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Texas Roils Recently Stilled Waters Of Patent Agent Privilege

Law360, Dallas (August 22, 2016, 8:44 PM EDT) -- A Texas appellate ruling that an inventor's emails with a nonlawyer patent agent aren't privileged is causing consternation for patent lawyers who had hoped a Federal Circuit decision in March recognizing the privilege would be the final word on the issue and maintain continuity among different venues.

The ruling, a 2-1 decision from a panel of Dallas' Fifth Court of Appeals last week, is believed to be the first state court holding on patent agent privilege since the Federal Circuit decided In re: Queen's University at Kingston. The March decision protects discovery communications between registered patent agents and their clients when the...

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