Intellectual Property Considerations and Guidance for Start-Ups: Trademarks

Womble Bond Dickinson
Contact

Womble Bond Dickinson

[co-author: Christine Beaman Rankin]

This guide originally was published as a four-article series by IP Watchdog.

Trademarks protect distinctive marks, such as brand names, logos, and designs. This protection allows a trademark holder to exclude others from using the mark without permission of the owner. The following includes important, basic information about trademarks, as well as how start-ups can protect their trademarked intellectual property.

What is a Trademark?

The term “trademark” means any name, set of words, design logo or any combinations of logos and words used to identify a particular source of goods and to help distinguish your goods from those of other companies. Although one frequently hears the term “service mark” used in connection with services, , there is no practical difference between a trademark and a service mark and the term “trademark” is generally used to refer to both goods and services.

In order for a word or symbol to function as a trademark for your company, it must:

Be Distinctive. The mark must not be generic or merely descriptive of the applicable goods and services. Instead, the mark must be unique, fanciful, arbitrary or suggestive.

Not Conflict with Any Other Prior Trademarks. The mark must not be so similar to any other mark previously adopted and used on similar goods and services as those you are offering. If two companies adopt similar marks that have the potential to deceive the public or create a “likelihood of confusion” as to the source of goods and services, the company that is the first to use the mark in commerce (i.e., provide goods or services under the mark) will be the senior user and have superior rights over any other junior user that adopted the mark later in time. Whether two marks have the potential for likelihood of confusion will depend upon the similarity of the marks at issue; the similarity of the goods or services; and the similarity of the trade channels of the goods or services. The marks are compared in sound, appearance, meaning and connotation. A study of marks already in existence, therefore, is an important part of any trademark selection process.

What is not a Trademark?

U.S. law (and most international laws) does not allow the protection of descriptive or generic marks. A descriptive mark is one which describes qualities or characteristics of the goods or services. Because descriptive marks do nothing more than describe or identify goods or services, they are entitled to registration only upon years (and sometimes decades) of proof that they have acquired “distinctiveness,” that is, that the producer has managed to establish some identification in the mind of the consuming public that the mark refers to a specific brand of goods or services (e.g., American Airlines). In contrast, a “generic” mark is one which has come to identify a type of product rather than a specific brand and can never gain trademark protection. If the mark was once a trademark (e.g., aspirin) it can also become generic for the goods or services and may no longer be enforceable. Because the public commonly associates generic marks with types of products, they are not entitled to any trademark protection under federal law.

Thus, in general, the preferable practice is to choose an imaginative, fanciful or arbitrary mark in order to achieve the broadest permissible protection under the trademark laws (i.e., Nike, Apple, Haagen-Dazs).

How are Rights in a Trademark Established?

A U.S. federal or state registration is not a prerequisite to creation of a trademark in the U.S. A trademark is created simply by virtue of its owner’s use of the mark in connection with a certain set of goods or services which results in “common law” rights in the mark. As a result, at all times prior to the registration of the trademark, the trademark owner may use the familiar superscript “TM” (TM), which is the generally accepted trademark designation for unregistered marks.

Should I File for a Trademark Registration?

Yes. Owning a trademark registration in the United States puts others on notice that you hold a particular mark out as a trademark and also provides presumptive rights in the event you need to enforce your mark(s) against others who may be infringing upon your trademark rights. A federal registration is achieved by filing a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) and is available only when the mark is used in connection with goods or services in interstate commerce (i.e., across state lines). If you are using the mark in only a single state, a state trademark registration might be the only option.

What are the Steps in Obtaining a U.S. Trademark Registration?

Step #1: Trademark Search

Only by conducting a thorough trademark search can one gain any assurance that the use of a proposed mark will not infringe on any pre-existing common law rights or trademark registrations of a third party. Most comprehensive searches are performed by trademark search companies utilized by many law firms specializing in intellectual property. While utilizing an attorney to conduct such searching involves an additional up-front expense, an early search can identify issues with any marks selected and, therefore, avoid expensive infringement suits or the cost of having to rebrand your product or service further down the road in the event an earlier trademark owner with senior rights demands that you cease all use of your mark.

