In the context of the digital law activities conducted at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva, an informal discussion and exchange session was organized on the theme of access to technical data (i.e. non-personal data) on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, the eve of the annual Intellectual Property Law Day 2020, which was devoted to the theme Intellectual Property and Big Data / Blockchain (www.jdpi.ch). This session brought together experts from the public sector (active in international, national or cantonal public institutions), the private sector and the academic world (foreign and Swiss).
This session was part of the work and reflections taking place in Switzerland under the aegis of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) following the Federal Council's decision of October 30 (see press release) which states that: "Researchers, companies and civil society have an interest in having the freest possible access to technical data from private companies and organizations. The Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), in collaboration with other offices, will therefore analyze the current situation in Switzerland and abroad and formulate proposals to eliminate obstacles. In addition to the compulsory licensing system mentioned by the expert group, it will also examine other solutions for access to technical data. The IPI report should be available by March 2021.
In this context, the discussion focused in particular on the desirability of introducing a system of compulsory licences / FRAND licences as a means of access to technical data, as proposed by an expert group set up on the future of data processing and data security (cf. Report, in particular pages 104-107; cf. the press release at the time).
The session thus provided a valuable opportunity to share experiences on the subject of access to technical data from an international, regional and national perspective.
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