TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE FOR espacenet®

espacenet is an entry-level, internet-based patent document search service offered free of charge. It provides basic search and retrieval functions on a range of patent and patent-related documents. As an entry-level service espacenet can be a new user's first experience with patent information. For more experienced users, espacenet can be a first choice when beginning each new search, before moving on to more sophisticated, professional level, search tools.espacenet is not a replacement for professional services or advice. A null result from an espacenet search, for example, should not be interpreted as freedom of action. Business-critical, or financial decisions should not at all be based on the results of espacenet searches.

A. USER OBLIGATIONS

Users of the espacenet service must comply with all the applicable laws. Especially, they must refrain from violating or attempting to violate the EPO's network security and must make fair use of the services provided. Users who deny or decrease access to or use of the espacenet service to other users in any way (for example by generating unusually high numbers of service accesses - searches or retrievals, whether generated manually or in an automated fashion), may be denied access to these services without notice.

Due to limitations of equipment and bandwidth, the espacenet service is not intended to be a source for bulk downloads of data. Users who wish to download large amounts of data (for example facsimile page images), should contact espacenetmarketing@epo.org

B. MAINTENANCE AND AVAILABILITY

The EPO makes every effort to prevent technical malfunctions and endeavours to ensure the availability of the espacenet service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, from 05:00 to 05:15 CET, Monday to Saturday inclusive, some parts of the service are unavailable, due to regular maintenance and updates. Also, due to unforeseeable system failures or interruptions etc., the EPO cannot warrant that the service will always be available. If the espacenet service is overloaded or malfunctioning, or if an overload or malfunction is imminent, the EPO may restrict access to the espacenet service or close it down altogether. Furthermore, the EPO cannot warrant that the underlying files and formats used are error-free and will not cause the user's systems to malfunction. The EPO is entitled to modify the espacenet facilities at any time to bring them into line with for example the latest technical developments or current legal requirements.

The EPO reserves the right to amend, or discontinue the espacenet service fully or in part without prior notice.

C. LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

The EPO does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of data and information originating from other authorities than the EPO, including but not exclusively whether they are complete, up-to-date and fit for specific purposes. The data and information are made available by the respective patent authorities; they are displayed as received, without warranty of any kind and for information purposes only. The patent authorities remain solely responsible for the accuracy of the data and information they provide. In order to obtain authoritative information, users should consult the appropriate patent authority.

D. SECURITY

The EPO routinely analyses the server log files to be provided with some information relating to the usage of the service, but no attempt is made to systematically monitor individual users or IP addresses, or the actions that they perform. Although the EPO has taken many security measures, please be aware that any information sent to or from the espacenet servers is not secure (unencrypted).

E. APPLICABLE LAW

The operation, provision and use of the espacenet service, all subsequent claims and any disputes arising out of or in connection with the use of the services are subject to German law, to the exclusion of recourse to private international law.

To the extent that the European Patent Organisation, of which the European Patent Office is an organ, does not waive its immunity from jurisdiction (see Art. 3(1) of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the European Patent Organisation of 5 October 1973), any disputes arising from or in connection with these terms and conditions of use will be settled by arbitration under the German Code of Civil Procedure. Arbitration proceedings will take place in Munich.

To the extent that the EPO waives its immunity from jurisdiction in a particular case, the courts of competent jurisdiction will be exclusively those of Munich.

The espacenet word and logo are trademarks of the European Patent Organisation