IP Protection


Hi folks,

Havn't been back in ages *wipes off cobwebs* and ready to join in again! As it stands though I'm hoping someone can shine some light on my predicament.

I'm currently looking to patent an idea and an IP specialist I have been recommended to use reponds with 'send me your ideas and drawings and I'll have a look for you free of charge". Now I'm sceptical straight away so I request a NDA (Non Discolsure Agreement) to which I get the response...

"I hope I can reassure you on this question; as patent attorneys we are bound by a professional code of conduct and any information you send me will be kept strictly confidential without the need for an NDA. (This email is evidence that I have committed to not disclosing your invention to a third party without your express consent, such as your consent to file a patent application etc).

I have never actually signed an NDA for this reason, and prefer not to since if I subsequently act for you I risk breaking the NDA if I were to file a patent application for you(!)"

Now, I'd like to think that if the idea was stolen (unlikely I know) that email would be proof enough if anything unfortunate did happen, what are your thoughts on this? Run away, or go with it?

Cheers in advance :icon_wink:
Aye, I'm leaning towards that and my initial uncertainty. The chap however has a good reputation though and has been going for a few years but something just doesn't seem right.

This confused me:

"... prefer not to since if I subsequently act for you I risk breaking the NDA if I were to file a patent application for you(!)"

as it made me wonder how other patent attorneys deal with people?

I also had a look at innovate design - Invention Help - How to Patent an Idea or Invention. Idea development, protection and production. - and they sent me a pre-signed NDA which all I had to do was sign and send back, but still that was a little worrying as anyone could receive it, i emailed them and they said they'd sign an NDA I supplied them with, but via mail, I just don't know.

Has anyone dealt with Innovate Design before? Or have any other recommendations in the West Midlands region?
Yeah: sounds fishy. I can't see why it would take any significant, additional effort to terminate an NDA once it's in place.
Hmmm, I looked more into this and the following links are interesting for anyone elses reference.

It appears that since 1st Jan 2010 patent attorneys are sworn to ensure confidentiality of client information. I assume as long as they are in fact registered, all should be good...

IPReg :: Code of Conduct (item 8)

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys - CIPA - Code of Conduct - true

Hope this helps anyone further, if any of this post is wrong then please do respond as don't want to mislead anybody.

Thanks for the help so far chaps!
Are these codes of conduct a requirement in the industry? Estate agents (to take an example) have a code of conduct but they don't all sign up to it...
I assume this is for members of the CIPA (Chartered Institute of Patent Attornys), so long as they have the valid certification it appears this must be the case.

Saying that, the IPReg (IP regulation board) state "Set out below is the Code of Conduct which applies to all Patent Attorneys and Trade Mark Attorneys."

I've never come across this before but it appears if you practice, you have to abide!