Hong Kong: Asia IP & TMT: Quarterly Review - December 2014

Last Updated: 5 January 2015
Article by Gabriela Kennedy, Rosita Li, Benjamin P.K. Choi, Sara S.M. Or, Karen H.F. Lee and Eugene Low
Most Read Contributor in Hong Kong, November 2017

Keywords: Trade Marks, Hong Kong, MIIT, China, privacy


By Rosita Li, Partner, Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong
Benjamin Choi, Partner, Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong

On 11 November 2014, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong Government jointly issued a consultation paper on the proposed application of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks ("Madrid Protocol") to Hong Kong. The three-month consultation will end on 11 February 2015. The purpose of this consultation is to gather views on the benefits, implications and implementation of the application of the Madrid Protocol to Hong Kong.

Features of the Madrid System

The Madrid System for international registration of trade marks is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization and governed by the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks ("Madrid Agreement") and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks ("Madrid Protocol").

With the introduction of the Madrid Protocol to Hong Kong, applicants domiciled or registered in Hong Kong (whether individuals or businesses) will be able to file applications to register their trade marks in multiple Madrid Protocol member countries by way of a single filing and registration process without the need to file separate applications with different local trade mark offices. Foreign companies holding existing International Registrations of trade marks will also have the option to expand the territorial protection of their marks by designating Hong Kong without the need to file a separate domestic application in Hong Kong.

Current Trade Mark Environment in Hong Kong

At the moment, foreign companies have to file separate applications in Hong Kong in order to protect their trade marks here. Similarly, Hong Kong companies will need to file separate applications in those other jurisdictions to which they wish to extend their trade mark protection.

Statistics show a steady increase in the number of trade mark applications filed with the Hong Kong Trade Marks Registry in recent years, with a noticeable jump of 50% within 4 years (2009 to 2013) in both the total number of applications and the number of applications filed by overseas applicants.

More than 30% of the overseas filings came from applicants in the People's Republic of China ("PRC"). These figures show that Hong Kong has become an increasingly popular jurisdiction for trade mark protection for overseas trade mark owners.

At the same time, there has also been a 50% increase from 2008 to 2013 in the number of trade mark applications filed by Hong Kong applicants in other jurisdictions such as Australia, Japan, the European Union, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The above statistics suggest that overseas companies are keen to extend the protection of their trade marks to Hong Kong. Similarly, more and more companies in Hong Kong wish to obtain protection of their trade marks in foreign jurisdictions.

Justification for Application of the Madrid Protocol to Hong Kong

The Madrid Protocol currently has 92 contracting parties including the PRC, the United States, the European Union, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam and India. Several ASEAN member states including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand have also pledged to join the Madrid Protocol by 2015.

One of the perceived benefits of joining the Madrid System for Hong Kong is that it offers a more efficient and cost-effective one stop service for trade mark owners. It makes it easier and indeed encourages local businesses to promote and market their brands overseas and at the same time serves as an incentive for overseas companies to do the same for their brands in Hong Kong. A Government spokesperson said that "to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong as an international business and intellectual property trading hub, the Government believes that it would be in Hong Kong's overall interest to apply the Madrid Protocol to Hong Kong so that we can take advantage of the Madrid System."

Timetable for implementation

The introduction of the Madrid System to Hong Kong will need approval from the Central People's Government of the PRC.

Under the Basic Law of Hong Kong, the application to Hong Kong of any international agreements to which the PRC is a party shall be decided by the Central People's Government, in accordance with the circumstances and needs of Hong Kong and after seeking the views of the Hong Kong Government. Therefore, the Hong Kong Government will need to convey the views and suggestions gathered in this consultation exercise to the Central People's Government and discuss with the relevant PRC authorities about the proposed application of the Madrid Protocol to Hong Kong.

Another step critical for the application of the Madrid Protocol to Hong Kong will be the amendment of the existing Trade Marks Ordinance and Trade Marks Rules of Hong Kong in order to cater for the international registrations regime under the Madrid System.

The current estimate is that it may take some three to four years to complete all these steps. That said, even though it is likely to take at least three to four years before we see the implementation of the Madrid System in Hong Kong, the consultation paper is an important first step, as views from all stakeholders are now sought on this potential landmark change of the trade mark regime in Hong Kong.


