liability insurance not cover those types of activities, but the fact of the matter is that its not a clear cut question.  Second, most firms do not want their associates distracted by clients that are not "firm clients."  Third, an associate's representation of "non-firm" clients can lead to conflicts issues that might prevent the firm from taking on business from another client, or another prospective client. 

Thus, while some firms may allow moonlighting, there are many, many reasons for them not to object to it.
This post is not legal advice.  I am not your attorney.  You rely on anything I say at your own risk. If you want to reach me directly, send me a PM through the board.  I do not check the email associated with my profile often.


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