United States: Post-Grant Proceedings As A Freedom-To-Operate Tool

While some may take it as a given that patent owners view America Invents Act post-grant proceedings—inter partes reviews and post-grant reviews—as disadvantageously weakening the U.S. patent system, the attitudes of patent owners may be more nuanced. Many parties, whether themselves patent owners or not, believe that IPRs and PGRs can also strengthen the U.S. patent system by providing less expensive and speedier avenues for rooting out invalid, i.e., unpatentable, patents.

To be sure, many IPR petitions are defensive, filed by petitioners accused of infringing the targets of those IPRs. On the other hand, there are innovative companies that file IPR and/or PGR petitions with an objective of acquiring freedom-to-operate (FTO) in the United States relative to the patent(s) of a third-party patent owner, often itself an innovative company.

For instance, perhaps Company A has just completed an intellectual property due diligence for acquiring Company B, including its products and patent portfolio. Perhaps the due diligence has raised the specter of lack of FTO for Company B's products in view of third-party patents. While ex parte re-examination requests and declaratory judgment actions remain options for Company A, it may well conclude that the least expensive, most timely, way to clear the FTO issue(s) is to challenge the roadblock patents via IPR or PGR. Not only are IPRs and PGRs statutorily mandated to terminate within 12 months,1 they also offer attractive features, compared to district court litigation, to challengers such as no presumption of validity, a preponderance of the evidence standard, and broadest reasonable claim interpretation. Limited discovery and—as a general rule—no live testimony contribute to keeping the costs and time lower than in district court litigation.

Without passing judgment on the overarching and much-debated question of whether IPRs and PGRs are inherently bad for patent owners, this article accepts the availability of IPRs and PGRs in their present state and explores the use of post-grant proceedings by innovative companies as FTO tools. This article defines innovative companies as those that invent products and protect those products with patents.

No Statutory or Policy Restrictions on Innovator-Filed IPRs or PGRs

Generally speaking, nearly anyone has standing to file IPR and PGR petitions. The relevant statutory provisions are broad, encompassing any person who is "not the owner of the patent" to be challenged.2 This is slightly narrowed by further provisions prohibiting filing of a petition by a party who has previously requested a declaratory judgment of invalidity,3 been sued for infringement in district court more than one year earlier (for IPRs only),4 and also may be narrowed by statutory and doctrinal estoppel provisions against, for example, the petitioner.5

Timing constraints are tied to the differences in scope between IPRs and PGRs. PGR petitions, which can raise any statutory ground of invalidity, may only be filed within nine months from issuance of a patent having at least one claim with an effective filing date after March 15, 2013, and also otherwise qualifying for PGR-attack.6 In contrast, in IPRs, only §102 or §103 grounds may be raised, and only on the basis of prior art consisting of patents or printed publications.7 IPRs can only be filed, for PGR-eligible patents, after the later of nine months post-issuance or the termination of any PGR instituted on the same claims.8 (For patents not eligible for PGR, e.g., pre-AIA patents, IPRs can be filed upon issue.) In addition, as mentioned above, a party who has been sued for infringement is prohibited from filing an IPR more than one year after being served with said suit.9

Congress' objectives for AIA post-grant proceedings were discussed in detail in the legislative history, and included providing a faster and less expensive alternative to district court litigation.10 IPRs and PGRs were purportedly also intended to provide a faster administrative challenge route than the existing reexamination process.11 Reflecting those objectives, both 37 C.F.R. 42.1(b) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office "Trial and Practice Guide" direct that the rules shall be "construed to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of every proceeding."12 Using IPRs and PGRs to establish freedom to operate between fellow innovators is within the scope of the IPR and PGR policy goals of "just, speedy, and inexpensive" alternatives to district court litigation and USPTO re-examinations.

Innovators Trying It: Examples of Innovator-Filed IPRs and PGRs in Biotech, Pharma and Life Sciences

There are several representative examples of IPRs filed by innovators in the bio/pharm field:

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. filed a petition in IPR2016-00458 against the University of Pennsylvania on its patent relating to compositions and method of treating tumors.
  • Pfizer Inc. challenged Genentech Inc. on eight of its patents related to making antibodies and therapies for autoimmune diseases: IPR2017-01923, IPR2017-01488, IPR2017-01489, IPR2017-01726, IPR2017-01727, IPR2017-01923, IPR2017-02019, IPR2017-02020, IPR2017-02063, IPR2017-02126, IPR2017-02127, and IPR2018-00016.
  • GlaxoSmithKline PLC filed five IPR petitions against FibroGen Inc. patents related to erythropoiesis and iron metabolism: IPR2016-01318, IPR2016-01319, IPR2016-01320, IPR2016-01322, and IPR2016-01323.
  • Purdue Pharma LP filed three IPR petitions against Depomed Inc. patents on extending the duration of drug release: IPR2014-00377, IPR2014-00378, IPR2014-00379.