By Eugene Low, Senior Associate, Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong

On 4 November 2014, the PRC Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) published for public consultation the Draft Administrative Rules for Telecommunication Short Message Services ("Draft SMS Rules"). The key objective of the Draft SMS Rules is to reduce the number of spam SMS messages in China. The public consultation ended on 5 December 2014. MIIT has yet to publish the finalised rules.

The volume of spam SMS messages targeting China's mobile phones have surged in recent years. A recent news report noted that in just the first half of 2013, there were an estimated 200 billion spam messages sent to mobile phones in China. In addition to mobile phone users, Internet users have also fallen prey to spam SMS messages. Tencent, a major IT corporation and the developer of online instant messaging service QQ, reported a total of 356 million junk SMS messages received by its mobile application users in the first half of 2013, 50 million more than that in 2012. The Draft SMS Rules represent the PRC government's efforts to address these concerns.

We summarise below the main provisions of the Draft SMS Rules:

Regulation on SMS service providers and content providers

  • Under the Draft SMS Rules, all SMS service providers must obtain a telecommunications operator licence.
  • SMS service providers must include in the message the sender's genuine phone number or code.
  • SMS service providers must keep records of when a message was sent and received and whether the recipient has subscribed for or unsubscribed for its SMS, for a period of 5 months.
  • SMS content providers must not distribute SMS messages containing restricted contents as set out under the PRC Telecommunications Regulations
  • No person shall employ automated or other means to generate others' phone numbers for the purpose of sending unsolicited SMS messages.

Restrictions on sending commercial SMS messages

  • No person shall send commercial SMS messages without first obtaining the consent of the recipient. Where a recipient has previously given his consent but later chooses to opt out, the content providers must not send further commercial SMS messages to him.
  • SMS service providers and content providers who wish to obtain consent from recipients for sending commercial SMS messages must explain to the recipients the type, scope and duration of time of the proposed SMS messages that will be sent to them. Recipients who have not replied to such an invitation will be deemed not agreeing to receive such SMS messages.
  • SMS service providers and content providers must include in the SMS messages a free-of-charge and efficient "opt-out" facility to the recipients.

Any individual or organisation who contravenes the above may face a penalty of up to RMB 30,000. MIIT may also make a public announcement about the contravention.

Going forward

The Draft SMS Rules reflect the PRC Government's determination in tackling spam SMS messages in the PRC. We will monitor the progress of the implementation of the draft Rules and keep readers updated.


By Gabriela Kennedy, Partner, Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong
Sara Or, Partner, Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong
Karen Lee, Associate, Mayer Brown JSM, Hong Kong

Given the private nature of banking services and as banks serve the vast majority of the public, the banking industry is one of the private sectors in Hong Kong for which the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner receives most complaints. For the same reasons, data privacy compliance by the banking industry attracts particular attention, not only from the regulatory authorities, but also from the public. Due to the sensitive nature of the information handled by the banking industry, the consequences of personal data being mishandled, lost, leaked or stolen can be very serious. The risk is heightened by the increased threat of cyber crime. In October 2014, both the Privacy Commissioner and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") issued guidelines to banks on how to protect personal data. This article focuses on the handling of customer data by banks.

The Privacy Commissioner's Guidance Note

On 6 October 2014, the Privacy Commissioner issued a Guidance Note on the Proper Handling of Customers' Personal Data for the Banking Industry ("PC Guidance Note"). The PC Guidance Note provides the banking industry with tailored advice on how to ensure compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance ("PDPO"). This advice addresses the following aspects:

Personal information collection statements

On or before the collection of a customer's personal data, a bank is required to notify the customer of certain information in accordance with the PDPO. It is recommended that such notice be provided in the form of a personal information collection statement ("PICS"), which can be provided in the application form used to collect the customer's personal data, or attached to the form as a separate notice. The PICS must specify:

  1. The purposes for which the customer's personal data may be used;
  2. The classes of persons to whom the customer's personal data may be transferred;
  3. Whether or not it is mandatory or optional for the data requested to be provided, and the consequences for failing to provide it;
  4. The customer's right to access and correct his personal data held by the bank, and the name, job title and address of the bank officer who is responsible for handling data access or correction requests.

