Canada: Patent Law Year In Review: Oil And Gas (2013)

In 2013 the Federal Court experienced a surge in patent infringement actions. Whereas 48 patent infringement actions were filed in 2012, that number rose to 101 in 2013.1 Part of that increase came about because of growth in the oil and gas patent infringement sector. Put simply, oil and gas companies were more agressive at enforcing their patent rights in 2013.

This blog is a review of oil and gas patent litigation in the year 2013. Specifically, we review each of the decided Federal Court cases released during the past calendar year, and provide an overview of the newly filed Federal Court cases in the oil and gas industry.

Before diving into the review, a quick note is warranted on the selection of Federal Court cases to the exclusion of provincial cases. This methodology was selected for both practical and pragmatic reasons.

On the practical side, reviewing Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal filings and decisions is straigthforward. Each Court maintains a searchable website which allows for quick identification of patent cases in the oil and gas sector.2 There is no good way to uncover all provincially filed cases because the provinces do not maintain similar searchable database of filed cases.

From a pragmatic standpoint, the strong majority of cases (if not all) will be filed in the Federal Court for the following three reasons:

  • Actions, if granted in the Federal Court, have nationwide scope and are not limited to the jurisdiction of whatever province decided the case. Accordingly, an injunction granted by the Federal Court can prevent activity from taking place anywhere in Canada, whereas an injunction granted by a provincial Judge will only have provincial scope.
  • The Federal Court has experienced judges who deal regularly with patent cases. Their familiarity with the law, and counsel's familiarity with the Federal Court, make it the go-to option for lawyers.
  • The Federal Court is typically able to process patent cases much faster than their provincial counterparts. Litigants in the Federal Court can reasonably expect to have a trial date set for about two years from the date the case was filed. In contrast, securing motion dates in the province of Ontario, for instance, can take in excess of six months. Plaintiffs typically want a quick resolution, and the Federal Court is the favored jurisdiction to achieve it.

Each of the filings and decisions described below are Federal Court cases.

New Filings

Of the 101 patent infringement cases filed in the Federal Court in 2013, 12 related generally to oil and gas technology.3 This represented a substantial increase over 2012 where only 5 oil and gas patent infringement actions were filed.4 The 2013 cases are:5

  • Canadian Natural Resources Limited et al v. Noralta Technologies Inc. – T-16-13
  • Trican Well Service Ltd. v. Interra Energy Services Ltd. – T-257-13
  • Zero Spill Systems (Intl) Inc. et al v. 1284897 Alberta Ltd. et al – T-286-13
  • Advantage Products Inc. et al v. Premium Artivicial Lift Systems Ltd. – T-455-13
  • Oil Lift Technology Inc. v. Domino Machine Inc. - T-754-13
  • Oil Lift Technology Inc. v. Seabord Canada Inc. - T-756-13
  • Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. v. Canuck Completions Ltd. – T-1202-13
  • Nov Downhold Eurasia Limited et al v. TLL Oilfield Consulting Ltd. et al – T-1280-13
  • C. Steven Skies et al v. Encana Corporation et al - T-1345-13
  • Newsco Directional Support Services et al v. Drill-Tek MWD Services Ltd. - T-1524-13
  • Newsco Directional Support Services et al v. Pulse Directional Technologies - T-1668-13
  • Packers Plus Energy Services Inc. v. Essential Energy Services Ltd. et al - T-1741-13

Of these 12 cases, seven were filed in Toronto,6 three were filed in Calgary,7 and two were filed in Ottawa.8 The concentration of cases filed in Toronto is explained by the fact that lawyers typically file cases in the closest office, and Toronto has the largest concentration of patent litigators in Canada. The filing location is largely irrelevant, though it may dictate which Prothonotary is assigned to case manage the action (if any).9 The filing location is not believed to affect the assignment of the Judge.

