China: Weight Of Evidence Of Trademark Registration Certificate And Trademark Gazette In Determining Copyright Ownership

Last Updated: 12 January 2015
Article by Jason Wang

On October 15, 2014, Rule 14 of the Provisions of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Several Issues concerning the Trial of Administrative Cases Involving the Granting and Determination of Trademark Right (Draft for Comment) was released by the SPC with two different opinions regarding the weight of evidence of trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette in determining copyright ownership. The first opinion provides that, "trademark gazette, trademark registration certificate, etc. may serve as prima facie evidence to ascertain the copyright owner or the interested party thereof. Where the applicant of the disputed trademark opposes, that applicant has the burden to provide counter evidence to support his opposition." The second opinion, however, provides that "mere trademark registration certificate, trademark gazette" "shall not be used solely to prove the copyright ownership, but may serve as the prima facie evidence of the work's copyright ownership if combined with other related evidence." In fact, regarding the issue whether mere trademark registration certificate or trademark gazette alone may serve as the prima facie evidence of the copyright ownership, there are recurring conflicting approaches in administrative and judicial practices, as well as fairly heated discussions. The author agrees with the first opinion and summarizes the ten noteworthy issues for reference.

1. Whether the copyright protection over the work would produce adverse impact on the trademark law system?

Beijing First Intermediate Court ruled in the "CAMEL" case that a work under copyright protection could simultaneously constitute a registered trademark which falls under the protection of trademark law; and the trademark law has incorporated provisions in relation to protection over prior rights (including prior copyright). Unlike trademark rights, copyright enjoys protection covering all 45 Classes and is not subject to cancellation due to non-use for three consecutive years. Such circumstances apparently undermine certain basic system of trademark law. However, Beijing High Court held that: protection over a work under copyright law is independent from protection over a trademark under trademark law; if a trademark constitutes a work, it will be qualified for copyright protection, and will not hinder the system of trademark law. 1 In addition, the SPC held in the "ICBC Design" case that, any object that meets the prerequisites for protection of both copyright and trademark laws qualifies for protection under both. 2

From an academic standpoint, some judges held that copyright protection may sometimes remedy the insufficiency in effectively prohibiting the bad faith trademark resulted from the relatively vague factors in determining the similarity between goods. Granting copyright protection over trademarks according to the law may, on the contrary, maintain normal order in trademark. 3 The "copyright protection" of trademarks does not necessarily incur conflict with copyright. 4 The author concurs that there would be no harm done to trademark law system in granting copyright protection over intellectual objects qualified for dual protection of both copyright and trademark laws.

2. Can trademark holders be deemed as copyright owners or at least the interested parties?

One opinionprovides that the trademark holder indicated in a trademark registration certificate or a trademark gazette is not equivalent to a copyright owner. In the "ettusais and ettusa is in Chinese" case, Beijing First Intermediate Court held as follows: the intrinsic function of a trademark registration certificate is to ascertain the specific subject's identity as a trademark holder, rather than a copyright owner; therefore, a trademark registration certificate may serve to ascertain the copyright ownership as well only when the subject is both the trademark holder and copyright owner of the same trademark. But in practice, the above rights are typically held by multiple parties. The trademark registered by a trademark holder may be derived from a legitimate copyright source, or not (namely, the trademark holder registered the trademark without the authorization of the copyright owner). The former scenario (derived from a legitimate copyright source) may further comprise of two circumstances: the trademark holder is the copyright owner and registers his / her own work as a trademark; or the trademark holder is not the copyright owner but he / she has received the copyright owner's authorization to register and use the work as a trademark. In two of the three scenarios above, trademark and copyright ownership fall under different parties. Hence, mere trademark registration certificate cannot establish that the trademark's owner is the copyright owner. 5

The other opinion is as follows: trademark registration is by nature a public notification act, and the application for trademark registration shall be assumed as legitimate (namely, the applicant is free of prior copyright infringement). Therefore, the trademark design may come from the following: 1) self-creation, 2) commission-creation, or 3) transferred. Under the first and third scenarios, the trademark rights owner is entitled to the copyright. For a trademark design created under commission, the purpose is for trademark application, and the trademark is exclusive in its nature. The registration and use of such work as a trademark shall conform to the specific purpose of the commissioned creation, namely, the right to use such work in trademark field shall belong to the trademark rights holder, unless otherwise prescribed in the contract. In this case, the trademark rights holder has the ground to claim copyright over related signs or exclusive right to use such signs as a trademark based on the trademark certificate. Under the Chinese Trademark Law, both the rights owner and the interested parties may claim prior copyright, and prior trademark rights holder obviously meets such requirement.6

The material distinction between the above two opinions lies in as follows: The first opinion considers the trademark holder indicated on trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette to be the only possible copyright owner, whereas the second opinion extends the definition of the trademark holder to cover copyright owner or the interested party of the trademark right or copyright. The first opinion explicitly used the term "copyright owner or the interested party thereof" to distinguish itself from the second opinion where the term "copyright ownership" is used in wording.