Banks are advised to communicate effectively the PICS to their customers. The PICS should be in clear and simple language easily readable and understandable, and should also be easily accessible. Banks should therefore take into account the language used and the layout and presentation of the PICS (e.g., simple English or Chinese, reasonable font size, headings to facilitate reading, etc). Banks should ensure that the PICS is presented to customers in a conspicuous manner. They should also consider providing the customers with a help desk or enquiry hotline to assist them in understanding the PICS.

If personal data is collected from a customer over the phone or electronic means, the bank is still required to comply with the PICS requirement. The bank will have to keep good records of having communicated the PICS to a customer before or at the time of collecting his personal data.

Hong Kong Identity Cards ("HKID")

Banks are required by law and HKMA regulatory guidelines to perform KYC and AML due diligence on customers and potential customers. Banks are therefore allowed by the PDPO to collect their HKID numbers. However, a bank may not collect HKID number from a noncustomer, unless otherwise required by law.

For example, a bank is required by the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (Financial Institutions) Ordinance ("AMLO") to collect the HKID number of a non-account holder when carrying out an "occasional transaction" for them. Examples of an occasional transaction include money changing of an aggregate value of at least HK$120,000, or wire transfer of an aggregate value of at least HK$8,000.

Customer records

Banks should take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure that a customer's contact details are accurate and up-to-date, to ensure that bank statements and other correspondence are not sent to the wrong person. Banks should put in place automated or manual checking procedures to ensure that all information (and variations) provided by the customer from time to time has been correctly entered onto the bank's records.

Retaining customers personal data

Under the PDPO, a customer's personal data must not be kept for longer than is necessary. As such, banks should implement clear data retention policy to ensure that personal data is erased after the purposes for which it was collected have been fulfilled. When determining the period of retention, banks should take into account the purposes for which the personal data is to be used and any applicable regulatory or legal requirements on record-retention periods (e.g., Banking Ordinance, AMLO, Securities and Futures Ordinance, Companies Ordinance, Inland Revenue Ordinance, etc.).

Exceptions may also be made where a longer retention period is justified. Examples include where it is necessary to retain the data as it relates to a current or impending legal action or complaint, or is needed to facilitate performance of a contractual obligation.

As regards retention of a customer's bankruptcy data, the Privacy Commissioner advises banks to retain for no longer than 8 years. The rationale for the 8-year period is that a bankrupt individual would normally be discharged between 4 to 8 years from the commencement of bankruptcy, and so it is not necessary for a bank to retain bankruptcy data for longer than 8 years.

Sharing customers' personal data within the same banking group

Banks should not allow unrestricted sharing of their customers' personal data amongst group entities. Intra-group sharing of customer data has to comply with the PDPO. The PICS should inform a customer of the intra-group sharing, and the sharing of data should not be excessive having regard to the purposes for which data is collected and used and other relevant circumstances. In any other case, a bank is not permitted to share customer data within the group unless with the customer's express consent or unless the bank may rely on a specific exemption in the PDPO.

A bank should establish a group policy on the sharing of customer data. It should also keep up-to-date logs on the transfer of customer data within the group.

Transferring customers' personal data outside Hong Kong

All requirements in the PDPO regulating transfer of personal data apply to a bank transferring customer data, whether within Hong Kong or to a place outside of Hong Kong. In addition, the Privacy Commissioner has been considering an effective date for section 33 of the PDPO. In the meantime, the Privacy Commissioner advises banks to take into account the requirements of section 33 in communicating to customers their practices and arrangements relating to transfer of data if they intend to transfer data outside of Hong Kong.

Disclosing customers' personal data to financial regulators and law enforcement agencies

Even if requested by a governmental agency or regulatory authority to disclose a customer's personal data, a bank should exercise caution and should not make indiscriminate disclosure. Banks should not assume that disclosure requests from governmental agencies or regulatory authorities are automatically and invariably mandatory and binding on banks. Before accommodating a disclosure request, a bank should duly assess the request and determine whether the bank may rely on a legal ground for making disclosure. Typical legal grounds include:

  1. The disclosure is directly related to the original purposes for which the customer data was collected;
  2. The customer has given express consent for disclosure; or
  3. The disclosure is permitted by virtue of a specific exemption in the PDPO, including where the disclosure is required or authorised by law or a court order binding on the bank, or is required in relation to any legal proceedings in Hong Kong.

