Canada: Species Of Obviousness

Introduction

Ironically, it is not so obvious as to how to apply the Canadian law of obviousness.

For example, the UK's Windsurfing/Pozzoli1 analytical approach to obviousness, expressly adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2008 in Sanofi,2 asks that one identify "the relevant common general knowledge" of the notional person skilled in the art. Having identified it, neither Windsurfing/Pozzoli nor Sanofi explained what is to be done with it, leaving unclear its use in determining obviousness.

This paper suggests that the obviousness case law reveals two distinct species of obviousness:

(1) Common General Knowledge ("CGK") Obviousness; and

(2) Prior Art Mosaicking Obviousness.

Each specie of obviousness requires a slightly different analytical approach under Canadian case law. Prior art mosaicking obviousness must explain why a particular piece of public prior art is selected to be used or combined with a starting point piece of prior art; CGK obviousness does not, since only CGK is used or combined with any individual piece of prior art. Both species of obviousness use CGK to apply obvious, common generally known combinations or uses to render a new combination or use obvious.

Obviousness 101

The subject-matter defined by a claim in a Canadian patent must not have been obvious to a person skilled in the art or science to which it pertains, having regard to (among other things) information that became available to the public in Canada or elsewhere before the claim date.3

The onus is on the party attacking a patent to establish that a claim is obvious.4 The best question to ask in cross-examination of an expert witness who has stated that the invention would have been obvious, is: "If it was so obvious, then why didn't you think of it?"5. Thus, the expert for the party attacking the claim for obviousness must explain why it would have been obvious to the skilled person. The question "Why?" seeks a reason for the combination (or use together) of prior art elements.

Motivation

One aspect of the "Why?" question is to ask "Why would the skilled person have been motivated to combine or use together those particular pieces of prior art to come up with what is claimed?"

Canadian courts have recognized at least two types of motivation: that of the industry in general ("the climate in the field"6); and that of the notional skilled person and/or the inventor(s) themselves ("...the reason why the claimed inventor made the claimed invention, or ... the reason why one might reasonably expect the hypothetical person of ordinary skill in the art to combine elements of the prior art to come up with the claimed invention.7). With respect to the motivation of the industry, the motivation to combine (or not combine) the prior art necessarily includes the attitudes, trends, prejudices and expectations that existed in the industry at the time8 (both towards and away from that kind of combination or use of prior art).

Likewise, under US law, the need for a reason for the combination or use has been recognized. The US Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit developed the TSM ("teaching, suggestion or motivation") test, under which a patent claim is considered obvious only if there was "some motivation or suggestion to combine the prior art" in the prior art, the nature of the problem, or the [common general] knowledge of a person having ordinary skill in the art.9 In KSR however, the US Supreme Court held that this test is merely a "helpful insight" and not a rigid and mandatory requirement for proving obviousness.10 Nevertheless, KSR requires there to be some "reason" for making the combination of elements:

Often, it will be necessary for a court to look to interrelated teachings of multiple patents; the effects of demands known to the design community or present in the marketplace; and the background knowledge possessed by a person having ordinary skill in the art, all in order to determine whether there was an apparent reason to combine the known elements in the fashion claimed by the patent at issue.11 [emphasis added]

Many other aspects of "motivation" are arguably neutral towards deciding whether the combination would have been obvious and depend heavily on the facts of the case. For example:

  • The desire to find a cure for cancer does not make a resulting cure obvious. If no one else found the cure, this suggests that the cure was inventive.12
  • If everyone was looking in the same area or in the same direction for the solution, perhaps the invention was obvious if only the timing of addressing the problem resulted in the solution being found first by one group.13
  • If only the inventor was seeking the solution, the solution found is not necessarily inventive. The solution may have been the application of a previously known solution within the relevant CGK.14

Specie #1: CGK (Common General Knowledge) Obviousness

The notional skilled person (who is the subject of the obviousness question) is imbued with the CGK in the field of art of the patent: what that person may reasonably be expected to know and be able to look up in a generally accepted reference, or discern from a routine analysis of a material. CGK is merely a subset of the prior art.15 CGK – in whatever field of applied science or technology – includes known solutions or improvements to common problems, as well as the motivations described above: the attitudes, trends, prejudices and expectations that existed in the industry.16 CGK is the skilled person's toolbox, acquired through academic and practical training, ready and available to be applied in all circumstances.

It is trite law that no one is entitled to get a patent on an obvious improvement to any existing, publicly known article or method ("the prior art"). Justice Locke summarized the law succinctly:

"[I]n order to obtain a valid patent, it is not enough for a skilled person simply to make an obvious change to what is known in the art. This principle should apply to any information that was available to the public, even if it would not have been located in a diligent search. For example, should a skilled person be able to obtain a valid patent by simply searching a dusty corner of a public library for a document that describes a forgotten invention and making an obvious change to it?"17

The obvious answer to Justice Locke's rhetorical question is, "No".

