Carrying out my professional responsibilities requires that I collect, use and store personal data. In accordance with Articles 12 und 13 of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the following sections provide information regarding the purpose and legal basis for collecting personal information, the recipients of personal data and the transmittal, duration and scope of storage of such data as well as your rights pertaining to such use and storage.
Purpose and Legal Basis for Data Handling
Carrying out a mandate, such as providing legal advice, assisting with contract negotiations, applying for patent protection and contesting third party patents, requires collecting, storing and using personal data according to the GDPR. These activities are permitted by Art. 6, para. 1(c), GDPR to satisfy contractual obligations arising from the attorney-client relationship. Any use of personal data extending beyond this purpose shall take place only with express consent according to Art. 6, para. 1(a), GDPR.
Data Recipients and Data Transmittal
Carrying out mandates involving steps before an authority require the transmittal of personal data to public authorities, such as domestic and foreign patent authorities, international treaty organizations for intellectual property, mediation or arbitration bodies, and courts of law. In particular, patent authorities require transmittal of identifying information pertaining to patent owners, patent applicants and inventors for claimed inventions.
I use domestic and foreign service providers in accordance with Art. 28 GDPR. In particular, I involve attorneys at law, patent attorneys, patent agents, and patent and information technology (IT) service providers to carry out my contractual, legal and professional duties. These persons are bound to maintain confidentiality in compliance with data protection provisions either due to their respective rules for professional conduct or through a separate confidentiality agreement.
Criteria for Setting the Duration of Data Storage
Under the rules of professional conduct applicable to my practice as a patent attorney and attorney at law, I am empowered and obligated to store data collected in the course of my representation for specific time periods which extend beyond the time period during which services were provided. According to § 50, para. 1 of the rules for professional conduct of the German Chamber of Attorneys at Law (BRAO), I am required to maintain the files used to carry out the mandate for six (6) years measured from the end of the calendar year in which the mandate was concluded. When representing a patent owner or patent applicant, I am obligated to maintain the data used to carry out the mandate at least six (6) years beyond the date on which the patent expires, or is no longer in force, leaving no rights or patent disputes outstanding.
Personal data for which the above terms have expired and storage of which is not required under a rule for professional conduct, after cessation of the reason for collection and storage, are routinely deleted.
Under Art. 15 GDPR, you are entitled to request confirmation whether personal data has been collected and how that data is being used and stored. You are also entitled to correction of your personal data (Art. 17 GDPR) and, after expiration of the last to expire retention period, deletion of your personal data (Art. 17 GDPR).
In addition, you may withdraw your consent to use your personal data at any time in accordance with Art. 6, para. 1(a) GDPR. Withdrawal of consent has no effect on acts based on consent that took place prior to the withdrawal of consent.
In accordance with the statutory provisions, you can invoke the following rights: The right to limit processing (Art. 19 GDPR), the right to data transferability (Art. 20 GDPR), the right to object against data processing (Art. 21 GDPR) and the right to lodge a complaint with the regulatory authority (Art. 77 GDPR).