I disclosed my invention with a patent attorney on my first free consultation to understand if it is patentable and get advice. The patent attorney told me that I can disclose it because they are legally bound to confidentiality because of their job. However we didn't sign anything yet and we had a remote video consultation due to the coronavirus lockdown.

I have registered the conversation, is that enough to protect my invention? Should I avoid disclosing my invention with patent attorneys on initial consultations next time?

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    I believe in most jurisdictions, this would be enough to get the attorney barred, so they usually don't risk it.
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 20:41
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    I can't speak to the UK, in the US, that wouldn't work. If they stole it and the EPO found out, they would likely face severe consequences such as disbarment. They also would not be able to get the patent because they would not be the "inventor". As for the confidentiality, in the US, we don't ask for the full disclosure until you sign and we do a conflicts check, the free consultation is only to get the general idea of the invention to help determine if we can help and to determine certain important dates.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 20:44
  • That's a good news. During the meeting, the patent attorney told me I can disclose the invention with any other legal attorney I wish since they have to keep it confidential. I have no experience with these legal things and I found it strange they don't sign anything before the meeting so I recorded. Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


Your lawyer owes you a fiduciary duty

A fiduciary duty[ is the highest standard of care in equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the "principal") such that there must be no conflict of duty between fiduciary and principal, and the fiduciary must not profit from their position as a fiduciary (unless the principal consents).

Legally, you can trust a fiduciary more than you can your own mother.

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