All inventions start somewhere. For convenience, any publicly available piece of prior art will be referred to as the "starting point prior art". Any starting point prior art can be improved inventively or obviously. As pointed out by Justice Locke, an obvious change to the starting point prior art is not patentable.

When solutions or improvements are found "directly and without difficulty", they are obvious.18 One form of obvious improvement is to re-use common, predictable, already known solutions or combinations in the field of the invention or from a closely related field. Courts have recognized that recycling a known predictable solution is not inventive.19

This suggests a generalized proposition: if the difference between the prior art and the invention can be bridged by the [obvious] application of CGK, then such invention is obvious and unpatentable.20 This species of obviousness is what I refer to as "CGK obviousness".

For example, if a structural beam bends too much under a loading force, to a civil or mechanical engineer, it is obvious to make the beam thicker to increase its stiffness (perhaps to the degree recommended by an accepted, available structural reference text) or to use stiffer material.

Likely, it is (at least) such an obvious application of the CGK to a piece of starting point prior art that was contemplated (but not articulated) in the Windsurfing/Pozzoli approach of Sanofi.

A sunspot21 provides a useful analogy for the "CGK obviousness" landscape: The dark region of a sunspot (the umbra) represents an individual piece of prior art. The shaded region around each umbra (the penumbra) is the area occupied by obvious improvements made by applying obvious CGK solutions or improvements to that particular piece of prior art. Anything within a penumbra would be a "non-inventive step" away from the prior art (the umbra). That which lies beyond the penumbra (in the yellow region) would be an inventive step away from the prior art and thus would not be obvious. Note that penumbras exist around all individual sunspots, in different sizes and shapes (just as obvious CGK improvements exist around all public prior art). Some penumbras intersect. In this depiction, these intersecting areas represent an obvious improvement that is within an obvious CGK step from two different pieces of prior art.

Specie #2: Prior Art Mosaicking Obviousness

Sometimes it is obvious to combine the starting point prior art with one or more other pieces of public prior art that are not in the CGK (what I refer to as "the other prior art"). This specie of obviousness is referred to here as "prior art mosaicking obviousness".

Unlike CGK obviousness, where previously known solutions or combinations are readily "at hand" in the toolbox of the notional skilled person to re-use to make obvious improvements, for mosaicking obviousness, one must ask:

Why would it have been obvious for the notional skilled person to have combined (or mosaicked) the starting point prior art with that particular piece (or pieces) of other prior art amongst all the rest of the available prior art?

The case law shows that there are two necessary conditions that must occur for using that piece (or those pieces) of other prior art in a prior art mosaicking obviousness analysis:

  1. An "obvious reason to select": The other piece(s) of prior art (the needle, or the tree) must, for some reason, obviously stand out from the rest of the prior art (in the haystack, or the forest) in order to be selected to combine with the starting point prior art; and
  2. An "obvious combination": It must be obvious to the skilled person to combine the starting point prior art with the other piece(s) of prior art using only an obvious application of CGK.

Condition 1: An "Obvious Reason to Select": Why this other prior art?

To put two things together in our physical world, they have to be near each other. To put two pieces of non-CGK prior art together in the inventive landscape, they need to come together in the mind of the skilled person apart from, but amidst the clutter and noise of, all other prior art deemed to be in that notional person's brain.

The Canadian Patent Act s. 28.3 explicitly makes available for obviousness considerations "... information ... available to the public in Canada or elsewhere". As pointed out by MacOdrum, this includes all such prior art.22

Assuming the skilled person is omniscient, it is suggested that an appropriate general question would be:

"Why would this particular piece (or these pieces) of other prior art stand out amongst the others to be obviously combined with the starting prior art?", or

"Why would this particular piece of other prior art have been the needle found in the prior art haystack?"

There must be at least some factor present that differentiates this particular piece of prior art from the other prior art in order for it to have been selected from the rest. The party asserting obviousness "... must be able to demonstrate ... how the person of ordinary skill in the art would have been led to combine the relevant components from the mosaic of prior art."23

The General Tire24 line of case law provides that, in determining obviousness, one can combine only other prior art25 that would have been located as a result of a diligent search.26 A diligent search simulates what the skilled person would have done and provides one reason why certain other prior art would have stood out from the rest of the other prior art. Certainly, if that other prior art would not have been found in a diligent search, it would have been less likely to have been selected by the omniscient skilled person unless it could have, somehow, otherwise have been distinguished from the entire universe of prior art.

