United States: Munchkin And The Recovery Of Attorneys' Fees From PTAB Proceedings

With its 2014 decision in Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc.,1 the U.S. Supreme Court relaxed patent litigation’s fee-shifting standard under 35 U.S.C. § 285. Section 285 grants district courts the discretion to award attorneys’ fees to prevailing patent litigants in “exceptional cases.” But pre-Octane, only certain categories of conduct could render a case exceptional: “willful infringement, fraud or inequitable conduct in procuring the patent, misconduct during litigation, vexatious or unjustified litigation, conduct that violates Fed. R. Civ. P. 11, or like infractions.”2 Octane rejected the categorical approach and returned to trial judges the discretion to determine what conduct qualifies as exceptional—that is, it need only “stand[] out.”3

Two years before Octane, Congress passed the America Invents Act, establishing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a body of administrative patent judges who oversee the administration of a new regime of post-grant procedures for challenging a patent’s validity. These new instruments—inter partes review (IPR), covered business method review, and post-grant review—were designed as an alternative to parts of district court litigation and expanded upon and replaced inter partes reexamination, a less-robust procedure conducted by USPTO examiners with a minimal adversarial posture. The renewed vigor of § 285 coinciding with the prevalence of PTAB proceedings has given rise to thorny issues, among them whether and when courts should include in § 285 awards those attorneys’ fees attributable to parallel PTAB proceedings.

While no single standard has emerged from the federal bench, Magistrate Judge John E. McDermott of the Central District of California recently granted attorneys’ fees attributable to an inter partes review,4 providing occasion to consider the variety of standards.

Munchkin v. Luv N’ Care

In Munchkin, Inc. v. Luv N’ Care, Ltd., Munchkin sued Admar International and Luv N’ Care (LNC) alleging patent infringement by LNC’s leak-proof cups for children.5 LNC filed an IPR petition against Munchkin’s asserted patent and Magistrate Judge McDermott, conducting the case by consent, stayed the trial when the PTAB instituted the IPR.6 After the PTAB invalidated the patent and Munchkin unsuccessfully appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the trial court lifted the stay. In a gambit that would have precluded LNC from seeking attorneys’ fees, Munchkin immediately moved to voluntarily dismiss the case under Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2). The court denied Munchkin’s motion, dismissed the case under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and granted LNC attorneys’ fees pursuant to § 285, stating that Munchkin was “objectively unreasonable in persisting in all out litigation” where it was “aware[] of the substantive weakness of ” its patent.7 This rendered the case exceptional. 

In the court’s judgment, the petition for and institution of the IPR notified Munchkin of the weakness of its patent—a weakness made more conspicuous by LNC’s allegation that, during patent procurement, Munchkin was aware of and failed to present potentially invalidating prior art before the USPTO. Despite these setbacks, Munchkin eschewed settlement with LNC, fought LNC’s motion to stay the trial pending resolution of the IPR, unsuccessfully appealed the PTAB’s judgment, and immediately thereafter moved to voluntarily dismiss its claim. Munchkin’s “doggedness” was, in the court’s opinion, unreasonable.8 Judge McDermott’s displeasure with the patentee’s litigation strategy was no doubt aggravated by Munchkin’s conduct in prosecuting a trademark claim earlier in the suit, which the court also found sufficiently exceptional to justify awarding LNC attorneys’ fees for defending that claim.9

Of the $1.43 million in attorneys’ fees requested by LNC, nearly a third were attributable to the IPR proceeding and related Federal Circuit appeal. Munchkin objected to inclusion of LNC’s IPR fees, citing Deep Sky Software, Inc. v. Sw. Airlines Co. for the proposition that the court could only include these fees if the IPR “essentially substituted for work that would otherwise have been done before th[e] court.”10 Munchkin asserted that the IPR did not substitute for the work of the court; rather, it unwound work already done. The IPR had, in Munchkin’s description, “resurrected [LNC’s] defense” by “effectively revers[ing]” the court’s claim construction rulings rendered prior to the IPR’s institution. 

Rejecting this argument, Judge McDermott reasoned that because the PTAB decided issues of validity not addressed by the court, the IPR did substitute or the court’s work. Not content to rest its holding on this substitution rationale alone, the court also recognized that the IPR satisfied a “but for” standard: because LNC would not have expended fees to litigate an IPR and a Federal Circuit appeal but for Munchkin’s infringement claim, those fees were properly included in the § 285 award. The award fully satisfied LNC’s requested IPR fees; the court did not discount the award to reflect claim construction arguments presented at the PTAB that may have been duplicative of arguments already put forward at trial.

