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Roundtable on Domestic and International Issues Related to Privileged Communications Between Patent Practitioners and Their Clients

Innovators who seek patent protection in multiple jurisdictions may engage patent practitioners (attorneys or other registered representatives) in each of those jurisdictions.  Currently, the rules governing privilege vary from country to country and even between U.S. jurisdictions.  In this regard, the USPTO is seeking input regarding protections from disclosure for communications between patent  applicants and their advisors. The issues include: Whether and to what extent U.S. courts should recognize privilege for communications between foreign patent practitioners and their clients; the extent to which communications between U.S. patent applicants and their non-attorney U.S. patent agents should be privileged in U.S. courts; and whether and to what extent communications between U.S. patent practitioners and their clients should receive privilege in foreign jurisdictions.

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