Step #2: Meeting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Requirements

In general, in order for a trademark to be registrable, the applicant must satisfy the following criteria: (i) the applicant must have been the first to use (or be the first to have an intention to use) the trademark in interstate commerce in connection with the goods or services in question; (ii) the mark must be arbitrary or suggestive, or, if the mark is descriptive, the applicant must demonstrate proof of distinctiveness; and (iii) the mark must not be so similar to another trademark so that, when applied to the goods or services in question, the mark is likely to deceive the public or “create a likelihood of confusion” as to the source of the goods or services.

Step #3: Application and Cost s

Assuming the above requirements are met and the results of the trademark search do not indicate any potential bars to registration, an application can be filed with the PTO containing basic information about the mark, including: (i) the name of the applicant; (ii) the principal address of the applicant; (iii) the state of organization of the applicant (if applicant is a corporation); (iv) the trademark (or a description of the mark); (v) a description of the goods or services on which the mark is used; (vi) the international and U.S. classes of the goods or services with which the mark is used; (vii) the date of first use of the mark anywhere; (viii) the date of the first use of the mark in interstate commerce (i.e., across state lines); and (ix) one specimen of the mark for each class of goods or services covered by the application (such as labels, packages, advertisements and the like).

The government application fee for a federal trademark application is on the order of a few hundred dollars for each class of goods or services, exclusive of any law firm fees for preparation and prosecution of the application.

Step #4: Potential Office Actions

Once the application has been submitted to the PTO, it will be assigned to an Examining Attorney, who will review the application to ascertain whether it meets all of the requirements for federal registration. If, in the Examining Attorney’s opinion, any defects exist with the application which would bar registration of the mark, the Examining Attorney may issue an “Office Action” indicating what problems exist with the registration and suggesting possible amendments to cure such problems. Ordinarily, an applicant has six months to respond to any Office Action. The applicant must provide a response sufficient to persuade the Examining Attorney that the mark is entitled to registration. In order to accomplish this, it may be necessary for the applicant to amend or clarify the information in the application. If no response is given, the application will be deemed abandoned. If an unsatisfactory response is given to the Office Action, the Examining Attorney will deny registration and, unless the applicant appeals the decision, the application will then be deemed abandoned.

Step #5: Publication and Registration

Assuming the Examining Attorney has found no defects in the application, or that the applicant has responded satisfactorily to all office actions, the trademark is then “published” in the PTO’s Official Gazette. Publication is used by the PTO to place the public on notice of the PTO’s preliminary approval of the registration of the mark and the PTO’s intent to register the mark, unless the registration is opposed. The date of publication is the “trigger” date for the commencement of the opposition period. During the opposition period, any party who believes he will be injured by the registration of the applicant’s mark has 30 days in which to file a “Notice of Opposition” with the PTO. If the PTO receives a Notice of Opposition from an opponent during the opposition period, the applicant will be sent a copy of the Notice, at which point the applicant has two choices: (i) abandon the application; or (ii) defend the application in formal opposition proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “TTAB”).

If no Notice of Opposition is filed within the thirty-day opposition period, the PTO will register the mark on the Principal Trademark Register and give the mark a registration number. Upon federal registration of the trademark, the registrant may then use the familiar “R-in-a-circle” ® superscript in connection with the trademark (in lieu of the “TM” superscript) as a means of placing the public on notice of the mark’s federal registration.

A Note on Intent-to-Use Registration Procedures

While obtaining a U.S. Trademark Registration requires actual use of the trademark in connection with a specific set of goods and services, the PTO allows the filing of an “Intent-to-Use” application in order to preserve your rights in a mark that you plan to use in the near future. The requirements for obtaining a registration for an intent-to-use application are the same as those for any other application except that a specimen of the mark on the goods is not required until later in the process. The examination of an intent-to-use application proceeds in much the same manner as a standard trademark application, including the issuance of Office Actions, if appropriate. Once the Examining Attorney has concluded that an intent-to-use mark appears to be entitled registration, the Examining Attorney will publish the mark for opposition as described above. If a mark clears the publication period without opposition, the PTO will issue a “Notice of Allowance” for the mark. The applicant then has three years from the date of a Notice of Allowance to prove actual use of the mark in commerce. If the applicant cannot show use immediately, extensions of time may be filed at six­ month intervals during this three-year period (up to five extensions can be requested). By the end of the three years, the application will be abandoned if a Statement of Use has not been filed. If the applicant is still intending to use this mark in commerce, a new application must be filed and will receive a new filing date.