3. Whether trademark gazette differs from the author's signature in the context of copyright law?

One opinion maintains that information indicated on the trademark registration certification or the trademark gazette shall not be equivalent to the author's signature in the context of copyright law. Beijing High Court held in the "LAO REN CHENG in Chinese and Design" case that, the trademark applicant and registrant information indicated in the trademark registration application, and its corresponding publication only indicates trademark ownership. It is not qualified as a signature as required under the copyright law. Hence, prior trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette are insufficient to prove copyright ownership. 7 Beijing First Intermediate Court and Beijing High Court held the same view in its decision for the subsequent "KA NU DI LU in Chinese and Canudilo and Design" case. 8

The author dissents. First, a signature on the work is to establish the author's identity and his intention to seek protection under copyright law. And where the trademark rights holder files an application that satisfies as a copyright work, it is certain that the trademark rights holder has the intention to secure comprehensive protection, both trademark right and copyright included, for the said work. Thus the trademark gazette should not be excluded from being regarded as a form of authorial signature in the context of copyright law. Second, the publication of the trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette is not only to identify the copyright owner (namely, the author), but to identify the copyright owner or the interested party, which covers a wider concept than copyright owner. Thus, if a signature on a work represents the identity of a copyright owner, then the publication of trademark registration certification and trademark gazettes identifies the copyright owner or the interested party.

4. Could the trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette serve as prima facie evidence?

According to the first opinion of Rule 14 of the SPC on Several Issues concerning the Trial of Administrative Cases Involving the Granting and Determination of Trademark Right (Draft for Comment), the trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette could only serve as the prima facie evidence certifying the copyright owner or the interested party. According to Rule 7 of the SPC's Interpretations concerning the Application of Laws in the Trial of Civil Disputes over Copyright, Rule 22 of Guidelines of Beijing High Court for Trial of Administrative Cases concerning Trademark Right Granting and Confirmation, and judicial practice, the copyright registration certificate could only serve as the prima facie evidence to ascertain the copyright ownership. In this sense, trademark registration certificates, trademark gazettes, and copyright registration certificates have no intrinsic difference in terms of the legal effect as the prima facie evidence.

Thus, can trademark registration certificates and trademark gazettes, in the form of a publication of rights, serve as the prima facie evidence certifying that the trademark holder is the copyright owner or the interested party? In particular, (1) trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette shall serve as conclusive evidence, certifying the only association between a trademark rights holder and the copyright owner / the interested party; or (2) the trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette could simply preliminarily prove that the trademark right holder has a finite but uncertain relationship with either the copyright owner or the interested party, namely, the trademark right holder is either the copyright owner or the interested party. In other words, whether trademark registration certificate, or trademark gazette may serve to preliminarily eliminate the possibility that the trademark owner is neither the copyright owner nor the interested party.

5. How to allocate the burden of proof among dispute parties?

One opinion provides that: the trademark design is entitled to too much protection via copyright protection, thus a heavier and more adequate burden of proof shall be allocated when it comes to ownership. Another opinion provides that: the threshold of protection should not be raised arbitrarily to impose more burden of proof on the claimant, not to mention refusing to grant copyright protection to a work just because it has been registered and used as a trademark or it is especially designed as a trademark. 9 Just as one opinion provides that: the nature to prove the prior copyright ownership solely by trademark registration certificate, in the essence, is to oppose other's later filed, but preliminarily approved or registered trademark designated on dissimilar goods or services, which would undoubtedly break the balance among relevant provisions in the Chinese Trademark Law. However, in practice, the main purpose of many owners to create distinctive designs in trademarks is to use it as a trademark design, thus upon completion, the creator may not "publish under his own signature" other than applying for a trademark, and the creator is less likely to intentionally retain the original manuscript. Theoretically speaking, there is nothing wrong to restrict the weight of evidence of prior registration certificate; but in actual practice, this indeed will impose difficulties for the actual copyright owners to produce evidence and will cause prejudice in prohibiting preemptive registration in bad faith of other's copyrighted work. 10

The author agrees with the latter opinion. Ascertaining the copyright owner or the interest party thereof directly based on trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette is beneficial to alleviate the burden of proof of the right holder and may effectively prohibit unreasonable situations such as high cost for enforcement, low cost for infringement, or other unreasonable circumstances, such as the Chinese idiom "Hurting one's friend while making the enemy pleased." The first opinion of Rule 14 of the SPC on Several Issues concerning the Trial of Administrative Cases Involving the Granting and Determination of Trademark Right (Draft for Comment) has allocated reasonably the burden of prove among disputed parties, namely, trademark gazette, trademark registration certificate, etc. may serve as prima facie evidence to ascertain the copyright owner or the interested party thereof; where the applicant of the disputed trademark opposes, that applicant has the burden to provide counter evidence to support his opposition.