There are also PGR examples, such as Merck & Co. Inc. filing petitions against Wyeth in PGR2017-00016 and PGR2017-00017 on an immunogenic composition (institution decisions pending).

We selected 207 innovator-filed bio/pharm IPR petitions and created the following charts to provide a snapshot of how innovator-filed petitions have fared in IPRs so far.13

Of these 207 selected innovator-filed bio/pharm IPR petitions, 51 were denied, 83 were granted on at least one claim, 29 were settled prior to an institution decision, and 44 are pending awaiting an institution decision. The grant rate for the 134 institution decisions was 62 percent (83/134) (granted on at least one claim/granted on at least one claim + denied).

Including "no institution" with the "denials" as an outcome favorable for the patent owner because the patent claims remain in force and unchanged, the "win rate" is lower: 49 percent (80/163). A settlement prior to institution may include concessions valuable to the challenger though.

Of the 83 granted IPR petitions, seven are pending awaiting termination, 14 settled after institution, seven had adverse judgments, six had a mixed result (at least one claim survived and at least one claim held unpatentable), one motion to amend was granted, 31 final written decisions held all instituted claims unpatentable, and in 17 final written decisions all instituted claims survived.

Just looking at the final written decisions on the merits, but excluding the mixed outcomes, the patent owner survival rate is 35 percent (17/48), and the innovator petitioner win rate for knocking out the instituted claims is 65 percent (31/48).

Considering the seven adverse judgment cases as a loss for the patent owner (since the instituted claims are canceled), and adding those to the calculation, the win rate for the innovator petitioner is 69 percent (38/55).

For the innovator looking for FTO against one or more third-party patents, a 62 percent chance of having an IPR instituted, and then a 65-69 percent chance of knocking out problematic claims, can be—depending on the circumstances—very appealing odds. In addition, although the 14 instituted cases settled prior to a final written decision (17 percent of the terminated cases) cannot be characterized as a win or loss since the settlement terms are not public, it is likely that the innovator challenger got something of value in the settlement and maybe even achieved FTO.

Evaluation of IPRs and PGRs as FTO Tools

In addition to the general receptiveness the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has displayed so far to petitioners across all technologies,14 there are specific aspects of IPRs and PGRs that can make the PTAB an appealing venue for innovators seeking FTO. One advantage is the technical training of the PTAB's judges. Another is the (so far) very low chance that the PTAB will grant a motion to amend to allow substituted claims.15 A PTAB decision on institution is essentially "nonappealable."16 This is a benefit to the petitioner when the IPR petition is granted and the trial instituted, though is a detriment if the petition is denied. As mentioned earlier, limited discovery and generally no live testimony help keep costs down. Additionally, the lower burden of proof, broadest reasonable interpretation standard for claim construction, and no presumption of patent validity create conditions for a challenger-friendly forum. Fast resolution and direct appeal to the Federal Circuit for final written decisions are two more factors. If the circumstances are such that there is already pending district court litigation on the patent(s) in question, a post-grant proceeding may be the basis for a motion to stay that district court litigation. If the post-grant proceeding is successful and the patent claims are held unpatentable, that outcome may spur settlement in the district court litigation.

Two benefits specific to PGRs and of particular relevance in the bio/pharma context are the opportunity to raise §112 issues, such as claim definiteness, enablement, and written description on the merits,17 and the opportunity to make non-publication-based §102 challenges, such as prior use or sale.

An innovator considering a post-grant proceeding must recognize, however, that there are possible downsides or at least cautions to integrate into the decision. For example, one aspect unique to innovator-initiated post-grant proceedings is that the most relevant art against the third-party target patent may also be relevant to the innovator's own patents. Careful analysis should be performed prior to filing and arguments should be crafted with attention to their potential relevance to the innovator-petitioner's own portfolio. Similar prudence should be taken when discussing lack of enablement and Wands factors. The innovator-petitioner should take care not to provide blueprints for challenges of its own patents.

Estoppel considerations, the boundaries of which remain uncertain right now, must also be taken into account.18 For PGRs, the broader grounds of attack allowed also brings the possibility of broader estoppel. The statutes provide that estoppel generally attaches to any ground "that the petitioner raised or reasonably could have raised during" that IPR or PGR.19 Estoppel applies to any future proceeding before the courts, the patent office, or the U.S. International Trade Commission, but it only attaches if the PTAB issues a final written decision.

How Do IPRs and PGRs Fit Into an Innovator's Overall Portfolio Management Strategy?

