Compliance with legal obligations
What is Personal Information?
“Personal Information” is information that identifies you, or information by which your identity can reasonably be ascertained (whether true or not).
From whom do we collect Personal Information?
In the course of operating our business we may collect Personal Information from:
- web users;
- persons who seek products or services from us;
- clients and their personnel;
- share registries; and
- suppliers and providers of services to us and other business associates, including without limitation contractors and potential contractors, employees, potential employees and work experience persons.
What kind of Personal Information do we collect and hold?
In order to offer or provide you with our services, we are likely to collect a wide range of Personal Information about you. The type of Personal Information that we may collect will depend on our relationship with you, and the circumstances of collection. In general, the Personal Information we collect about you may include (but is not limited to):
- your first and last names;
- your date and place of birth;
- your phone number, facsimile number, residential address and email address;
- bank account details and credit / debit card details;
- any information or comments provided by you;
- any facts or opinions that are connected to an enquiry regarding your personal information that we are conducting on your behalf;
- reference details of you or your organisation related to the services we provide to you; and
In the course of offering or providing services to you, we may also collect copies of identification documents for example driver’s licences, birth certificates and /or passports.
In respect of website users, clients and potential clients, we do not generally collect “sensitive information” as defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (such as information about ethnic origin, religious or political views, health information, tax file numbers etc.). We do, however, collect tax file numbers from our employees and contractors.
- we have the consent of the individuals to whom the sensitive information relates; or
- the collection is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to life, health or safety; or
- the information is required for another legal reason provided for under applicable privacy legislation, including in Australia the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)) or other applicable legislation.
Collection of Personal Information from Employees and Contractors
In respect of current and potential employees, contractors and work experience persons we may collect additional personal information, including but not limited to, personal resumes, third party references, bank details, superannuation details, tax file numbers, emergency contact details and other employee or contractor records. We may also conduct criminal checks on individuals who commence employment or a contracting arrangement with us. The results of such checks are held on our employee or contractor files.
Collection of your Personal Information
How we collect Personal Information will largely depend upon whose information we are collecting. We collect Personal Information directly from the individual concerned whenever practicable. We may also collect Personal Information about you from a variety of other independent sources, including from recruitment agencies, contractors and business partners. Where information is not obtained directly from the individual, we obtain Personal Information in accordance with legal requirements. We may collect your Personal Information in a range of circumstances including when you:
- have a face to face meeting with our staff and/or officers;
- attend our presentations;
- attend conferences or events;
- e-mail us or execute a “contact form” to obtain a brochure containing more information about our services;
- request to receive a newsletter or other information from us;
- use the website of IPH Limited or one of its Related Bodies Corporate;
- provide a product or service to us;
- obtain a product or service from us;
- complete a survey or questionnaire;
- communicate with us by e-mail, telephone or in writing (for example if you contact us to seek information, make a complaint or provide feedback);
- apply for work experience with us;
- apply for employment with us;
- accept an offer of employment; or
- enter into a contract with us.
Providing third party Personal Information to us
If, at any time, you provide us with personal or other information about someone other than yourself, you warrant to us and to our Related Bodies Corporate that you have that person’s consent, including where applicable any necessary consent under paragraph 22, to provide such information for the purpose specified.
You have the option of remaining anonymous when dealing with us in relation to a particular matter, or not disclosing Personal Information to us. However, this may mean that we will not be able to provide our services or respond to you in light of the nature of our business.
There may also be occasions when we collect Personal Information (to the extent it is available) from publicly available sources, including social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes, we may provide content and services on a range of platforms (including social media networks) with interactive features to which you may contribute. If you post your Personal Information in publicly accessible places or social media platforms, your Personal Information will become publicly available (subject to, where applicable, any privacy settings you have in place in social media platforms). We will not be responsible for the protection of Personal Information you choose to publish this way.
Information about users of our websites
Our Internet Service Providers record certain statistical information about users of our websites. This information is reviewed by us for statistical purposes and is not disclosed to third parties. We do not identify you or your browsing activities except, in the event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant or other such power to inspect the internet service provider’s server logs.
Why we collect Personal Information?
We may state a more specific purpose at the point we collect your information. If you do not provide us with the information that we request, we may not be able to provide you with our products or services.
In certain circumstances we may need to collect personal and sensitive information in order to comply with our legal obligations, such as anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws, for example, under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth).
How we use your Personal Information?
