FICPI’s activities have been of great benefit to its members and to the independent “free” profession worldwide.
Without broad international representation of your interests by FICPI, there is a real danger that the interests of IP attorneys in private practice and their clients throughout the World – and indeed the IP attorney profession in general – will fall victim to bureaucratic ambitions and the hegemony of large international business.
Many of FICPI’s efforts have been directed towards maintaining a strong, independent, local profession in the face of efforts to centralise the filing and prosecution of applications in a small number of national and regional offices. Only an international organisation of the scope and stature of FICPI can represent the interests of the private practitioner before national, regional and international bodies. FICPI’s ability to speak for IP attorneys in free practice assists us in achieving our aim to improve the position of individual IP attorneys in all countries.
To date, FICPI has:
- Fought to preserve the right in the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) to have local representation before a patent office. Without FICPI’s efforts, the PLT may have drastically reduced the need for and role of local representatives, which would have been catastrophic to the profession in many countries.
- Supported the retention of local patent offices in the EU Green Paper on patenting in Europe and pushed for decentralisation of the European patent system.
- Lobbied strongly for the retention of translation requirements in Europe, for the benefit of local industry as well as the local professions, their clients and third parties.
- Removed potential liability from private practitioners through frequent interventions in the negotiations leading up to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trade Marks (2006) to provide for the restoration of priority rights.
- Engaged in and turned the debate about patent costs away from criticism of European practitioners.
- Been at the forefront of the drive to encourage the adoption of confidentiality for clients’ correspondence with their IP attorneys where it does not exist, and cross-border recognition of that right. The right of privilege is of utmost importance for the IP profession.
- Worked against the Norwegian Proposal, tabled at the WIPO Madrid Working Group, to remove the requirement for a basic home application, which is fundamental to the Madrid system. FICPI will continue to intervene to ensure that the rights of trade mark owners and the welfare of the profession are not overlooked.
- Organised 6-month patent drafting courses (called SEAD and EuroSEAD) to provide training to young professionals in south east Asia and in Europe. A new course is under development in India.
- Advocated for the right of patent attorneys to represent clients during the drafting of Article 28 of the European Litigation Agreement. FICPI continues to fight for the right of national patent attorneys in Europe to represent clients before Community courts in IP matters.
- Organised meetings for its members and others on topical issues, including a World Congress for all FICPI members every three years, Fora open to all in the intervening years, colloquia with sister organisations to bring the views of FICPI members to the attention of IP office officials and symposia focused on developments in IP issues in Asian countries, including China, Japan, India and Korea.
If you are committed to supporting intellectual property in private practice and bringing value to intellectual property in a wider sense, please click here and complete our membership enquiry form.