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Using lawyers for NDAs, patents


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Is there any point or can you do all this shit yourself

It seems to be that every time I've used a lawyer I do all the work myself, then send it to them, then they say yes or no.

All the contracts and patents are in difficult to understand shit and seem triple the length of what actually needs to be said

What's the drawback of doing it all yourself other than not being versed in legaleeze? 

Edited by AQUAMAN
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If you can remove all the specifics to create a framework then you can use it as a template for similar situations, just so long as you can properly specify the new specifics. There are lots of standard forms of contract like this such as RIBA, ICE, IChemE, etc. It is all about the legalese, the clauses about jurisdiction and so on are very important, and it could easily become a false economy.

Edited by Panther
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Almost any patent can be busted if enough money is spent on lawyers.

When Pilkingtons came up with float glass, they hired 2 teams of lawyers to write the patents. Patent draft #1 went to lawyer team #2 to get busted. They would rewrite it and lawyer team #1 had to bust the rewrite. They kept going back and forth until neither team could bust it.

At the other end of the scale, the guy who invented the Pocket Fisherman didn't bother with a patent. Trademarking the name was enough. Sure you can buy a knock off but it isn't a real Pocket Fisherman.

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On 19/02/2021 at 14:28, AQUAMAN said:

Is there any point or can you do all this shit yourself

It seems to be that every time I've used a lawyer I do all the work myself, then send it to them, then they say yes or no.

All the contracts and patents are in difficult to understand shit and seem triple the length of what actually needs to be said

What's the drawback of doing it all yourself other than not being versed in legaleeze? 

For patents the drawback of not using a lawyer is that if you get it wrong and get sued then by not using a lawyer you leave yourself open to a claim of wilful infringement. 

The other problem is that you'll proba ly write a shit patent patent that is worthless. 

For NDAs its not a big deal, you can probably find a template somewhere on the Internet that has been written by a lawyer. 

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I designed some synchronous data frames for satellite communications. To someone in the communications field, the design and reasoning behind them would have been easily undestandable.

They were sent to a Patent Attorney who drafted some European Patent applications for them.

When I got them back, I did not understand a single word of the technical description of my inventions. Not a word.

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9 hours ago, Happy Renting said:

I designed some synchronous data frames for satellite communications. To someone in the communications field, the design and reasoning behind them would have been easily undestandable.

They were sent to a Patent Attorney who drafted some European Patent applications for them.

When I got them back, I did not understand a single word of the technical description of my inventions. Not a word.

I accept that I am not a lawyer. And a lawyer is not an engineer.

However ...

 

Whnen Ive sat and gone thru ~5 patent applications, Id expect the lawyer used to be a bit more clued up on patent law.

Unless you are using proper, trained and experienced patent lawyers, getting the GC on stuff like just just turns out to be make work/CV tick boxing for lawyers.

 

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1 hour ago, spygirl said:

I accept that I am not a lawyer. And a lawyer is not an engineer.

However ...

 

Whnen Ive sat and gone thru ~5 patent applications, Id expect the lawyer used to be a bit more clued up on patent law.

Unless you are using proper, trained and experienced patent lawyers, getting the GC on stuff like just just turns out to be make work/CV tick boxing for lawyers.

 

Trademarks and patents - don't go near lawyers, use the appropriate specialists.

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Patents yes, NDAs no. I despise lawyers now. I am contractually obligated to use a sellers' solicitors at the moment for some loan note obligations and consequently paying £15-20k a year to have some templates recycled once a quarter. About £100k for them over 6 years. As a simple guy whose skill is wheeling and dealing and knows chemicals I was totally naïve to the costs of doing business with lawyers in honesty. A few occasions where I have literally fell off my chair when a bill has landed...£30k for that? But sometimes you need to learn the hard way. I now only engage them when I absolutely have to. I take the view with most legal docs if they are ever actually needed you are f**ked anyway, as the only persons winning then is not you or the other side...but the lawyers. So a basic template even if it has holes in it is merely a formal recognition of the trust/arrangements you have with another party. That is what business hinges on, when the trust is gone and the contracts get dusted off, as I say, I think you've already lost whether it be water-tight or not. 

Also learned to get wise to mission creep as well. Where you ask a lawyer to do one thing and the £££ light up in their eyes and they start extending the brief to "protect" you more so than instructed...not protect you from their fees mind. They need to be shot down very quickly, firmly and clearly as they can be very crafty in sneaking in s**t you didn't ask for then pretending it was agreed.

Edited by SillyBilly
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