UK: IP Bulletin – March 2012

PATENTS

The Patent Box

A reduced 10 per cent rate of UK corporation tax for profits attributed to patents and similar types of intellectual property.

It was confirmed in this year's UK Budget on 21 March 2012 that the so-called "Patent Box" (first announced in the UK Budget in November 2010) will be phased in over five years from 1 April 2013. Currently the mainstream corporation tax rate is 24 per cent (23 per cent from 1 April 2014). When the Patent Box regime comes fully into force, a reduced 10 per cent rate of UK corporation tax for profits attributed to patents and similar types of intellectual property will be payable.

Full details of the regime (including the precise nature of what will be regarded as "similar types of intellectual property") have yet to be announced.

Handover methods in the mobile telecommunications industry

In a claim in the Patents Court relating to a patent for method of handing over communications between a mobile telephone and a first base station to a second base station, Nokia sought revocation of the patent and also declarations that the patent was not essential to various international telecommunications standards. IPCom, the patentee, did not actively defend the patent in the form it was granted but put forward three alternative sets of proposed amended claims. The Patents Court noted that the declarations sought implied that it is possible to sell a device which conforms to the standards without infringing the patent but nonetheless heard the claims - and revoked the patent, holding that Nokia were entitled to declarations to the effect that none of the claims the subject of any of the applications to amend is essential to the UMTS, GSM or LTE international telecommunications standards.

NOKIA GMBH v IPCOM GMBH & CO KG [2012] EWHC 225 (Pat), 20 February 2012

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/225.html

In another round in the battle between Nokia and IPCom over patents and royalties, the claimant Nokia GmbH sought revocation of IPCom's European Patent (UK) 1 018 849 relating to a method of handing over communications between a mobile telephone and a first base station to a second base station. Nokia also sought declarations that the patent was not essential to certain telecommunications standards.

The validity of the patent in question was not actively defended by IPCom (IPCom did not advance a positive case that the claims as granted were valid and "if there had been anything which could have been said to support the validity of these claims, IPCom would have said it" – paragraph 42 of the judgment). Instead, IPCom put forward three alternative sets of proposed amended claims, two of which Nokia contended were not allowable.

The Patents Court held that the claims of the patent as granted were invalid. IPCom's main application to amend was not allowable because the claims so amended were invalid for lack of novelty and lack of inventive step (paragraphs 83-148 of the judgment). Further, IPCom's first auxiliary application to amend was not allowable as the amendments added subject matter. The claim was in effect a disclosure of a process which was nowhere to be found in the application as filed. The process disclosed in the application as filed had additional features which were technically and functionally related to the features which had been inserted in the claims (paragraph 152). IPCom's second auxiliary application to amend was allowed subject to an application to amend to remove certain passages of the specification identified by Floyd J (paragraphs 161-165).

The judgment details the court's inherent jurisdiction to grant a binding declaration as to whether the claims of a patent are essential or inessential to a particular standard (paragraph 166). "Whether or not a patent is essential to a standard may be important. If it is essential you cannot make apparatus or operate methods in accordance with the standard without infringing the patent. Accordingly, the patent will inevitably be a source of licensing income for the patentee." Nokia sought declarations that the claims were not essential to three telecommunications standards: UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and LTE (Long Term Evolution).

The court held that none of the claims in the applications to amend were essential to the GSM and UMTS standards (paragraphs 173 and 177). Also, none of the claims were held essential to the relevant releases of the LTE standard (paragraph 186) (LTE was still in the course of development but this did not mean that the court could not grant such a declaration). Accordingly Nokia were entitled to declarations to the effect that none of the claims the subject of any of the applications to amend is essential to the UMTS, GSM or LTE standards.

TRADE MARKS

The risks of a new marketing campaign

Aggressively targeting a competitor's trade marks as part of a new marketing campaign has taken Asda all the way to the Court of Appeal. Questions have also been referred to the ECJ concerning use of the Specsavers' Wordless Logo mark.

