If something went wrong: Professional Liability Insurance IPRISK for epi members

Information from C. Quintelier, Chair of the epi Working Group on Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) and P. R. Thomsen, Treasurer of epi

For European Patent Attorneys working in private practice it is important to have a Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) which covers for financial claims filed by (former) clients due to asserted mistakes or shortcomings of the professional activities of a patent attorney. Even for those European Patent Attorneys working in industry, a professional liability insurance can be useful for those activities carried out for external clients being not related to the employer. That may also be the reason why in some EPC countries, e.g. UK and Germany, it has become a requirement under national law to have a professional liability insurance for nationally qualified patent attorneys. However, there are other countries where no insurance product is offered to cover specifically the typical professional activities of patent attorneys.

As already announced in epi Information 3/2017, epi has signed a framework agreement with the insurer Lloyds and the broker RMS aiming at providing to epi members the insurance product IPRISK, which constitutes a professional liability insurance specifically designed for the typical activities of an epi member. Under the framework agreement an individual epi member, or the European patent attorney’s firm, can conclude such an insurance with standard terms negotiated by epi with RMS and Lloyds. In some countries a professional liability insurance for nationally qualified patent attorneys must be recognized by a special institution. epi is for instance currently working with IPREG, the regulator for nationally qualified patent attorneys in the UK, to have IPRISK recognized so that it can be offered as single professional liability insurance solution for epi members who are also nationally qualified UK patent attorneys. If similar accreditation is necessary in your EPC country the epi Working Group on the PLI would be very grateful to receive more detailed information from our interested members.

IPRISK is covering all typical activities of a European Patent attorney including but not limited to drafting, prosecution and opposition work of European, but also national or PCT patent applications in EPC-countries. Even trademark and design work can be insured. The amount of the annual premium to be paid will depend on the selected maximum coverage, the deductible (amount you will have to pay from your pocket in case of a claim), the turnover and the number of epi members to be insured. Since launch of the IPRISK in October 2017 inquiries came from 22 different EPC countries and insurances were issued in 10 different countries. From first experience during the last months, it appears that IPRISK is particularly attractive for smaller patent attorney firms. The epi Working Group on PLI is very interested to constantly improve IPRISK together with the insurer and broker and would be happy to receive any hints and input from epi members.

If you are interested in such a professional liability insurance or would like to receive a concrete offer please provide some initial information on a short questionnaire that can be found at http://www.iprisk.management or after log-in on the epi website http://patentepi.org/en/professional-liability-insurance/product-information.html.

For specific questions and suggestions you may also contact RMS directly (RMS Risk Management Service Ltd, Attn. Giuseppe Antonuzzo, Phone: +49 911 5407 688, Email: contact@iprisk.management) or the epi Secretariat under the email address insurance@patentepi.org.