Delegation of the European Union to the

UN and other international organisations in Geneva

EU Statement: Standing Committee on the Law of Patents 29th Session (WIPO, Geneva, 3 - 6 December 2018) - Confidentiality of communications between clients and their patent advisors

Geneva, 11/12/2018 - 10:44, UNIQUE ID: 181211_13
Statements on behalf of the EU

EU Statement: Standing Committee on the Law of Patents 29th Session (WIPO, Geneva, 3 - 6 December 2018) - Confidentiality of communications between clients and their patent advisors

1.The EU and its Member States would like to sincerely thank the Secretariat for the document SCP/29/5 as well as a summary of this document  “Confidentiality of Communications between Clients and Their Patent Advisors: Compilation of Laws, Practices and Other Information”. In the SCP we have to deal with large and numerous documents. Thus a competent an efficient summary is always welcome.

2. The document provides a very good overview of the current state of the discussion. On the outset let me emphasize that we consider the Client Attorney Privilege as a topic which deserves serious attention.

3. Patent applicants or owners need to be able to receive legal advice cross-border without the risk of forced disclosure of the communication received from their patent advisors. Both the absence of national regulations and/or lack of clarity may seriously hamper the needed cooperation between client and patent advisor.

4. Companies and trade relations are becoming more and more globalised. The same holds true for inventors and the fate of their inventions. Thus, cross-border confidentiality in the communication of globally acting clients and patent advisors must be something stakeholders have to rely on. We sincerely hope the discussion in the SCP will let us advance with regard to this problem how to ensure sufficient confidentiality in the process of making benefit from invention.

5. While we acknowledge the need of some flexibility in different law systems, we think the SCP may contribute to increase the awareness of this problem and the growing demand from practitioners to solve it. While we are open to learn about alternatives to reach a solution we think that a soft law approach is one promising way to achieve this goal.

 

Thank you

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