Specsavers International Healthcare Ltd and others v Asda Stores Ltd [2012]

EWCA Civ 24, 31 January 2012

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/24.html

The Court of Appeal allowed in part an appeal by the claimant Specsavers against a High Court decision that a new Asda logo (consisting of two abutting white ovals on a green background with the words "Asda" and "Opticians" written across the ovals in green script) and two straplines ("Be a real specsaver at Asda" and "Spec savings at Asda"), used by the defendant Asda in a marketing campaign to relaunch its optical business, infringed some, but not others, of Specsavers' Community trade marks (CTMs) under Article 9(1)(c) of the CTM Regulation (207/2009/EC). The Court also referred questions to the ECJ concerning whether use of Specsavers' Wordless Logo mark and separate word mark together amounted to use of the Wordless Logo mark for the purposes of Article 15 of the Regulation.

The Asda Logo:

Asda had decided to reposition and relaunch its optical business as a result of which a new marketing strategy was developed which culminated in a campaign of newspaper advertisements, roadside billboards, online and in-store promotion of materials. Specsavers, Asda's main competitor, commenced proceedings for trade mark infringement and passing off as soon as it became aware of Asda's new campaign. The High Court rejected all allegations of infringement except one and rejected the claim for passing off. The court also revoked one of Specsavers' marks for non-use. Specsavers appealed against the findings of non-infringement and invalidity for non-use. Asda crossappealed against the one finding of infringement made by the judge.

On appeal:

The Court of Appeal stayed Specsavers' appeal against the order for revocation of its Wordless logo mark and the allegation that the Asda logo infringed this mark under Articles 9(1)(b) and 9(1)(c) pending a reference to the ECJ (paragraph 181).

Specsavers's Wordless Logo Mark:

The Court has asked the ECJ to consider (a) where a proprietor has separate registrations of CTMs for a graphic device mark and a word mark and uses the two together, whether such use is capable of amounting to use under the Regulation of the graphic device mark; and (b) if so, how should the question of use be assessed (does it make a difference if the word mark is superimposed over the graphic device or if the proprietor has the combined device and word mark registered as a CTM or if the average consumer perceives the graphic device and the words to be separate signs or marks, each having an independent distinctive role).

In addition, the Court has also asked the ECJ to consider whether the use, in colour, of a mark registered in black and white is relevant in the assessment of the likelihood of confusion under Article 9(1)(b) or unfair advantage under Article 9(1)(c) of the Regulation and, if so, how. The ECJ's guidance on these matters will be awaited eagerly by owners of wordless marks who may be concerned that such marks should be used without the addition of words in order to prevent revocation for non-use.

Concerning the allegations of infringement, the Court of Appeal dismissed Asda's appeal against the High Court's ruling that the strapline "Be a real spec saver at Asda" infringed Specsavers' word marks under Article 9(1)(c) because it took unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute of the CTMs. Asda used the strapline intending to bring Specsavers to mind. Use did not involve an objective comparison of verifiable and representative features of the parties' goods and services (paragraph 149 – 151 of the judgment).

The Court of Appeal upheld Specsavers' appeal that the Asda logo and a second strapline "Spec saving at ASDA" infringed Specsavers' marks under Article 9(1)(c) when used as part of its composite advertising campaign finding that the High Court judge had erred by focusing on the differences between the two straplines when in fact they were "very similar to each other". "Despite the context of the second strapline as a whole, which ... would dispel the likelihood of confusion as to origin, ... the average consumer seeing [the second] strapline would make a connection with Specsavers". This was Asda's intention and the court's findings were amply supported by the evidence as to the conception and development of Asda's marketing campaign. Further, the Court held that Specsavers had made out a case of unfair advantage. In assessing unfair advantage, a global assessment was necessary having regard to all relevant circumstances, the significant reputation attached to Specsavers' marks, the fact that the goods were identical and the fact that it was Asda's intention to target the campaign at Specsavers and to convey the message that Asda offered good, if not better, value. Taking these matters into account, the Court of Appeal was satisfied that the use of the Asda logo and straplines was such as to create a link with the Specsavers' Shaded and Unshaded Logo Marks in the mind of the average consumer, that this link did confer an advantage on Asda and that this advantage was unfair and without due cause (paragraph 164).