Practitioners use the phrase "oil and gas" to describe a wide variety of technologies. Though mechanical engineering lies at the heart of many inventions in this sector, the application of those inventions can be quite varied. For example, the 12 cases filed in 2013 can generally be sub-categorized into the following areas:

  • Downhole tool technology – 7 cases
  • Environmental cleanup – 2 cases
  • Wellbore treatment – 2 cases
  • Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") – 1 case

Despite the range of applications for these cases, they will each ultimately be decided based on the application of patent law which generally, though not exclusively, is the same regardless of the technology at issue.10

Decided Cases

Two significant patent infringement decisions were released in 2013 that dealt with technology squarely in the oil and gas sector. Those decisions are:

  1. Varco Canada Ltd. v. Pason Systems Corp. et al, 2013 FC 750 ("Varco")
  2. Zero Spill Systems (Int'l) Inc. et al v. 614248 Alberta Ltd. (c.o.b. Lea-Der Coatings) et al, 2013 FC 616 ("Zero Spill")

Below we review these decisions and provide a takeaway comment on matters of interest for future patent litigation in the oil and gas sector.

(a) Varco

The Varco case was a patent infringement action brought in respect of Canadian Patent No. 2,094,313 (the "'313 Patent"). The Plaintiff ("Varco") alleged that the Defendants ("Pason") infringed the '313 Patent by making, selling, renting and exporting the "Pason AutoDriller". The Pason AutoDriller is a directional and horizontal autodrill that used drilling fluid pressure in order to control the drill. It was developed by Pason with knowledge of Varco's autodrill (the "Wildcat") and despite advice from a Canadian patent agent that its device may infringe certain claims of the '313 Patent (if they were valid, which he doubted).

The '313 Patent is "focused on automatic drilling systems used in drilling rigs to regulate the release of a drill string during the drilling of a borehole."11 It claims an automatic drilling system that uses drilling fluid pressure to allow for directional drilling.

The '313 Patent was drafted to protect Varco's Wildcat drill, which was developed over a disputed period of time but tested on at least three occasions prior the filing of the patent application leading to the '313 Patent.12 That chronology factored heavily into Pason's allegation that the '313 Patent was anticipated by the prior disclosure of the Wildcat (or, early versions of the Wildcat). That allegation of invalidity (and all others) was rejected. Justice Phelan held that the '313 Patent was both valid and infringed.

The question of infringement rested on the Court's construction of claims 1, 11 and 14 of the '313 Patent and the Court's preference for the evidence of Varco's expert over Pason's expert. Though no evidence of direct infringement was cited by Justice Phelan in his reasons, he explains that Pason's inducement of infringement (based on the sales of the Pason AutoDriller, manuals, instructions and training) was not seriously disputed.13

Of interest on infringement was the fact that Pason shipped its AutoDriller not only within Canada but also abroad. Because patents are territorial, a live issue was whether Pason's shipments of the AutoDriller abroad infringed any claims of the '313 Patent. Justice Phelan held that "[t]he method claims, Claims 11 and 14, are infringed outside of Canada and are not directly protected by this Court's jurisdiction."14 Regardless, Justice Phelan held that Pason had infringed claim 1 because it was a product claim and because the sale of the infringing product occurs in Canada.15

Pason alleged that the claims of the '313 Patent were invalid for the following reasons:

  • Anticipation by prior disclosure (prior art);
  • Anticipation by public use of the Wildcat (or, early versions);
  • Obviousness;
  • Inutility;
  • Overbreadth; and
  • Deemed abandonment / bad faith.

