Faculty supports cross-border IP confidentiality

07 Mar


The Faculty has underscored a need to protect confidentiality between intellectual property (IP) advisors and their clients in cross-border cases.

A questionnaire on cross-border aspects of client/patent attorney privilege (CAP) asked if there was a need to protect communications between IP professionals and clients.

In its response to the Intellectual Property Office, the Faculty stated: “There is such a need.  Clients should feel confident that any communications they have with their IP professional advisors (whether they be lawyers or non-lawyers) are protected not only under Scots law but also under the law in other jurisdictions.”

It added: “As the potential for cross-border disputes concerning intellectual property increases, clients should not be hampered in obtaining proper legal advice because of concerns as to whether their communications will be properly protected or not.”

The Faculty said that, in principle, a multilateral agreement would be a good thing, but it identified a number of potential pitfalls which “would have to be carefully worked through before an agreement of real utility could be formulated.”

For example, the agreement ought to clarify, not obscure, matters, the Faculty submitted, and the protection it afforded ought not to be so limited in scope that it effectively eroded protection under national law.