Accordingly, a finding of infringement of the Specsavers's word marks and the Specsavers's Shaded and Unshaded logo marks (each of which includes the word Specsavers) under Article 9(1)(c) should have followed (paragraphs 153 and 154).

The Specsavers's Shaded Logo Mark:

The Specsavers's Unshaded Logo Mark:

The court dismissed Specsavers' appeal that the straplines and the logo infringed Specsavers' word and logo marks under Article 9(1)(b). The judge approached the issue of the likelihood of confusion arising from the use of the straplines entirely correctly. The average consumer would see the signs "spec saver" and "spec savings" in the context of the straplines and the posters and other materials on which they were used as a whole, and the judge was right to consider them on that basis. Their use and Asda's logo were not likely to cause confusion or association with Specsavers' word and logo marks and no infringement under Article (9)(1)(b) had been established (see paragraphs 88-102 and 185).

COPYRIGHT

No requirement for ISPs to install filter systems

In a recent ruling which will be welcomed by hosting service providers, the European Court of Justice has held that national courts may not require internet service providers to install a system for filtering information to prevent copyright works being made available to the public in breach of copyright.

Belgische Vereniging van Auteurs, Componisten en Uitgevers CVBA (SABAM) v Netlog NV, Case 360/10, 16 February 2012

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=119512&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=156512 "

The defendant, Netlog NV, runs an online social networking platform. The claimant SABAM is a management company which represents authors, composers and publishers of musical works, and further authorises the use by third parties of copyright protected works. SABAM claimed that Netlog's social network offered users the opportunity to make use of copyright works in SABAM's repertoire, making those works available to the public in such a way that other users of the network could have access without SABAM's consent and without payment of a fee by Netlog. SABAM approached Netlog hoping to conclude an agreement regarding payment of a fee. Eventually, SABAM summoned Netlog before the Court of First Instance in Brussels seeking an order that

(a) Netlog cease making available copyright works; and

(b) Netlog pay a penalty of EUR 1000 for each day of delay in complying with the order.

In response, Netlog claimed that the imposition of such an order would mean that Netlog would need to introduce a system for filtering most of the information stored on its servers in order to identify electronic files containing material in respect of which SABAM claimed to own rights and, further, that Netlog would be required to block the exchange of such files. Such a system would have implications in terms of processing personal data. The Brussels court decided to refer to the Court of Justice the question of whether a national court may order a hosting service provider to introduce, at its own cost and for an unlimited period, a system for filtering information for the above purposes.

The ECJ held, applying the principles from its November 2011 judgment in Scarlet Extended Case C-70/10 [2011] ECR I-0000, that the Directives on electronic commerce (2000/31/EC), harmonisation of certain aspect of copyright and related rights in the information society (2001/29/EC) and the enforcement of intellectual property rights (2004/48/EC) must be interpreted as precluding a national court from issuing an injunction against a hosting service provider which requires it to install a system for filtering information with a view to prevent copyright infringement.

The ECJ said there is a fair balance to be struck between the right to intellectual property on the one hand and, on the other, the freedom to conduct business, the right to protect personal data and the freedom to receive or impart information.

DESIGNS

ECJ rules on whether a registered Community design may infringe an earlier registered design

The European Court of Justice has ruled that in a dispute relating to infringement of the exclusive right conferred by a registered community design, the right to prevent use by third parties of the design extends to any third party who uses a design that does not produce on informed users a different overall impression. Such third party may include the holder of a later registered community design.

Celaya Emparanza y Galdos Internacional SA v Proyectos Integrales de Balizamiento SL, Case C-488/10, 16 February 2012

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=119511&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=791554 "

The claimant brought proceedings in a Spanish court alleging that the defendant had infringed the claimant's registered Community design. The defendant submitted that the claimant lacked locus standi to bring the proceedings because the design marketed by the defendant was a reproduction of a Community design that was registered to the defendant. The defendant argued that until such time as the defendant's registration was cancelled, the defendant enjoyed a right of use under the Community Designs Regulation (6/2002/EC ) ("CDR"). The Spanish court referred two questions to the European Court of Justice ("ECJ"):

1. In proceedings for infringement of the exclusive right conferred by a registered Community design, does the right to prevent the use thereof by third parties provided for in Article 19(1) of the CDR... extend to any third party who uses another design that does not produce on informed users a different overall impression or, on the contrary, is a third party who uses a later Community design registered in his name excluded until such time as that design is declared invalid?