As mentioned above, each of these attacks were rejected. A brief analysis follows:

  • Anticipation by prior disclosure (prior art): Two patents and a paper were each alleged to be anticipatory, though all were held to lack elements of the claimed invention. Interestingly, Justice Phelan noted that the"Le Compte patent" had been around since 1932 but that nobody had seen fit to use it to develop a directional autodrill as claimed. Justice Phelan's reasons suggest that the Court may find older references less compelling for invalidating a subsequent, commercially successful invention.
  • Anticipation by public use of the Wildcat: It was undisputed that the inventor (Mr. Bowden) allowed versions of the Wildcat to be tested prior to filing his patent application. There were no confidentiality provisions associated with those prior uses. Justice Phelan held that "[t]here is no evidence that seeing the Wildcat metal box or even the dials for WOB and pressure would disclosure sufficient information for a Skilled Person to know how the device controlled the drill string and reacted to the two parameters. Access to the inner workings was precluded by Bowden locking the device in his absence."16 In so finding, Justice Phelan distinguished the trial decision in Wenzel Downhole Tools (though it is unclear from the reasons whether he was directed to the Federal Court of Appeal's decision which dealt directly with this issue).17 In addition, Justice Phelan suggested that the "experimental use" exception would have assisted Varco since the testing "was necessary to determine if the invention worked."18
  • Obviousness: The issue was whether it was obvoius from the prior art to modify existing drills to become a pressure-sensing automatic driller.19 Similar to Justice Phelan's analysis with respect to anticipation, the passage of time and the fact that nobody else had "even came close to what Bowden invented" seems to have played a critical role in the outcome.20
  • Inutility: The key issue of inutility related to an admitted error in the language of claims 9 and 10. Justice Phelan held that the skilled person would have recognized the error and made the necessary correction. Accordingly, Pason's inutiity allegation was rejected. Of note, after Pason had made its inutility allegation in this leadup to this case, Varco had applied ex parte to the Commissioner of Patents to correct the claim language. Justice Phelan was specifically critical of Plaintiffs' counsel's conduct, though it did not factor into his decision.21
  • Overbreadth: Justice Phelan dismissed Pason's allegation for the reasons he articulated under his inutility.22 No further analysis is provided.
  • Deemed Abandonment: Justice Phelan relied heavily on the fact that the US equivalent of the '313 Patent had not been invalidated for "fraud on the patent office" despite the more stringent requirements imposed on US patent agents.23 Justice Phelan specifically declined to "go down the US route of 'inequitable conduct'".24

Takeaway

Pason seemed to place heavy reliance on a theory of the case required the the Court to hold that Mr. Bowden was a liar and had given false testimony in order to account for insurmountable problems in his case. Though Justice Phelan seemed troubled at times with gaps or favourable shading in Mr. Bowden's testimony, Justice Phelan held that "his story remained generally consistent, plausible and credible."25 That finding seems to have played a determinate role in the outcome of the case, particularly in answering Pason's allegation of anticipation by prior use.

Pason's complaint that the invention was anticipated by prior disclosure would have been addressed had Mr. Bowden required that companies sign confidentiality agreements when testing the early versions of his Wildcat. Inventors are well advised to take such steps when developing potential inventions, and to be mindful of the 1-year grace period (no more) afforded to inventors who disclose their inventions prior to filing.

(b) Zero Spill

The Zero Spill case generally relates to products designed to capture fluids (oil) leaking from a drilling rig. Three patents and one industrial design were at issue. At trial the Plaintiffs' action was dismissed,26 while the counterclaim by 1284897 Alberta Ltd. seeking a declaration that Canadian Patent Nos. 2,166,265 (the "'265 Patent") and 2,258,064 (the "'064 Patent") are invalid was granted. Justice Barnes' order has been appealed.27

Below is a review of Justice Barnes' decision with respect to each of the patents (two are mentioned above, the third is Canadian Patent No. 2,136,375 (the "'375 Patent")) and Industrial Design No. 86793.

'064 Patent

The '064 Patent relates generally to a containment tray that is mounted lower on the central stack of an oil well. The containment tray is formed by attaching sections of the tray to the central stack of an oil well or drilling rig. The claimed trays are designed to capture fluid falling from above and to drain the fluid for storage.