These two standards—substitution and but-for causation—represent two of the four standards district courts have applied when deciding whether to grant attorneys’ fees from PTAB proceedings under § 285. The other two standards are tests for relevance and necessity. In the majority of opinions that address this issue, most have used one of the substitution, relevance, and necessity standards to deny the prevailing party attorneys’ fees attributable to PTAB procedures. But two opinions, each employing the but-for standard, have granted such fees.

The Substitution, Necessity, and Relevance Standards

To justify excluding from § 285 awards those attorneys’ fees attributable to PTAB proceedings, district courts have seized upon the text of two opinions from the Federal Circuit: Lam, Inc. v. Johns-Manville Corp.11 and PPG Industries, Inc. v. Celanese Polymer Specialties Co.12 The Northern District of Illinois has followed PPG’s “substitution” standard, the District of Colorado and the Southern and Northern Districts of Texas have followed Lam’s “necessity” standard, and the Central District of California has followed PPG in one case and Lam in another. Anomalously, the District of Minnesota has ignored Lam and PPG and adopted a “relevance” standard.

Lam and PPG

In 1983, the Lam court stated that as a general principle, § 285 “permits the prevailing party to recover disbursements that were necessary for the case.”13 Five years later, the PPG court reviewed a patent infringement trial that, like Munchkin, had at one point been stayed pending the resolution of a post-grant procedure at the USPTO.14 The patentee convinced the court to stay the trial in favor of the USPTO proceeding, an inter partes reissue examination, by asserting that it could resolve matters that may shorten the trial. The patentee’s argument proved prescient, as the reissue resulted in the rejection of the patentee’s asserted claims and ended the infringement suit.15 

The trial court found the case exceptional under § 285, but excluded fees attributable to the USPTO proceedings. The trial court reasoned that the reissue procedure did not, by law, require the defendant’s participation, so the defendant’s work on the reissue was not necessary. And, under the trial court’s theory, what was not necessary was not compensable under § 285 (evoking Lam).16

The Federal Circuit was unconvinced; it recognized that the trial court instituted the stay intending that the reissue proceeding, with both parties’ participation, would replace the district court litigation. And though it recognized that this had rendered the reissue necessary,17 the Federal Circuit concluded that the defendant’s entitlement to attorneys’ fees from the reissue turned on the fact that reissue proceedings “substituted for the district court litigation.”18

District Court Applications

Of the district courts that have considered the propriety of granting attorneys’ fees for post-issuance procedures, most have embraced the “necessary” phraseology of Lam, while a minority have gravitated to the substitution standard elucidated in PPG.

1. The “Substitution” Standard

The Southern District of California was an early adopter of the substitution standard. In Deep Sky Software, Inc. v. Southwest Airlines Co.,19 upon which the Munchkin court relied, the Southern District cited PPG to support granting attorneys’ fees attributable to an inter partes reexamination that had stayed the trial and “essentially substituted” for the court’s work.20 Recently, however, the Northern District of Illinois in Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Techtronic Industries Co. adopted the same standard, but reached the opposite result.21 The court refused to wrap fees attributable to an IPR into a § 285 award because, unlike USPTO proceedings in Deep Sky and PPG, the IPR of Chamberlain did not instigate a stay of trial litigation to facilitate any substitution of work.22 Because the Central District of California had stayed the Munchkin trial in favor of an IPR, the Munchkin court could not distinguish Deep Sky and so it held that the PTAB’s work substituted for the court’s. In awarding attorneys’ fees from the IPR, however, the Munchkin court did not rely solely on PPG’s substitution standard. As explained below, Judge McDermott also cited a “but-for” standard. 

2. The “Necessity” Standard

Lam’s necessity standard has proved more popular than PPG’s substitution standard. Three months before it decided Munchkin, the  Central District of California decided Spitz Technologies Corp. v. Nobel Biocare USA LLC, in which the court excluded from a § 285 award fees attributable to the preparation of IPR petitions that were denied institution. In justifying the exclusion, the court stated that the PTAB proceedings were not “necessary” to, nor did they have any bearing on, the court’s ultimate conclusion of noninfringement.23 Using the same reasoning, the District of Colorado and the Southern and Northern Districts of Texas have also excluded fees related to IPRs on similar facts.24

3. The “Relevance” Standard

The District of Minnesota developed its own, anomalous standard. In M-I Drilling Fluids UK Ltd. v. Dynamic Air Inc., the defendant filed an IPR petition against the asserted patent, but ultimately prevailed on a noninfringement theory. When apportioning the defendant’s § 285 award, the court refused to include fees attributable to an IPR petition that was irrelevant to the successful noninfringement defense.25 The court adapted this relevance standard from a decade-old District of Oregon decision that limited attorneys’ fees (in purportedly any context) to those “expended in furtherance of successful claims, or of claims closely related to successful claims.”26

The But-For Standard 

Two district courts—the Eastern District of Texas and the Central District of California—have relied on Supreme Court precedent to justify the award of attorneys’ fees attributable to PTAB proceedings. In Munchkin, the Central District of California turned to the Supreme Court’s “but-for” standard of Fox v. Vice27 to determine how to allot attorneys’ fees under § 285. In Fox, the Supreme Court considered 42 U.S.C. § 1988, a fee-shifting statute applicable in civil rights cases. Prior to Fox, the Court had interpreted § 1988 to allow awarding attorneys’ fees to defendants who prevailed in frivolous civil rights suits. The Fox Court contemplated how to apportion

attorneys’ fees when only some of the plaintiff ’s civil rights claims are frivolous. It held that, under § 1988, a prevailing defendant “receives only the portion of his fees that he would not have paid but for the frivolous claim.”28

In 2017, the Supreme Court confirmed in Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger that Fox’s but-for standard extends beyond the § 1988 context and into awards of attorneys’ fees promulgated under a court’s inherent authority to sanction abuses of the judicial processes.29 Months later, Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne of the Eastern District of Texas invoked Goodyear in My Health, Inc. v. ALR Technologies, Inc. to justify applying the but-for standard in the § 285 context.30 In Munchkin, the Central District of California turned to the Supreme Court’s “but-for” standard of Fox v. Vice to determine how to allot attorneys’ fees under § 285.

Unlike the courts in Munchkin or PPG, the My Health court had not stayed the trial in favor of a post-grant proceeding. Rather, the court invalidated the asserted patent under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (an invalidity ground unavailable in an IPR) on a motion to dismiss. Nevertheless, the prevailing defendants requested attorneys’ fees for the IPR petition they prepared after being sued, but that was unresolved prior to the court’s invalidating the patent under § 101. Because Judge Payne was satisfied that the defendants “never would have sought IPR if they had not been sued for allegedly infringing the” asserted patent, he awarded them fees attributable to the IPR. Citing Goodyear’s but-for standard, the court stated that “all of the defendants’ reasonable expenses after the day My Health filed suit should be awarded.”31 In resolving the case on the threshold issue of subject-matter eligibility under § 101, Judge Payne had no occasion to stay the trial in favor of an IPR proceeding that prohibits invalidity challenges under § 101. 

In resolving the case on the threshold issue of subject-matter eligibility under § 101, Judge Payne had no occasion to stay the trial in favor of an IPR proceeding that prohibits invalidity challenges under § 101. Thus, referring back to Lam and PPG, one could argue that the defendant’s filing of the IPR petition in My Health was not “substitutive” of the court’s work, and, in view of the court’s final judgment, was wholly “unnecessary” and “irrelevant.” But because the court adopted Goodyear’s but-for standard, even attorneys’ fees for work that was arguably unnecessary, irrelevant, and non-substitutive were nonetheless recoverable. 

Though the Munchkin court was satisfied that the IPR had substituted for the work of the court, it also adopted My Health’s but-for standard and found it satisfied for the same reason provided by Judge Payne in My Health: because the prevailing defendant would not have expended fees to litigate an IPR but for the patentee’s infringement suit, those fees were recoverable under § 285.

Conclusion

To date, district courts have employed at least four different standards when determining whether to award attorneys’ fees from PTAB proceedings under § 285:

1. Substitution;

2. Necessity;

3. Relevance; and

4. But-for.

The first three standards have proven to be a hurdle for defendants in seeking attorneys’ fees for PTAB-related proceedings.32 By contrast, the but-for standard applied in My Health and Munchkin poses less of a challenge. As an example, in the Spitz case discussed above—where the Central District of California refused to include attorneys’ fees from denied IPR petitions because they were not “necessary” to the court’s final judgment of noninfringement33—it is reasonable to assume that the court there may have come to a different conclusion had it instead applied the but-for standard. 

In summary, reasonable expenditures made by the defendant at any point after the plaintiff files its lawsuit appear to satisfy the but-for standard. In contrast, satisfaction of the three other standards depends upon events that occur after filing (e.g., whether the case was stayed, whether the IPR petitions were a substitute for litigation, etc.). But Munchkin’s reliance on two distinct standards—but-for and substitution34—illustrates the lack of consensus among federal district courts on which standard the law demands. Until the Federal Circuit provides guidance on the split between the four standards, prevailing defendants would do well to argue for the propriety of the but-for standard, as promulgated under Supreme Court precedent—Fox and Goodyear—and as modeled by My Health and Munchkin. The alternative standards—substitution, necessity, and relevance—appear to present a much higher bar to recovery.

Footnote

1 572 U.S. 545 (2014).

2 Brooks Furniture Mfg., Inc. v. Dutailier Int’l, Inc., 393 F.3d 1378, 1381 (Fed. Cir. 2005).

3 572 U.S. at 554.

Munchkin, Inc. v. Luv N’ Care, Ltd., No. CV 13-06787 JEM (C.D. Cal. Dec. 27, 2018), appeal docketed, No. 19-1454 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 23, 2019).

5 Munchkin initially brought suit for trademark infringement and unfair competition, but those claims were eventually dropped in favor of the patent infringement claim. See id. at 2–3.

Id. (citing Luv N’ Care, Ltd. v. Munchkin, Inc., No. IPR2015-00872, No. 9 (P.T.A.B. Sept. 18, 2015)).

Id. at 9–10.

Id.

Id. at 7–8 (citing 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a), the sister-statute to 35 U.S.C. § 285 applicable to trademark claims).

10 No. 10-cv-1234, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178030, at *5 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 19, 2015).

11 718 F.2d 1056 (Fed. Cir. 1983).

12 840 F.2d 1565 (Fed. Cir. 1988).

13 718 F.2d at 1069. Having been established only the year before, the Federal Circuit distilled this judgment from its sister circuits’ case law. See id. (collecting cases).

14 840 F.3d at 1566, 1568.

15 See id. at 1566–67.

16 Id. at 1569.

17 Id. (citing Scott Paper Co. v. Moore Bus. Forms, Inc., 604 F. Supp. 835, 838 (D. Del. 1984)).

18 Id.

19 No. 10-cv-1234-CAB (KSC), 2015 WL 10844231, at *2–3 (S.D. Cal. 2015).

20 Id.

21 315 F. Supp. 3d 977, 1019–20 (N.D. Ill. 2018), appeal docketed, No. 18-2103 (Fed. Cir. June 25, 2018).

22 Id.

23 No. SACV 17-00660 JVS (JCGx), at 5–6 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2018), appeal docketed, No. 18-2345 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 7, 2018).

24 SAP Am., Inc. v. Investpic, LLC, No. 3:16-CV-02689-K, 2018 WL 6329690, at *4 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 4, 2018) (holding that preparation of a CBM that was never filed was not “reasonable or necessary” to pursue the defendant’s position), appeal docketed, No. 19-1338 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 21, 2018); Chaffin v. Braden, No. 6:14-0027, 2016 WL 5372540, at *1–2 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 26, 2016); Brilliant Optical Sols., LLC v. Comcast Corp., No. 13–cv–00886–REB, 2015 WL 1476691, at *4 (D. Colo. Mar. 27, 2015) (holding that preparing an IPR petition, later denied, was not “reasonably necessary for the defense of this case”).

25 No. 14-4857 (JRT/HB), 2018 WL 1399308, at *1–2 (D. Minn. Mar. 20, 2018), appeal docketed, No. 18-1775 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 5, 2018).

26 Id. at *1 (citing Whitworth v. Nat’l Enter. Sys., Inc., No. 08-968, 2010 WL 1924505, at *6 (D. Or. Apr. 21, 2010)). 

27 563 U.S. 826 (2011).

28 Id. at 836.

29 137 S. Ct. 1178, 1186–87 (2017) (quoting Fox v. Vice, 563 U.S. 826, 836 (2011)).

30 My Health, Inc. v. ALR Techs., Inc., No. 2:16-cv-00535-RWS-RSP, 2017 WL 6512221, at *6 (E.D. Tex. Dec. 19, 2017), adopted, No. 2:16-cv-00535-RWS-RSP (E.D. Tex. Nov. 29, 2018).

31 Id.

32 Despite these general difficulties, defendants have seen success under the substitution standard where the case was stayed pending resolution of the PTAB proceedings. Compare discussion of PPG and Deep Sky, with discussion of Chamberlain.

33 Spitz Techs. Corp. v. Nobel Biocare USA LLC, No. SACV 17-00660 JVS (JCGx), at *5–6 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 13, 2018), appeal docketed, No. 18-2345 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 7, 2018).

34 Munchkin, Inc. v. Luv N’ Care, Ltd., supra note 2. That Judge McDermott adopted these two standards after the Spitz decision’s reliance on the necessity standard suggests that there is not even consensus among judges in the Central District of California.

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

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

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

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please 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