2. Is the answer to the first question unconnected with the intention of the third party or does it depend on his conduct, a decisive point being whether the third party applied for and registered the later Community design after receiving an extra-judicial demand from the holder of the earlier Community design calling on him to cease marketing the product on the ground that it infringes rights deriving from that earlier design?'

The ECJ ruled that Article 19(1) of the CDR should be interpreted as meaning that the right to prevent use by third parties of a Community design extends to any third party (including the third party owner of a later registered Community design) who uses a design that does not produce on informed users a different overall impression and that the answer to this question was not connected with the intention or conduct of the third party.

The ECJ also noted that the CDR makes a clear distinction, as regards actions relating to registered Community designs, between those alleging infringement and those seeking a declaration of invalidity. Such actions are distinguished in terms of their object and effects, "so that the fact that it is possible for the holder of an earlier registered Community design to bring infringement proceedings against the holder of a later registered Community design cannot render the bringing of an application for a declaration of invalidity against the latter before OHIM devoid of any purpose".

Consequently "it must be concluded that, in so far as the later registered Community design, use of which is prohibited, remains valid until such time as it has been declared invalid by OHIM or a Community design court in the context of a counterclaim for a declaration of invalidity, the review system established by the Regulation is not undermined by [the ECJ's conclusion set out at paragraph one above].

Accordingly, the owner of a registered Community design may pursue an infringer without first taking steps to invalidate the infringer's later registered design right.

OTHER MATTERS OF INTEREST

Ministry of Justice issues call for evidence on European data protection proposals

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/data-protection-proposals-cfe

The Government is seeking evidence on the new legislative proposals for data protection published by the European Commission.

The proposals, consist of a draft Regulation setting out a general EU framework for data protection and a draft Directive on protecting personal data processed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of criminal offences and related judicial activities, were published on 25 January 2012.

Data controllers, rights groups and other interested parties have been invited to provide information about the likely impact of the proposals in order to assist the Government in its forthcoming negotiations for an effective EU data protection legislative framework.

ICANN consults on defensive applications for gTLDs

http://www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-06feb12-en.htm

ICANN has launched a consultation on addressing concerns about the need for "defensive" applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

Applications for the new gTLDs opened from 12 January 2012. The new gTLD program includes carefully crafted, new protections for trade mark owners and consumers. However, at the time of opening the new gTLD application window, parties stated their perception that they would need to submit "defensive" gTLD applications in order to protect their own trade marks. ICANN is seeking public comment on the sources of this perception and how the issue may be addressed.

ICANN's trade mark rights protection and dispute resolution mechanisms for GTLDs

http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/rpm/

WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center announcement, Trademark Rights Protection Mechanisms for New gTLDs, 2 February 2012.

WIPO has announced ICANN's range of (a) trade mark rights protection mechanisms; and (b) dispute resolution mechanisms for its new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

The new rights protection mechanisms are available for use before new gTLDs are approved and become operational. In addition, a range of dispute resolution mechanisms are available for use once a new gTLD has been approved and becomes operational. These include a Trademark Clearinghouse (for use with sunrise periods and trade mark claims services), a Uniform Rapid Suspension system and a Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure. The existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy will also apply to all new gTLDs.

EU General Court annuls decision concerning opposition to Basmali figurative Mark

http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=118041&pageIndex=0& doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=42597

The EU General Court has annulled the decision of the First Board of Appeal of OHIM rejecting an opposition to an application for the figurative mark "Basmali" by Siam Grains Co. Limited for "long rice".

The opponent, Tilda Riceland private Limited, claimed rights in passing off to the word BASMATI under Article 8(4) of the CTM Regulation (40/94/EEC, now replaced by 207/2009/EC). The appeal board found that Tilda had not proved that it was the proprietor of the BASMATI mark and rejected the opposition.

However, the General Court found that the appeal board erred in rejecting the opposition on the ground that the opponent had not proved that it was the proprietor of the sign in question, without analysing specifically whether the opponent had acquired rights over the BASMATI mark in accordance with the law of the United Kingdom.