Using customers' personal data in debt collection

Banks should specify in the PICS that debt collection agents form one of the classes of persons to whom they may transfer customers' personal data. In the absence of that, a bank will have to obtain a customer's express consent before transferring his data to debt collection agents. It is also good practice for a bank to make readily available to a customer of its debt collection policies and practices.

A bank will remain responsible for contravention of the PDPO by its debt collection agents. As such, banks should impose back-to-back contractual obligations on debt collection agents that are consistent with the PDPO and other obligations on the bank. In addition, a bank should not disclose excessive customer data to debt collection agencies.

The same requirements apply with respect to other service providers and data processors appointed by the bank. A bank is required to adopt contractual or other means to manage its service providers and data processors. The PC Guidance Note expressly states that a simple provision requiring a service provider or data processor to comply with the PDPO or the laws of Hong Kong will not exonerate the banks from liability under the PDPO.

Protecting customers' personal data during off-site marketing campaigns

Where banks organise off-site marketing activities to promote their products, this will likely involve the collection of personal data. A bank should implement clear policies and procedures to ensure secure handling of personal data by its marketing staff. The policies and procedures should, among other things, require the staff to keep any forms or documents containing customer data securely stored in a locked container and securely transported to the bank's premises, and prohibit the staff from bringing them home.

Collecting and protecting customers' personal data in e-banking situations

The PC Guidance Note contains advice specifically applicable to e-banking services offered by banks. Particular attention is drawn to the following aspects:

  1. When a customer logs onto a bank's e-banking platform to apply for the e-banking services and provide his personal data on-line, he should be given the PICS before his personal data is collected – the PICS can be given online either on the same webpage or through a prominent link;
  2. Any online form should follow the paper equivalent, and any mandatory items or optional items to be completed should be clearly labelled;
  3. Where cookies are used, it is good practice to disclose the bank's policy regarding cookies, including what kind of information is stored on the cookies and whether a customer may opt out of the cookies and the consequences of opting out; and
  4. It is good practice to inform customers of the specific security measures applicable to online transmission of their personal data.

Handling data access requests

Individuals are entitled to request access to any of their personal data held by the bank. If the bank receives data access request, it is required to respond within 40 calendar days by providing the requested data or notifying the individual that it does not hold his personal data. The bank is allowed to charge a reasonable fee for complying with the data access request, restricting to the direct costs incurred by the bank in complying with the data access request.

Make privacy policies and practices generally available

Banks must take all reasonable practicable steps to ensure that their privacy polices and practices, are accessible by the general public. A banks may post a statement of such policies and practices on its website and include a link on its homepage or other pages where personal data is collected. Such link should be clearly marked, e.g., "Privacy Policy Statement". It is recommended that the privacy policy statement include information such as the kinds of personal data the bank holds, the main purposes for which the data is used, the bank's data retention policy, its data disclosure and transfer policies, etc.

Consequences of breaching the PDPO

Whilst breach of the PC Guidance Note will not in itself constitute an offence, the Privacy Commissioner will take it into account and is likely to weigh unfavourably against the bank in a case or complaint brought before the Privacy Commissioner alleging a contravention of the PDPO.

When the PDPO was amended in 2012, several changes relating to enforcement notices were introduced. More important changes include increased penalties for breaching multiple enforcement notices or for repeated contravention of the PDPO on the same facts after an enforcement notice has been issued and complied with. Further, the Privacy Commissioner is empowered to issue an enforcement notice whether or not the breach is actually continuing or whether or not he is of the opinion that the breach is likely to continue or be repeated (which was a pre-requisite before the PDPO was amended).

The HKMA Circular

On 14 October 2014, the HKMA issued a Circular on Customer Data Protection ("HKMA Circular"). The HKMA Circular focuses on the controls to prevent and detect loss or leakage of customer data and procedures for addressing and reporting such incidents.

