Protocol on Privileges and Immunities

The fundamental legal framework for the Nordic Patent Institute is covered by the Agreement on the establishing of the Nordic Patent Institute.

This Agreement which establishes the new PCT authority and charts the course for the further implementation work was signed in July this year. An integral part of the Agreement is the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities.

The purpose of the Protocol is to make the Nordic Patent Institute able to perform its duties and to ensure its employees’ independence. More specifically, the Protocol defines the archives of the Nordic Patent Institute as inviolable, exempts the authority from taxation and establishes certain conditions for the employees concerning social security, immigration, tax etc.

  "The issues we're dealing with in the Protocol are highly theoretical and, at the same time, very practical" says Majbritt Vestergaard, a Danish member of the Legal Team.  

As the Nordic Patent Institute is to reside in Denmark in close proximity to the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, the Protocol relates particularly to local Danish conditions and rules.

The Protocol has been submitted to several authorities for opinion, including the Danish Ministry of Taxation, the National Social Security Agency, the Ministry of the Interior and Health, the Danish Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and various ministries in the other countries. All authorities have studied drafts of the Protocol and responded with comments on the issues in their particular areas of work. This step is crucial to make the actual approval of the Protocol nothing more than a formality.

The final step in completing the Protocol was taken when the Directors of the Icelandic, Norwegian and Danish patent offices signed it in Munich on October 23rd. It will enter into force at the same date as the entry into force of the Agreement.