Our uses of Personal Information include but are not limited to:
- establishing your identity;
- communicating with you, including by email, mail or telephone;
- managing our relationship with you;
- advising you in relation to intellectual property, legal and related matters;
- filing, prosecuting and maintaining applications for statutory protection of intellectual property including patent, design, trade mark and domain name applications and registrations in Australia and overseas;
- conducting patent and trade mark opposition proceedings before the patent and trade mark offices and regulators in Australia and other jurisdictions;
- providing other professional services including advice with respect to litigation, dispute resolution services, appeals, commercial and regulatory legal advice, and intellectual property watches and searches;
- providing you with updates, offers or proposals in relation to your matters, products and services that may be of interest to you;
- sending regular newsletters (and other correspondence) concerning developments in the field of intellectual property and other areas that may be of interest to you;
- sending marketing and promotional material that we believe may interest you;
- for purposes necessary or incidental to the provision of goods and services to you;
- inviting you to events and functions;
- personalising and customising your experiences;
- managing and enhancing our products and services;
- investigating complaints made by you;
- to comply with legal requirements;
- in the case of employees and contractors:
- to pay your wages, fees and employee & contractor entitlements; and
- to manage your relationship with us.
By supplying us with your Personal Information, you give us permission to use your Personal Information and to disclose your Personal Information to our Related Bodies Corporate so that we and our Related Bodies Corporate can assess your likely needs, and contact you from time to time. We may contact you to inform you about laws and developments in the field of intellectual property and other products and services we think would be of particular interest to you. The permission you provide to us is not limited in time. You can however elect to opt out of receiving correspondence and other marketing materials from us by:
- by utilising an ‘unsubscribe’ facility on a communication we send to you.
If you contact us and opt out of receiving further communications from us we will take steps to ensure you do not receive any such further information from us in future. Recipients of our newsletters and other correspondence may notify us at any time should they wish to discontinue receipt of emails and other communications from us.
Disclosure and use of your Personal Information
Personal Information is disclosed and used by our employees and agents, to enable them to provide services to you and for the other purposes identified above.
The Personal Information that we hold is generally kept confidential. However, in servicing our clients, we may disclose Personal Information to our Related Bodies Corporate, including our Related Bodies Corporates located in Australia and overseas, including in Singapore, Malaysia and China. All disclosure of information by us is subject to compliance with all legal requirements including but not limited to the Code of Conduct for Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys 2013 issued by the Professional Standards Board for Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, other applicable legislation governing the conduct of our patent and trade mark attorneys in other jurisdictions in which we conduct our businesses, and other IPH Limited group information sharing and conflicts of interest policies.
We may also be required to disclose Personal Information to certain third parties that may include:
- governmental offices (such as IP Australia);
- courts (such as the Federal Court of Australia);
- government and law enforcement agencies and regulators;
- your agents, professional advisors, auditors or insurers;
- our financial, taxation or legal advisors;
- other persons (such as agents and associates in foreign countries);
- entities that conduct mail outs on our behalf;
- debt collection companies;
- our clients (where information has been provided to us by someone other than our client); and
- entities established to help identify illegal activities and prevent fraud.
We may disclose your Personal Information to organisations that carry out functions on our behalf, or assist us to deliver our services, such as our business associates, contractors, agents or service providers. These third parties may change from time to time. Some examples include technology and internet service providers, data storage providers and digital mail providers who send communications on our behalf. We may also use graphic designers, printers and posting services to assist us with design, printing and distribution of communications.
Third party direct marketing
We do not disclose Personal Information to third parties for the purpose of third party direct marketing.
When is Personal Information disclosed?
We disclose Personal Information to third parties (such as agents and associates in foreign countries) when we are instructed to do so by our clients in relation to their matters, or as may be required by law. You agree that, subject to any additional obligations under applicable laws, third parties who receive Personal Information from us may use and disclose the Personal Information subject to their respective privacy policies and laws applicable to them.
We may also release your Personal Information under the following circumstances:
- when you have consented;
- when you would reasonably expect us to use or disclose your Personal Information in a certain way;
- when authorised or required to do so by a court or under applicable laws or regulations (for example, a subpoena), or where requested by a government agency;
- where we consider a company or an individual may be engaged in fraudulent activity or other deceptive practices of which a governmental agency should be made aware;
- to appropriate persons, where your communication suggests possible harm to others; or
- when disclosure is reasonably necessary for a law enforcement related activity.
Cross-border disclosure of your Personal Information
In addition to disclosure of your Personal Information to our Related Bodies Corporate located overseas, including in Singapore, Malaysia and China, we may disclose your Personal Information to our associates or other legal or professional service provider firms in foreign countries, and to government bodies and other entities that administer intellectual property in overseas jurisdictions. If you authorise us, or we are authorised by someone on your behalf to do so, we may disclose your Personal Information to our associates in foreign countries when we obtain foreign legal or other intellectual property professional services. You acknowledge that such disclosure is necessary for the performance of the services we are providing to you, and for the recipient to undertake the provision of services requested by us on your behalf.
You agree and acknowledge that the overseas recipients will be subject to the privacy law of their local jurisdiction. The overseas privacy laws are likely to be different to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles (or other applicable personal data protection legislation in the jurisdiction in which we operate), and you may not be able to seek redress in the overseas jurisdiction in relation to breaches of your privacy.