The '064 Patent was held to be invalid for three reasons:

  • Anticipation by publication: Two prior patents were held to anticipate the claims of the '064 Patent.28 Justice Barnes held that "[b]oth of those patents describe divisible fluid containment trays that are fixed to a wellhead pipe beneath a well floor with a sealed flange."29 Of the Plaintiffs' written argument disputing these prior patents, Justice Barnes held that it "does not answer the obvious fact that both patents achieve the same purpose by exactly the same means."30
  • Anticipation by prior use: Justice Barnes received testimony from industry witnesses who testified to the use of containment trays "that came in many shapes and sizes and employed a variety of connection and sealing methods."31 The Defendants' expert Mr. Thicke's evidence on this point was preferred to that of Mr. Wallace who testified on behalf of the Plaintiffs. Those prior uses were held to be anticipatory.
  • Obviousness: Justice Barnes held that "[t]here is nothing innovative about a sectional fluid containment tray attached to the central stack of an oil well or drilling rig",32 which is essentially what the inventor claimed. Furthermore, Justice Barnes, preferring Mr. Thicke's evidence, held that "there is nothing about the design or fit up of the 064 Patent lower tray that would not have been obvious to a person of skill long before July 7, 2000."33

The claims of the '064 Patent were also held to be not infringed by the Defendants' lower tray (the "Rat Plastic" lower tray). Each of the claims refers to coupling of "mating" and "non-mating" edges to form a single containment cavity.34 The Rat Plastic tray did not infringe the claims of the '064 Patent because it employs two separately drained containment trans and because the trays "abut but do not mate."35 The Rat Plastic tray also did not infringe because the claims were construed to be "confined to the use of the apparatus on a developed oil well where the problem is one of leaking oil and not drilling fluids."36 The "uncontradicted evidence" was that the Defendants had not offered the lower containment trays for use on completed oil wells.37

'375 Patent

The '375 Patent relates generally to an upper containment tray that moves telescopically relative to a fixed annular seal.38 The term "telescopically" refers to the capacity for axial movement of the tray within the limits or stops of the sealing area of the tray collar.39 Justice Barnes held that the claims of the '375 Patent refer to the capacity of the containment tray to "self-adjust without the seal between the tray and the flow nipple flange being compromised."40

Justice Barnes held that the '375 Patent was not rendered invalid by anticipation or obviousness (the only invalidity allegations addressed by Justice Barnes in respect of the '375 Patent). Justice Barnes held that "as far as I can tell from the evidence" the seal described by the '375 Patent was simple but unique to the inventors' application.41 Though telescopic seals were known in the prior art, Justice Barnes held that "that knowledge pertained to either different applications or to seals that were more complex in design."42

Justice Barnes held that the Defendants' products (the "Stealth" system and the "Rat Plastic" upper tray) did not infringe the claims of the '375 Patent. The solution taught and claimed in the '375 Patent required a tight seal to be maintained at all times between the descending tray collar and the flow nipple flange.43 That seal "is achieved using a flexible gasket or rubber seal held securely in place within a channel in the flow nipple flange."44 The Defendants' products did not employ the solution taught and claimed in the '375 Patent, but rather employed solutions that were "much closer in design to some of the examples of prior use described by the industry witnesses and in the prior art".45

'265 Patent

The '265 Patent was not asserted by the Plaintiffs at trial, but was the subject of a counterclaim seeking a declaration of invalidity. The counterclaim was granted on the basis that the '265 Patent was invalid for being obvious.46 Justice Barnes held that the "slight" differences between the prior art and the method described in the '265 Patent involved no inventive ingenuity but rather involved routine adaptations.47

Industrial Design

The final matter with respect to liability involves the Plaintiffs' allegation that certain "CAPP line pipe trays" infringed the '793 Design. Justice Barnes' decision on this issue is notable if for no other reason than industrial design decisions are relatively rare as compared with patent decisions.