6. What are the administration and judicial value orientations?

One opinion provides that, the protection over prior copyright will affect the conflict of rights and the balance of interests between the parties, and a work's ownership needs to be treated diligently: the ascertainment of a work ownership is the premise and requirement of legitimacy for the prior copyright protection, a strict standard of proof can prevent the abuse of prior copyright protection. 11 Another opinion provides that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, ascertaining directly the identity of the trademark holder as the copyright owner or the interested party thereof by trademark registration certificate can not only greatly simplify the process of producing evidence, but also guarantee a basic substantive justice. 12

Admittedly, to ascertain directly the copyright owner or the interested party solely by trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette is like opening the Pandora's Box, where many unknown issues are likely to be involved. But the strict requirement of producing evidence to ascertain copyright ownership by combining trademark registration certificate, trademark gazette and other evidence may lower the likelihood of unjustified, false, or erroneous cases for the administrative and judicial departments, However, the rights of actual holder are difficult to be realized and the judicial demand in practice cannot be satisfied. The author hold the view that, it is essential to take into full account the administrative, judicial value orientations as well as the balance between the maintenance of stability and the protection of rights.

7. Can the actual copyright owner regulate effectively the wrong copyright owners or interested parties?

It is undeniable that there might be some circumstances that the copyright owners or the interested parties thereof is erroneously ascertained when using mere trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette, etc. as the prima facie evidence. Under these circumstances, can the actual copyright owners protect themselves effectively? Can an interested third party counterplead effectively? Can the exception principle of effective judgment regulate the errors effectively?

The actual copyright owner may oppose or apply for invalidation against the trademarks claimed by others based on prior trademark or other evidence of prior creation, use, publication of the work of the actual copyright owner, where the actual copyright owner enjoys the prior copyright in different Classes or different jurisdictions. Even upon the expiration of the dispute period of the disputed trademark owned by the other party, the actual copyright owner still owns the prior copyright. Of course, upon the expiration of the trademark dispute period, for those orphan works (the copyrighted works which are difficult or even impossible to identify the copyright owners), the later trademark holder will be mistakenly identified as the copyright owner or interested party. However, this does not preclude a third party from challenging the copyright owner, with prior orphan works, or the interested party who ascertained their rights by trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette. In other words, even if the rights status is stable upon the expiration of the trademark dispute period, the claims and rights of prior copyright can still be regulated effectively.

8. Can a third party challenge the wrong copyright owners or interested parties based on non-originality and the independent creation of the work?

In the "Wan Xiang Ri Yue and Design" case, the opposed party submitted as evidence a trademark application of a third party in substantial similarity with the opponent's trademark but prior to the completion date of the opponent's work. In light of this, Beijing High Court ruled that, as a third party trademark is substantially similar to the opponent's work, and the opponent has failed to prove that he independently created such work and the completion date of such work is not in conformity with the objective facts, therefore, the opponent's claim for copyright over such work lacks factual and legal basis. 13 In accordance with the logic of the foregoing case, a third party is fully entitled to producing proof that there is trademark or copyrighted work with an earlier application date prior to the trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette, and to challenge the wrong copyright owners or interested parties thereof based on the non-originality of the work.

In addition, a third party may challenge based on the independent creation of the work, namely, the work of the disputed trademark is his independent creation, and the similarity with prior trademark is pure coincidence and free of infringement. Rule 15 of the SPC Interpretations concerning the Application of Laws in the Trial of Civil Disputes over Copyright provides that, "for works created by different authors regarding the same subject, where the work is independently completed and is original, it shall be affirmed that the authors enjoy independent copyright respectively." This also entirely conforms with the accessibility principle in determining copyright infringement.

9.Can the exception principle of effective judgment regulate effectively the wrong copyright owners or interested parties thereof?