IPRs and PGRs may be a tool in the armamentarium of innovators looking for FTO. Of course, ex parte re-examinations and declaratory judgments also remain options for innovators. Which is best in a given set of circumstances may depend on the patent term remaining in the patents of interest, the time frame of the innovator's own projects/patents, how quickly a decision is desired, the appropriate budget in light of the innovator's business objectives, and whether there are related court and/or administrative proceedings pending.

Additionally, innovators hoping to make strategic use of PGRs must closely track competitor activity to know when patents of interest are issued (or reissued). Otherwise, the nine-month window for filing the PGR petition may be missed and the grounds available for challenge will be narrowed to those permitted in an IPR.

Clouds on the Horizon

A number of currently unsettled issues could impact innovators' use of IPRs and PGRs for FTO objectives. For example, if the U.S. Supreme Courtholds post-grant proceedings unconstitutional in Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene's Energy Group LLC, cert granted June 12, 2017, innovators' options will be back to only declaratory judgment actions and ex parte re-examinations.

The en banc Federal Circuit decision in Aqua Products Inc. v. Matal, No. 2015-1177, 2017 WL 4399000 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 4, 2017), means, at least for now, that any attempt by a patent owner to amend challenged claims will require the petitioner to show those proposed claims are unpatentable as well. The possible increased burden this presents will have to be weighed in an innovator's decision about employing IPRs or PGRs for FTO. It remains to be seen whether more motions to amend proposing substitute claims will be filed, and whether the PTAB will change its course from overwhelmingly rejecting such motions, as it has to date.

In addition, assuming arguendo that Oil States holds that IPRs and PGRs are constitutional, an innovator may yet face uncertainty about its ability to seek FTO via IPR or PGR, depending on the outcome of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe/Allergan Restasis case involving Native American tribal sovereign immunity, and related legislative proposals. If Allergan's sale of its relevant patents to St. Regis is upheld before the PTAB, and if Congress does not legislatively abrogate Native American tribal immunity in IPRs and PGRs, patent owners may have an option that would render their patents "bulletproof" to IPRs and PGRs. That being said, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., proposed a bill on Oct. 5, 2017, that would prohibit an "Indian tribe" from asserting sovereign immunity as a defense to an IPR.20 That bill, however, does not address PGRs or the assertion of sovereign immunity by states, or state universities, which has already been addressed by the PTAB.21 And notwithstanding state sovereign immunity, a question remains whether Congress can prohibit the type of agreement entered into by the St. Regis Mohawk tribe and Allergan in the first place.

An Innovator's Freedom-to-Operate Tool

Using IPRs and/or PGRs requires careful consideration, and every case must be weighed on its unique facts of business objectives, stage of product development, timing, and potential estoppel, to name a few. Although a less expensive and more speedy option than litigation, it is prudent not to treat IPRs and PGRs as a quick hatchet job on the competition, and especially so for innovator-petitioners. But in the right circumstances, following a detailed and careful analysis of points raised above, innovators may decide that IPRs and PGRs have their place after all, and can in fact smooth the path to FTO.

Footnotes

1 35 U.S.C. §316(a)(11) and 35 U.S.C. §326(a)(11).

2 35 U.S.C. §311(a) and 35 U.S.C. §321(a).

3 35 U.S.C. §315(a)(1) and 35 U.S.C. § 325(a)(1).

4 35 U.S.C. §315(b).

5 35 U.S.C. §315(e) and 35 U.S.C. §325(e). See also, 35 U.S.C. §325(d) permitting the PTAB to exercise its discretion to deny an IPR or PGR petition if "the same or substantially the same prior art or arguments previously were presented to the Office." There was concern even while the AIA was under debate in Congress that the new post-grant proceedings could be abused and result in harassment of patent owners by the filing of serial petitions. 35 U.S.C. §325(d) was included as a way for the PTAB to keep that from happening. The PTAB has also denied petitions when it considers the petitioner is using previous institution decisions and Patent Owner Preliminary Responses as a "road map" to address gaps. "We disfavor allowing follow-on petitions that attempt to fix deficiencies in a previous petition that were explained in a previous decision on institution." Synaptics, Inc. v. Amkor Tech. Inc., IPR2017-00085, Paper 12 (P.T.A.B. April 18, 2017). See also Conopco, Inc. d/b/a Unilever v. The Procter & Gamble Co., IPR2014-00506, Paper 17 (P.T.A.B. July 7, 2014)(Informative Opinion); ZTE Corp. v. ContentGuard Holdings, Inc., IPR2013-00454, Paper 12 (P.T.A.B. Sept. 25, 2013) (Informative Opinion).

6 35 U.S.C § 321, 37 C.F.R. §42.201 and §42.202.

7 35 U.S.C. §311(b).

8 35 U.S.C. §311(c).

9 35 U.S.C. §315(b).

10 157 CONG. REC. S5411 (daily ed. Sept. 8, 2011) (statement of Sen. Hatch); H.Rept. 112-98: "the purpose of the section as providing quick and cost effective alternatives to litigation."

