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AIPPI to appear before UK Supreme Court

AIPPI’s UK Group has intervened in a prominent case pending before the UK Supreme Court, AIPPI deputy reporter general Nicola Dagg told the Executive Committee this week

The case, R v Special Commissioners of Income Tax ex p Prudential, will determine whether advice from non-lawyers can benefit from legal professional privilege.

The hearing is on 6 November 2012, with a judgment expected early next year. AIPPI UK’s intervention focuses on protecting the already-existing statutory privilege that covers the work of patent and trade mark attorneys. In the UK, as in many other jurisdictions, patent and trade mark attorneys are a distinct profession from lawyers (solicitors and barristers) and are governed by different laws.

AIPPI UK’s intervention is believed to be the first from a non-profit body since the Supreme Court took over from the House of Lords in 2009. The Court consists of 12 judges and cases are normally beard by panels of three or five.

AIPPI UK is represented, pro bono, by the law firm Gowlings and barrister Michael Edenborough QC.

Client-attorney privilege is the subject of AIPPI Question 199, which considered the topic of privilege for patent and trade mark attorneys as well as other groups. The special committee recommended finding bilateral or multilateral solutions and made a number of submissions to WIPO.

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