You acknowledge and agree to such international data and information transfers with respect to Personal Information. For our Australian businesses, clause 8.1 of the Australian Privacy Principles contained in Schedule 1 of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) provides that if we disclose Personal Information about an individual to an overseas recipient, then we must take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure the overseas recipient does not breach the Australian Privacy Principles in relation to such information. An exception to this is if we obtain your consent. We intend to rely on this exception in the following way. Unless you notify us in writing to the contrary, you will be taken to have consented to the disclosure by us of Personal Information to overseas recipients on the basis that:
- clause 8.1 of the Australian Privacy Principles will not apply to such disclosure;
- the individual whose Personal Information is disclosed will not be able to seek redress under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth);
- the overseas recipient may not be subject to any privacy obligations or to any principles similar to the Australian Privacy Principles;
- the individual may not be able to seek redress in the overseas jurisdiction; and
- the overseas recipient is subject to a foreign law that could compel the disclosure of Personal Information to a third party, such as an overseas authority.
Similar provisions may exist under other personal information protection legislation in jurisdictions other than Australia in which our businesses are located. If such provisions are applicable to our business holding your personal information, you acknowledge and consent to such cross-border disclosure on the basis outlined above (substituting references to the standards and remedies available under the applicable personal information protection legislation in the relevant business’ jurisdiction).
Security and accuracy
We make every effort to ensure Personal Information is kept secure and take reasonable steps to protect it from misuse, loss, interference, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. Some of the measures implemented by us to secure Personal Information include using firewalls, standard software protection programs, password access protections and secure servers.
We regularly review these arrangements to ensure we are taking reasonable and technically feasible steps available at the time to protect your Personal Information.
However, since no system is 100% secure or error-free, we cannot guarantee that your Personal Information is totally protected, for example, from hackers or misappropriation. You acknowledge that the security of online transactions and the security of communications sent by electronic means or by post cannot be guaranteed. You provide information to us via the internet or by post at your own risk. We cannot accept responsibility for misuse or loss of, or unauthorised access to, your Personal Information where the security of information is not within our control.
If you suspect any misuse or loss of, or unauthorised access to, your Personal Information, please contact us immediately using the contact details set out below.
Personal Information that is no longer required
We take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify Personal Information as soon as practicable if it is no longer required by us including for record keeping or legal purposes.
Accessing and updating your information
We use reasonable endeavours to ensure that the Personal Information we collect, use or disclose is accurate, complete and up-to-date. We request that you keep the information we hold about you as current as possible by advising us in the manner outlined below so that we may continue to improve our service to you.
We will respond to a request for access to Personal Information within a reasonable period after the request is made, and give you access to the Personal Information we hold in the manner requested by you, if it is reasonable and practicable to do so. We may charge a fee to cover the costs of meeting your request. Where we are also required by applicable law to provide further information about use or disclosure of your personal information we will use reasonable endeavours to do so.
If we do not agree to provide you with access to, or to amend your Personal Information as requested, we will notify you accordingly. Where appropriate we will provide you with the reason(s) for our decision, and the mechanisms available to complain about the refusal. If the rejection relates to a request to change your Personal Information you may make a statement about the requested change and we will attach this to your record.
We will update your Personal Information within a reasonable time and generally, no later than 30 days following your request. We will inform you if this timeframe is not achievable.
When we will not provide you with access to Personal Information
In some circumstances, and subject always to legal obligations to the contrary, we may not be in a position to grant access to your Personal Information, such circumstances include when:
- providing access is likely to pose a serious threat to the safety of an individual or the public;
- providing access is likely to impact unreasonably on the privacy of others;
- the request for access is frivolous or vexatious;
- providing access would reveal information which relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings or otherwise impact on any negotiations;
- providing access is unlawful (including being unlawful as directed by a court or tribunal order) or is likely to impact on actions being taken in relation to alleged unlawful activities relating to our functions and activities; or
- granting access would impact on a commercially sensitive decision making process.
If you would like to update or correct your Personal Information, seek access to Personal Information we hold about you, or if you have any questions or complaints about how we collect, use, disclose, manage or store your Personal Information, you can contact us via the following methods.
Company: Spruson & Ferguson
Contact Person: Privacy Officer
Postal Address: Level 35, 31 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
152 Beach Road #37-05/06 Gateway East, Singapore 189721
Telephone: +61 2 9393 0100
+65 6333 7200
Facsimile: +61 2 9393 5486
+65 6333 7222
Company: IPH Limited ABN 49 169 015 838
Contact Person: Privacy Officer
Postal Address: Level 35, 31 Market Street,Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Telephone: +61 2 9393 0300
Facsimile: +61 2 9267 9974
If you have a problem or complaint, please let us know. We will respond to a complaint as soon as possible, but within 10 working days to let you know who is responsible for managing your complaint. We will also try to resolve the complaint within 10 working days. When this is not possible, we will contact you within that time to let you know how long it will take to resolve the complaint. If you believe that we have not adequately dealt with your complaint, you may complain to the Australian Information Commissioner, whose contact details are found on their website at http://www.oaic.gov.au/.