Privilege Project

History of the Privilege Project

The leading edge of AIPPI’s work and effectiveness is identifying and implementing positive changes in relation to IP and its application, globally. This History by Michael Dowling reveals and records AIPPI’s outstanding contributions (mainly but not only by Q199) in advancing the law on the protection of IP professional advice from forcible disclosure. You can go directly to the History at the bottom of this page. It starts from AIPPI’s Resolution Q163 in 2003 which was, in effect, that the protection from forcible disclosure of IP professional advice to clients of IP patent and trade marks attorneys, should be equal to the protection of their professional advice from patent and trade marks lawyers. The History traverses the substantial activities of AIPPI and WIPO from 2003 and it ends as at 31 December, 2019.  Based on the work done by AIPPI and WIPO in relation to the protection over 17 years, the Project is continuing mainly now in support of Group B+ nations considering a multilateral agreement on the protection to apply across borders.

The History deals with what AIPPI did in effecting these advances including by the efforts of numerous members of AIPPI who have been involved in the Project. It describes the law involved, the events which occurred, the involvement of other IP NGO’s with AIPPI, WIPO and governments, the decisions made by all the foregoing, and the outcomes of their efforts. It reflects the complexities of making changes in IP law, globally. The History comprises 150 pages and it has 140 Attachments.

AIPPI and its National Groups have many achievements in this Project which are reported by and recorded in, the History. In terms of AIPPI’s leading edge referred to above, where has the law relating to the protection, been changed? With the assistance of WIPO, and related IP NGOs including FICPI and AIPLA, AIPPI has influenced changes in the law relating to the protection in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the USA. That is 10 in all comprising 4 common law and 6 civil law countries, and the Project goes on.

The document is easy to navigate if you follow these directions.

  • In the Prelude, four references to Annexes are linked to the respective Annex by clicking on the reference to it. Annex 3 summarises main events in the History providing a rapid overview of the whole Project.
  • The Table of Contents provides a guide to the content of the History. A click on a Section heading in the Table of Contents takes you to that Section in the History.
  • On each page of the History, in the bottom left-hand corner, is the word ‘Contents’. Clicking on this will take you back to the Table of Contents.
  • The Attachments open in a new window whenever you click on ‘Attachment’. Click on the ‘X’ in the tag for the ‘Privilege Project’ at the top of the page in the opened Attachment, to get back to the relevant part of the text.

We hope you will enjoy reading The History of the Privilege Project. You are invited to send us feedback by emailing publications[at]

Michael Dowling

AIPPI – Members of Honour.