Justice Barnes noted the similarities between the Defendants' trays and the '793 Design;48 however, the design of the Defendants' trays was driven by functional considerations. The impugned trays did not trade on the aesthetic features of the design.49 Notably, Justice Barnes held that "[w]hen an industrial design incorporates fundamentally functional features even small differences in ornamentation can be sufficient to take the secondn design out of the ambit of an earlier design registration."50 Justice Barnes held that the differences between the impugned trays and the design were sufficient to defeat the Plaintiffs' infringement allegation.51

Takeaway

Ultimately, the Zero Spill decision hinged largely on Justice Barnes' construction of the claims at issue. Though the technology was relatively straightforward, Justice Barnes did receive testimony from experts in the field. Justice Barnes' receipt of evidence from persons in the field, and his reliance on that evidence to establish prior use, is notable given the often close-knit nature of inventors and engineers in the industry and their efforts to keep abreast of and build upon new ideas.

Footnotes

1. http://www.ippractice.ca/litigation-statistics/intellectual-property-proceedings-in-federal-court-for-2013/

2. See: http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/portal/page/portal/fc_cf_en/Index and http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/portal/page/portal/fca-caf_eng

3. Predictably, the majority of infringement actions filed in 2012 related to pharmaceuticals.

4. T-573-12, T-900-12, T-1253-12, T-2074-12, T-2241-12. An appeal was also filed, see A-61-12.

5. Full disclosure: we are counsel of record for the Defendants, Plaintiffs by Counterclaim, in T-286-13, T-1524-13 and T-1668-13.

6. T-16-13, T-257-13, T-286-13, T-455-13, T-1202-13, T-1280-13, T-1741-13

7. T-1345-13, T-1524-13, T-1668-13

8. T-754-13, T-756-13

9. For example, the actions filed in Ottawa are case managed by Prothonotary Tabib; while Prothonotary Aalto and Prothonotary Milczynski are case managing cases filed in Toronto. Note that Prothonotary Lafreniere appears to be case managing Court File No. T-16-13, filed in Toronto. However, that action has a connection to Alberta since the Statement of Defence and Counterclaim was filed in Edmonton.

10. One difference is as follows: Section 27(3)(c) of the Patent Act applies to machines (not, for example, pharmaceuticals) and requires that the inventor must, in the patent specification, "explain the principle of the machine and the best mode in which the inventor has contemplated the application of that principle".

11. Varco, para. 1

12. Ibid., para. 47-66

13. Ibid., paras. 250-256

14. Ibid., para. 266

15. Ibid., para. 266

16. Ibid., para. 297

17. Ibid., para. 300. Note that we were counsel for Wenzel Downhole Tools Ltd. before the Federal Court of Appeal though not at trial.

18. Ibid., para. 304

19. Ibid., para. 314

20. Ibid., para. 319-321

21. Ibid., para. 338

22. Ibid., para. 340

23. Ibid., paras. 348-352

24. Ibid., para. 364

25. Ibid., para. 38

26. The third patent at issue, Canadian Patent No. 2,136,375, was declared valid.

27. A-293-13

28. They were the Schuyler Patent (U.S. Pat. No. 1,507,628) and the Gayaut Patent.

29. Zero Spill, para. 117

30. Ibid

31. Ibid., para. 118

32. Ibid., para. 114

33. Ibid., para. 118

34. Ibid., paras. 105 and 120

35. Ibid., para. 120

36. Ibid., para. 121

37. Ibid., para. 121

38. Ibid., para. 76

39. Ibid.

40. Ibid.

41. Ibid., para. 84

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid., para. 88

44. Ibid., para. 88

45. Ibid., para. 90

46. Ibid., para. 137-140

47. Ibid., para. 139

48. Ibid., paras. 126 and 129

49. Ibid., paras. 133-135

50. Ibid., para. 135. See also Carr-Harris Products Ltd., v. Reliance Products Ltd. (1969) 58 C.P.R. 62 at 84 (F.C.)

51. Ibid.

To view original article, please click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions