I am speaking on behalf the European Union and its Member States. We would like to thank the Chairs, the WIPO secretariat and the members of the Committee of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents for the smooth work and progress made since the last General Assembly. There have been constructive discussions and developments on the five main topics on the agenda of the SCP, i.e. 1) the quality of patents; 2) client-attorney privilege; 3) exceptions and limitations to patent rights; 4) transfer of technology, and 5) patents and health.
The quality of patents including opposition systems is of particular importance to us. High quality patents can guarantee the proper balance between the interests of inventors, industry and other stakeholders on one hand and of the society on the other hand. We will continue to advance and contribute to this work, in particular the topic of AI. Apart from the mere technical quality of patents, we continue to believe that the SCP should also serve as a venue for discussions about the existing differences of patent law systems and substantive patent law in the future.
The EU and its Member States attach great importance to the topic of client-patent attorney privilege, in particular the recognition of foreign patent advisors’ privilege. We are of the opinion that the same protection should be given to communications between a client and its foreign patent advisor as is applicable under national law between a client and its national patent attorney. We look forward to continuing discussion on this topic in the coming sessions.
In addition, the information exchange regarding patent provisions that support technology transfer is of high interest for us, keeping in mind that the SCP should avoid duplicating the efforts of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) in this respect.
Intellectual property rights such as patents incentivize innovation and lead to new and improved treatments, thus contributing to better health for all. During the last year, the SCP has addressed the topic of patents and health extensively. We welcome the work of the Committee in the field of capacity building activities, notably in the area of negotiations of licensing agreements. Capacity building, increasing transparency and awareness raising are promising initiatives that can help foster uptake of innovations to benefit of all. With respect to the mandate of the SCP, we would like to recall that we cannot go beyond its mandate and that we need to continue to reflect a balanced approach, taking into account the various factors of relevance to patents and health.
While the European Union and its Member States regard all topics on the agenda of the Committee important, we would like to reiterate our special interest in enhancing international cooperation and improving the technical knowledge on patentability requirements. Ensuring a more efficient, effective and higher quality patent system in all Member States is a way to remove trade obstacles and contribute to economic prosperity.
The European Union and its Member States are committed to contribute to the work of the Committee in accordance with the agreed work plan of the future meetings. We look forward to continuing the interesting discussions and information sharing in the SCP and hope to achieve tangible results in the future.