The HKMA expects all authorized institutions to complete a critical review of the adequacy and effectiveness of their existing controls and procedures by the first quarter of 2015. In conducting the review, an AI should have regard to the guidance provided in the HKMA Circular and other applicable guidance issued by the HKMA. If the review reveals weakness or areas for improvements, the HKMA expects an AI to implement appropriate measures promptly to strengthen the controls

Major aspects addressed by the HKMA Circular include the following:

  1. Appoint a designated senior officer or committee to oversee the protection of customer data, and the handling and reporting of any loss or leakage of customer data;
  2. Classify customer data according to it sensitivity and risk level, and put in place security controls based on the assessed risk levels;
  3. Have in place policies and procedures covering system controls, physical security controls, mobile computing, etc.;
  4. Implement an awareness programme to remind staff members at least annually of:

    • The importance of complying with the AI's data security polices and procedures;
    • Their obligation to promptly report any data leak or loss of data; and
    • The disciplinary actions that may be taken against staff members for violation of the internal security policies and procedures, or failure to report a data leak or loss;
  5. Have in place access controls to prevent any unauthorised access of customer data, including restricting access to designated staff members on a need-to-know basis; disabling and preventing the use of tools to download massive amounts of data, unless management approval has been obtained, etc;
  6. Have in place controls over the transmission of customer data to external networks and systems, including implementing strong data encryption, preventing access to Internet services that can store data (e.g., external email accounts, cloud service) or file-sharing software, and having controls to detect suspicious activities, such as any massive downloading of data;
  7. Control the ability of staff members to store customer data on portable storage devices, including:

    • Restricting or preventing the use of portable storage devices;
    • Deploy password protect and data encrypt portable storage device and backup tapes;
    • Record the use of portable storage devices;
    • Record the reporting of any loss of a portable storage device;
    • Erase data from the portable storage device when no longer needed;
  8. Ensure the secure disposal or destruction of customer data stored on paper or any other media;
  9. Control the use of personally owned computer devices by staff members in relation to their employment (i.e., "Bring Your Own Device" policy):

    • Staff members should generally only use devices provided by and owned by the AI;
    • However, if an AI has a "Bring Your Own Device" policy, it should comply with the Hong Kong Association of Banks' standards on minimum controls;
  10. Implement physical security controls where customer data is stored, and whenever customer data is being relocated or transported, including security guards, CCTV, etc;
  11. Engage independent third parties to conduct periodic audits on the adequacy of and compliance with the AI's controls over customer data;
  12. Have in place controls over the handling of customer data by third party service providers, including imposing contractual obligations on them to comply with the AI's policies and procedures; and
  13. Report any loss or leakage of customer data to the HKMA, the relevant customers and the Privacy Commissioner where appropriate. The HKMA expects an AI to provide justification for a decision not to report.

Banks should complete the critical review by Q1 2015 in accordance with the HKMA Circular and take necessary and timely steps in light of the results of the review.


Banks are under increased scrutiny from the Privacy Commissioner and HKMA, as well as the general public. There is also heightened expectation for banks to treat data protection as an integral part of their overall compliance infrastructure.

The potential consequences of non-compliance include investigations, fines, civil claims and reputational damage. It is therefore very important for a bank to design and implement an effective data protection compliance policy that addresses all legal and regulatory requirements from various sources that are applicable to it having regard to the nature and scale of business, and its circumstances and needs. For a bank that is part of an international group, the compliance policy will have to address not only requirements under Hong Kong law but also foreign laws and group policies. Apart from management commitment and oversight, a key component of the compliance policy is staff awareness and training.

Whilst cyber security and employee data handling are beyond the scope of this article, we have designated teams and experts to provide advice on those topics. Please contact us if you require further assistance.

To read this Review in full, please click here.

Originally published December 2014

Learn more about our Intellectual Property, Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Privacy & Security practices.

Visit us at www.mayerbrownjsm.com

Mayer Brown is a global legal services organization comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the Mayer Brown Practices). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP, a limited liability partnership established in the United States; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership, and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2015. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein. Please also read the JSM legal publications Disclaimer.

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.

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”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
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
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

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