11 154 CONG. REC. 9988 (2008) (statement of Sen. Kyl).

12 77 Fed. Reg. 48,756, 48, 758 (Aug. 14, 2012).

13 Finnegan research as of Oct. 7, 2017. List of patent owner petitioners in 207 representative bio/pharm IPRs used for calculations: Actelion Pharms., Acura Pharms., Aker BioMarine AS, Alkermes, Allergan, Ambry Genetics, ApaTech, Aragen Bioscience, Ariosa Diagnostics, Benitch Biopharma, BioDelivery Sciences, BioMarin Pharm, BioReference Labs., BMS, Boehringer, Cepheid, Eli Lilly, Elysium Health, Endo DAC, Endo Pharms., Enzo Life Sciences, Enzymotec, Ethicon, Forty Seven, Inc., Galderma SA, Genzyme Corp., Gilead Sciences, GSK, Gnosis Bioresearch SA, Gnosis S.P.A., Guardant Health, Horizon Discovery, Horizon Therapeutics, Illumina, Inc., Intelligent BioSystems, Int'l Flavors, Johns Hopkins Univ., Kamada Ltd., Kite Pharm., Luminex Corp., Merck, Merial, MonoSol Rx, Noven Pharms., Novo Nordisk, Oxford Nanopores, Panacea Biotech, Pfizer, Pharmacosmos, Phigenix, Prism Pharms., Purdue Pharms., Qiagen, Inc., Sanofi-Aventis, Sequenom, St. Jude Medical, Teoxane and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

14 68% (3833/5607) IPR petition grant rate, and at least 65% rate of all instituted claims unpatentable (1153/1771). Another 16% of Final Written Decisions included at least one claim held unpatentable (mixed result). USPTO statistics as of Sept. 2017, https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Trial_Stats_2017-09-30.pdf

15 Time will tell if the Federal Circuit en banc Aqua Product decision, decided October 4, 2017, changes this. See Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, No. 2015-1177, 2017 WL 4399000 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 4, 2017).

16 35 U.S.C. §314(d) and 35 U.S.C. §324(e); Cuozzo Speed Techs., LLC v. Lee, 136 S.Ct. 2131 (2016).

17 The petitioner can raise §112 enablement and written description issues to dislodge the patentee of an earlier priority date in both IPRs and PGRs. See Butamax Advanced Biofuels L.L.C. v. Gevo Inc., IPR2013-00539 (P.T.A.B. Mar. 3, 2015) (establishing that the claim limitations contained in the challenged claim did not have written description support all the way back to the earliest two priority applications, resulting in establishing a later priority date).

18 Shaw Indus. Group, Inc. v. Automated Creel Sys., Inc., 817 F.3d 1293 (Fed. Cir. 2016), is the current Federal Circuit position: that petitioner estoppel only applies to instituted grounds.

19 35 U.S.C. §315(e) and 35 U.S.C. §325(e).

20 Senator McCaskill's bill S.___, introduced Oct. 5, 2017, "to abrogate the sovereign immunity of Indian tribes as a defense in inter partes review of patents."

21 Covidien LP v. Univ. of Florida, IPR2016-01274, IPR2016-01275, IPR2016-01276, Paper 21 (P.T.A.B. Jan. 25, 2017), dismissing three separate IPR petitions challenging patents owned by the University of Florida Research Foundation Incorporated because the University was deemed an arm of the State and therefore entitled to sovereign immunity.

Reactive Surfaces Ltd. v. Toyota Motor Corp., IPR2017-00572, Paper 32 (P.T.A.B. July 13, 2017),
dismissed only with respect to Univ. of Minnesota, case continues with Toyota.

Neochord, Inc. v. Univ. of Maryland, IPR2016-00208, Paper 28 (P.T.A.B. May 23, 2017), entire case
dismissed because Univ. of Maryland retained an interest in the patent.

Originally published in Law360 on October 30, 2017.

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
Events from this Firm
27 Nov 2017, Seminar, London, UK

Finnegan partner Anthony Tridico will present “U.S. Patent Case Law Update” at the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys’ annual Patent Case Law Review.

28 Nov 2017, Seminar, Milan, Italy

Finnegan partner John Paul will present “Internet of Things: Patent Liability, Enforcement and Licensing” and will join the Mock WIPO Mediation at International Technology Transfer—Licensing and ADR, co-hosted by Licensing Executives Society and World Intellectual Property Organization.

29 Nov 2017, Seminar, Tel Aviv, Israel

Finnegan is a platinum sponsor IVC Research Center’s start-up forum, “The Most Promising Start Ups for 2017 – A Synergy of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Vision and IoT.”

 
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.

Emails

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 .

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.