PCC rules on infringement of "Griller" figurative mark

Waseem Ghias (t/a Griller) v Mohammed Ikram (t/a the Griller Original) and others [2012] EWPCC 3, 24 January 2012

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWPCC/2012/3.html

The Patents County Court has ruled that a device mark consisting of the word "Griller" and "flames" (the "Logo") registered for foods, beverages and restaurant, bar and catering services was infringed under section 10(2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 by the use, by two of the defendants, of the signs "Griller" and "The Griller Original" for fast-food outlets. The court ruled that the manner of use by the fourth defendant of the name "Griller" gave rise to a likelihood of confusion, as the fourth defendant took the dominant element of the Logo, and used it as a sign in relation to identical services to those within the Logo's registration.

The claimant's Logo:

A second mark registered to the claimant (the "Device") was not infringed. The court found that the differences between the Device and the fourth defendant's signs prevented there being a likelihood of confusion between them.

The claimant's Device mark:

However, the court ruled that the Logo was not infringed by use by the defendants of device marks which included the words "Griller King" and "Griller Hut", also for fast-food outlets. The recorder held that there was a low level of similarity between the claimant's Logo and the "Griller King" and "Griller Hut" signs and that there was no infringement in these cases.

The defendants' "Griller King" mark:

The defendants' "Griller Hut" mark:

Three-dimensional mark incorporating stylised fish devoid of distinctive character?

"Deutsche See" GmbH, Case R 892/20011-2, 7 December 2011

http://oami.europa.eu/LegalDocs/BoA/2011/en/R0892_2011-2.pdf

The second appeal board of OHIM has upheld an appeal against an examiner's decision that a three-dimensional (3-D) mark comprising a crate with a stylised fish on the side was devoid of distinctive character.

The applicant, Deutsche See, who had an international registration for the 3-D mark had designated the European Union for the registration. However, the examiner said that the registration did not appear eligible for protection because it did not comply with Article 7(1)(b) of the Community Trade Mark Regulation (the mark was "devoid of any distinctive character").

The applicant filed a notice and grounds of appeal. The appeal board allowed the appeal pointing out that, while the crate itself may be devoid of any distinctive character for food containers, the presence of the fish-like logo on the side of the crate was significant.

The appeal board found the logo to be a highly fanciful design (evident in the top-right of the image as filed which would be highly noticeable in a life-size reproduction) consisting of three parallel wave-like bands terminating on the left hand side of the logo in an unmistakeable 'tail fin'. "It is both 'fish' and 'wave', a design which cleverly combines two concepts in a simple but striking form." In the board's view, the fish device constituted "a striking pictorial element on the side of the three dimensional container which enables the mark as a whole to function as a badge of trade origin for the goods and services in question". Accordingly, the appeal was upheld.

European Commission refers ACTA to the European Court of Justice

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/12/128&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

On 22 February 2012 the European Commission announced that it had decided to refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ("ACTA") to the European Court of Justice. ACTA, an international trade agreement intended to help countries work together to tackle more effectively large-scale Intellectual Property Rights violations, was adopted by the European Council in December 2011 and passed to national governments for ratification.

However, recently the ratification process of ACTA has triggered a Europe-wide debate on ACTA, the freedom of the internet and the importance of protecting Europe's Intellectual Property. The European Commission has now asked the European Court of Justice to assess whether ACTA is incompatible - in any way - with the EU's fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property.

[Putting] ".ACTA before the European Court of Justice is a needed step. This debate must be based upon facts and not upon the misinformation or rumour that has dominated social media sites and blogs in recent weeks...ACTA is an agreement that aims to raise global standards of enforcement of intellectual property rights. These very standards are already enshrined in European law. What counts for us is getting other countries to adopt them so that European companies can defend themselves against blatant rip-offs of their products and works when they do business around the world."

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement may be found by clicking here.

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

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

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

Authors
Charles Russell's Intellectual Property Group
 
In association with
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Registration

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 by clicking here .

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.

Cookies

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.

Links

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.

Mail-A-Friend

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.

Security

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.