The other piece (or pieces) of prior art may have stood out for reasons other than a General Tire-type diligent search. Perhaps the other piece of prior art was referred to in the starting point prior art. Perhaps that other piece of prior art was public, but not searchable. For example, someone may announce a technological advance (e.g., a plastic found to have been resistant to acid) at a public conference.27 Such information may not yet be in a searchable database. It may never be in a database if only made orally or shown physically. Such information is, on its face,"... available to the public in Canada or elsewhere" and would be available for consideration under the plain language of s. 28.3, to make it obvious to any skilled notional person who was a conference attendee that such plastic could be used to make a thinner-walled car battery.28

Condition 2: An obvious combination: Why combine them?

Once the other prior art becomes "selected" by the skilled person, it must then be obvious to combine it (or use it) with the starting point prior art to create the obvious combination or solution:

"The inquiry at step 4 [of the Sanofi/Windsurfing/Pozzoli approach] is whether... the difference between the inventive concept (or the claim as construed) and the prior art can be bridged by the Skilled Person using only their common general knowledge and other information which they could have found by making a reasonably diligent search. If it can, then the claimed invention is obvious."29 [emphasis in original]

But what makes the combination or the solution obvious?

Nothing is more obvious than doing again what you did before, or doing something close to it. The reason for doing so is that because it worked beforehand, it will obviously work again in the same or similar circumstances.

It is suggested that, here again, CGK plays an integral part: the obvious reason to combine or use the starting point prior art with the other prior art should be found in the CGK. The combination or use should require only the non-inventive application of a commonly, generally known (CGK) solution or combination, similar to the Sanofi30/KSR "identified, predictable solutions":

When there is a design need or market pressure to solve a problem and there are a finite number of identified, predictable solutions, a person of ordinary skill has good reason to pursue the known options within his or her technical grasp. If this leads to the anticipated success, it is likely the product not of innovation but of ordinary skill and common sense.31

Returning to the sunspot analogy, combining starting point prior art A with other prior art B would be obvious because they are connected by the penumbra of the obvious application of common general knowledge. However, combining starting point prior art A with other prior art C would not be obvious because they are not connected by an obvious application of the CGK and would thus require an inventive step to connect them.

Conclusions

Recognizing the existence of two species of obviousness (CGK and prior art mosaicking) adds to the Windsurfing/Pozzoli analytical approach adopted in Sanofi to understand how and when the obvious application of common general knowledge results in obvious combinations and uses. This analysis further suggests that the General Tire requirement for the other prior art to be available as a result of a diligent search is merely one (but perhaps the most common) reason why a particular piece of other prior art would be obvious to select to combine or use out of all the other prior art "available to the public" under s. 28.3.

Footnotes

1 Windsurfing International Inc. v. Tabur Marine (Great Britain) Ltd., [1985] R.P.C. 59 (C.A); Pozzoli SPA v. BDMO SA, [2007] F.S.R. 37 (p. 872), [2007] EWCA Civ 588, at para. 23

2 Apotex Inc. v. SanofiSynthelabo Canada Inc., [2008] 3 S.C.R. 265, 2008 SCC 61 at para. 67.

3 Patent Act, (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-4), s. 28.3.

4 Apotex Inc. et al v. ADIR et al, 2009 FCA 222 (FCA per layden-Stevenson JAat para. 76

5 Beloit v. Valmet Oy (1986) 8 C.P.R. (3d) 289 (F.C.A. per Hugessen J.A.) at p. 295; posed in Corlac Inc. et al v. Weatherford Canada Ltd., 2011 FCA 228 (F.C.A. per Layden-Stevenson J.A., Nadon & Evans JJ.A. concurring) at para. 81.

6 Novopharm Limited v. Janssen-Ortho Inc. and Daiichi Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. 2007 FCA 27 (F.C.A per Sharlow J.A., Nadon and Malone JJ.A.) at para. 25.

7 Novopharm Limited v. Janssen-Ortho Inc. and Daiichi Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. 2007 FCA 27 (F.C.A per Sharlow J.A., Nadon and Malone JJ.A.) at para. 25.

8 Novopharm Limited v. Janssen-Ortho Inc. and Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., 2007 FCA 217 (F.C.A. per Sharlow J.A, Nadon and Malone JJ.A. concurring), 59 C.P.R. (4th) 116, 366 N.R. 290 at para. 25.

9 KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007), at p. 2.

10 KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007), at p. 14.

11 KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007), at p. 14.

12 Novopharm Limited v. Janssen-Ortho Inc. and Daiichi Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. 2007 FCA 27 (F.C.A per Sharlow J.A., Nadon and Malone JJ.A.) at para. 25, subpara.. 5.

