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Ron Cahill Analyzes Federal Circuit Patent Agent Privilege Ruling in Law360

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03.09.2016

Ronald E. Cahill, a partner in Nutter’s Intellectual Property Department and chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation practice group, commented on the Federal Circuit’s decision that some communications between patent applicants and nonlawyer patent agents are privileged, which in turn should reduce the cost of patent law services, in Law360. In the article, “Fed. Circ. Patent Agent Privilege Rule To Lower Legal Costs,” Ron noted that he has worked on cases where privilege was the key issue in where the plaintiff decided to file suit. He pointed out since patent agent privilege was recognized only in some districts there were a limited number of places where a case could be brought to make sure the patent agent’s communications were privileged—the Federal Circuit’s creation of a nationwide privilege for patent agents means that is no longer a consideration and that companies have greater flexibility to work with agents. “Sometimes a patent agent would really fit the bill, but you would have to worry about this privilege issue, and you don’t have to worry about that now,” Ron said. “This decision does make it easier for clients to hire patent agents or work with a firm that uses patent agents.”

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