In re Silver, Sup. Ct. of Texas, No. 16-1682, 8/10/2017 August 9, 2017

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Communications between a patent agent and a client should enjoy the protections of an attorney-client privilege when those communications occur within the scope of a patent agent’s authority under the Patent Act, according to an AIPLA letter brief filed August 10, 2017, in the Supreme Court of Texas.

The letter brief cites Sperry v. State of Florida ex rel. Florida Bar, 373 U.S. 379 (1963), to show that a patent agent is a person authorized to practice federal law, satisfying the definition of a “lawyer” for privilege purposes under Texas rules of evidence. The letter brief also points to federal recognition of the patent agent privilege in In re Queen’s Univ. at Kingston, 820 F.3d 1287 (Fed. Cir. 2016).

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