Q: If a patent attorney/agent accepts an inventor as a client, and the inventor then discloses his idea, and then further
....furthermore, while said idea has not been disclosed in public form, it turns out that the attorney/agent has accepted another client with the same inventive idea in process of being applied for - what is the attorneys legal obligation to 2nd client? Tell him that his idea has been "preceeded"? Simply refuse to accept the client and not explain why? What's the legal basis?
A: Ideally, the process would not get that far. The attorney should ask each prospective client to say without disclosing anything proprietary what type of good or service have you improved? When the attorney learned that the second inventor was in the same space as the first client (possibly with some narrowing questions as follow ups), then the attorney should have declined representation before being exposed to the second inventor's specific invention.
Charles Oliver Wolff agrees with this answer
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