Item 4, Rule 9 of the SPC Provisions on Evidence in Civil Procedures provides that, "the facts as mentioned below need not be proved by the parties concerned by presenting evidence:......The facts affirmed in the judgment of the People's court that has taken effect; ...... (The facts) shall be excluded if they can be overthrown by contrary evidence of the parties concerned." Rule 3.3 in Section 3 of the Trademark Review and Adjudication Standard also provides that, "the facts affirmed in the effective judgment that the interested party enjoys prior copyright may be recognized in the absence of adequate evidence to the contrary." In accordance with the foregoing laws and regulations, even the effective judgment affirming the prior copyright could be reversed with contrary evidence. In addition, effective judgment has its specificity, and there already are precedents in practice, such as the "Wei Long in Chinese and Wei Long (stylized)" case. 14

Moreover, even the claim against the disputed trademark raised by the party that is not the actual copyright owner based on the identity of copyright owner or the interested party thereof as ascertained by trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette is supported, the interests of the disputed trademark are not illegally infringed. The reason is that, no matter the prior copyright is claimed by the actual copyright owner or the copyright owner or the interested party is ascertained by trademark registration certificate and trademark gazette, the final result remains the same. Of course, further explicit limitation may be considered that, the copyright owner or the interested party ascertained by trademark gazette and/or trademark registration certificate shall apply only to administrative cases involving determination of trademark right, and shall not apply to copyright infringement cases.

10. Whether trademarks with different degree of stability should be treated differently?

In light of trademark rights and the stability of legal effect, trademarks could be divided into three categories: registered trademark where the time limitation for dispute has expired, registered trademark where the time limitation for dispute has not expired, and unregistered trademark. The author suggests distinguishing the different situations based on different degree of stability of the trademark. (1) Registered trademark where the time limitation for dispute has expired may serve as prima facie evidence to ascertain the copyright owner or the interested party thereof. The time limitation for dispute for the trademark registration in China is five years; and foreign trademark registration shall comply with the time limitation provided in such local laws, with reference to provisions of the Chinese laws. (2) Registered trademark where the time limitation for dispute has not expired may serve as prima facie evidence to ascertain the copyright owner or the interested party, or may serve as prima facie evidence of the work's copyright ownership if combined with other related evidence. (3) Unregistered trademark may be considered to serve as prima facie evidence of the work's copyright ownership if combined with other related evidence.

Footnotes

1 Beijing First Intermediate Court Administrative Judgment (2012) Yi Zhong Zhi Xing Chu Zi No. 1286, Beijing High Court Administrative Judgment (2012) Gao Xing Zhong Zi No. 1782

2 Supreme People's Court Administrative Order (2012) Zhi Xing Zi No. 60

3 CHE Honglei, "Falsification of the Conflict between Copyright and Trademark Right of Trademark Signs", People's Court Daily, January 30, 2013.

4 YUAN Bo, "Do not Misinterpret Copyright Protection over Trademarks", Procuratorial Daily, April 7, 2014.

5 Beijing First Intermediate Court Administrative Judgment (2012) Yi Zhong Zhi Xing Chu Zi No. 165

6 DONG Xiaomin, "Issues concerning Claiming Prior Copyright Based on Trademark Signs", China Copyright, Vol. 1 (2014), P. 39.

7 Beijing High Court Administrative Judgment (2009) Gao Xing Zhong Zi No.1350

8 Beijing First Intermediate Court Administrative Judgment (2009) Yi Zhong Zhi Xing Chu Zi No. 1800, Beijing High Court Administrative Judgment (2010) Gao Xing Zhong Zi No. 872

9 ZHOU Yunchuan, "Judging Standard of Copyright Case of Trademark Signs", People's Judicature (Application), Vol. 3 (2014), P. 39.

10 XU Lin, "Weight of Evidence of Copyright Registration Certificate and Trademark Registration Certificate in Ascertaining Prior Copyright", TRAB Legal Communications, Vol.58 (July 2012).

11 KONG Qingbing, "Issues on Ascertainment of Ownership of Prior Copyrighted Work under Article 31 of Chinese Trademark Law", China Trademark, Vol. 1 (2014), PP. 52-53.

12 DONG Xiaomin, "Issues concerning Claiming Prior Copyright Based on Trademark Signs", China Copyright, Vol. 1 (2014), P. 39.

13 Beijing High Court Administrative Judgment (2013) Gao Xing Zhong Zi No.1312

14 Beijing First Intermediate Court Administrative Judgment (2012) Yi Zhong Zhi Xing Chu Zi No. 2386.

* Originally published on the website of Judicial Protection of IPR in China on December 18, 2014. (http://www.chinaiprlaw.cn/file/2014121834983.html)

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
Jason Wang
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Unitalen Attorneys at Law
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Unitalen Attorneys at Law
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