13 Novopharm Limited v. Janssen-Ortho Inc. and Daiichi Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. 2007 FCA 27 (F.C.A per Sharlow J.A., Nadon and Malone JJ.A.) at para. 25, subpara.. 5.

14 For a somewhat contrary view, see Novopharm Limited v. Janssen-Ortho Inc. and Daiichi Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. 2007 FCA 27 (F.C.A per Sharlow J.A., Nadon and Malone JJ.A.) at para. 25, subpara.. 5.

15 Ciba Specialty Chemicals Water Treatments Limited v SNF Inc., 2017 FCA 225 (FCA per Pelletier J.A., Rennie & Woods JJ.A. concurring) at para. 77; Eli Lilly Canada Inc. v. Mylan Pharmaceutical ULC, 2016 FCA 119 at paras. 23-25, [2017] 2 F.C.R. 280.

16 Novopharm Limited v. Janssen-Ortho Inc. and Daiichi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., 2007 FCA 217 (F.C.A. per Sharlow J.A, Nadon and Malone JJ.A. concurring), 59 C.P.R. (4th) 116, 366 N.R. 290 at para. 25.

17 Pollard Banknote Limited v. BABN Technologies Corp., 2016 FC 883 (F.C. per Locke J.) at para. 194

18 Beloit Canada Ltd. v. Valmet Oy, (1986) 8 C.P.R. (3d) 289 (F.C.A. per Hugessen J.A.) at p. 294.

19 A variant of the question asked in Apotex Inc. v. SanofiSynthelabo Canada Inc., [2008] 3 S.C.R. 265, 2008 SCC 61, paras. 65 & 66 and 69(1) and borrowed from KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. et al. 127 S.Ct. 1727 (2007) at 1742: Are there a finite number of identified predictable solutions known to persons skilled in the art?

20 Ciba Specialty Chemicals Water Treatments Limited v SNF Inc., 2017 FCA 225 (FCA per Pelletier J.A., Rennie & Woods JJ.A. concurring) at paras. 62 & 64; Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada Co. v. Teva Canada Ltd., 2017 FCA 76 (FCA per Pelletier J.A., Near & Rennie JJ.A. concurring) at para. 65.

21 photo credit: By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA (Solar Archipelago) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Archipelago_-_Flickr_-_NASA_Goddard_Photo_and_Video.jpg

22 D.H. MacOdrum; Fox on the Canadian Law of Patents, 5th ed (Toronto: Carswell, 2018) at 4:11(i).

23 Laboratoires Servier et al v. Apotex Inc. et al, 2008 FC 825 (F.C. per Snider J.) at para. 254. Here, Justice Snider was using the term "mosaic of prior art" to refer to the forest or haystack of prior art, not the mosaic of prior art forming the invention.

24 General Tire & Rubber Co v Firestone Tyre & Rubber Co, [1972] RPC 457 (Eng CA) at p. 463.

25 By this term, I mean prior art other than the starting point prior art and the CGK.

26 Such prior art should not be confused with CGK that can be "looked up", as discussed above. It should be noted that the Sanofi decision did not incorporate (nor comment on) the General Tire requirement for a diligent search.

27 or otherwise publicly disclosed in a manner that is not readily searchable: e.g. a speech, a YouTube video or a poster at a medical conference.

28 In Globe-Union Inc. v. Varta Batteries Ltd., (1981) 57 C.P.R. 132 (F.C.T.D. per Mahoney J.). at p. 140; aff'd Johnson Controls, Inc. v. Varta Batteries Ltd., (1984) 80 C.P.R. (2d) 1 at p. 16, the court held it to be obvious to use a newly discovered plastic that was resistant to car battery acid to make an improved, thinner-walled car battery case, holding "...all that was needed was the right plastic to become available at a cost that would render the obvious economically attractive." Had such plastic been unveiled at a public conference, should it not have been available to render the patent invalid?

29 Ciba Specialty Chemicals Water Treatments Limited v SNF Inc., 2017 FCA 225 (FCA per Pelletier J.A., Rennie & Woods JJ.A. concurring) at para. 68.

30 Apotex Inc. v. SanofiSynthelabo Canada Inc., [2008] 3 S.C.R. 265, 2008 SCC 61 at para. 69(1): "Are there a finite number of identified predictable solutions known to persons skilled in the art?"

31 Apotex Inc. v. SanofiSynthelabo Canada Inc., [2008] 3 S.C.R. 265, 2008 SCC 61 at para. 57 quoting from KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 127 S. Ct. 1727 (2007) at p. 1782.

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
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
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