Computer circuit board

On electronic communication

In light of the ongoing, worldwide debate on cybercrime which even seems to have had impacts on the presidential election in the USA, we would like to draw your attention to the following important information:

In our practice as patent attorneys as well, traditional communication forms such as conventional mail or facsimile are noticeably in the process of being overtaken by electronic communication via the internet.

On the one hand, this is to be welcomed as the communication is facilitated and accelerated and last not least for reasons of environmental protection. Furthermore, relevant intellectual property matters can often be presented in a particularly significant manner by means of electronic documents (i.e. drawings or presentations). In most cases, the electronic communication also facilitates the further processing in our patent law firm. Even Patent Offices increasingly support the filing of documents by electronic means only. On the other hand, for the sake of good order, at this point we would like to draw your attention to some risks presented by electronic communication:

You will certainly be aware that data transfer via the internet (e.g. by communicating via email) may be subject to security breaches. A complete data protection against access through third parties is not possible, at least not in the case of an unencrypted data transfer via the internet. In this context, the email has often been compared to a postcard in order to clearly illustrate that its content can be easily visible and accessible to everyone. You certainly would not send a postcard containing relevant information regarding intellectual property!

We encourage you to use our keys or certificates

We must therefore urgently point out that we cannot assume any liability for the confidentiality of information you send us by unencrypted email. Nevertheless, there is no reason to turn back the clock on these grounds and to reactivate less advanced forms of communication. Today, anyone can easily send encrypted emails using PGP or S/MIME. Sending encrypted emails offers considerable advantages over sending encrypted email attachments only as, e.g., no separate password needs to be transferred. Beyond that, emails with encrypted attachments are often filtered out by virus scanners.

We therefore strongly recommend using the keys or certificates available on our website under “contacts” for communicating with us via encrypted email. Once having received your first encrypted communication, our email system will automatically go on using the same encryption method in all future communication. In this way, your ideas already enjoy protection on their way to us.

Should you have any questions in this regard, please feel free to contact us.

This article was written by:
Henrik Nuebold
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