The PTO publishes a general timeline for use based and intent-to-use applications which can be helpful in determining where you are in the application process and how much more time it may take to have your application mature to registration.

What Steps Must I Take to Maintain My Trademark Registration in the U.S.?

In order to maintain a trademark registration, the owner must show continued and exclusive use of the mark in connection with the goods and services identified in the registration and file all necessary maintenance filings with the PTO. U.S. trademark laws require that a Section 8 Declaration of Use be filed between the fifth and sixth year following the date of registration, along with a specimen showing the mark as used in connection with the goods/services. In addition, Section 15 of the Trademark Act provides that if a mark meets certain other statutory criteria, you may also file a Declaration of Incontestability entitling the mark to favorable legal presumptions related to its validity, use and ownership.

Beyond the Section 8 &15 filings, trademark renewal filings are due every ten (10) years from the anniversary of the registration date and require that you prove continued use of the mark in commerce in the form of a specimen showing use of the mark on the goods or services. The renewal fee for a federal trademark application is on the order of a few hundred dollars for each class of goods or services.

Does my U.S. Federal Trademark Registration Provide me Protection in Other Countries?

Unfortunately, no—trademarks are nation-specific. You must file trademark registrations in each country where you want protection and where you intend to sell your goods or services.

The only benefit that a U.S. Registration provides internationally is gaining an early priority date in very limited cases. Within six (6) months of filing a U.S. trademark application filing, a U.S. applicant may file in most foreign countries and secure priority filing based upon their U.S. filing date under the Paris Convention. If the company has the intention of using the mark in countries outside of the U.S. and wishes to seek trademark/service mark protection in these alternate countries, foreign applications filed within this six month period are given the same date of filing as the U.S. application. Foreign filing can be conducted after the six month period has elapsed, however, no claim of priority can be made based upon the U.S. application date in such cases.

The main difference between trademark rights in the U.S. vs. many other countries is the lack of recognition of “common law” rights in un-registered marks except in very limited cases. As a result, any entity or person who is “first to file” a trademark application in certain countries, will be awarded protection, even if such registrant has no immediate intent to use the mark and/or the registrant registered the mark in bad faith to profit from a foreign entity’s goodwill in a brand. In consequence, trademark piracy is well-organized and rampant in many countries, particularly China. If you plan to enter the Chinese market, even if those plans are somewhat distant, early filing is recommended before your company has received extensive press and media recognition in the U.S., and can avoid trademark piracy issues later.

Can I Ever Lose My Rights in My Trademarks?

Yes. It is possible for owners to unintentionally lose rights in their trademarks. Non-Profit and Social Business Start-Ups can be particularly vulnerable to the first of the three issues noted below:

Uncontrolled or “Naked” Licensing

“Naked Licensing” means failing to exercise actual control over third parties (such as volunteers or other companies/organizations) who use your trademarks, logos, business name and slogans and failing to require third parties to enter into trademark license agreements with you containing quality control provisions. Non-Profits and social impact businesses are particularly vulnerable to losing their trademarks on these grounds due to a common reliance on volunteers and other organizations that offer free help or resources. For example, in one particular case, a non-profit in California established a program it called “Freecycle.” In its early stages the non-profit allowed individual volunteers and volunteer member groups to use the “Freecycle” name on their social media, websites, and other materials in order to establish “Freecycling” centers (where donated items find new homes). Later, as the program became more successful, the original non-profit tried to establish more specific standards and guidelines to be enforced on all its volunteer member groups, including guidelines on what was meant by its original rule: “free, legal and appropriate for all ages.” The non-profit attempted to stop member groups that did not follow the newly reinforced guidelines, but was blocked on the grounds that the term “freecycle” had become unprotectable (or generic) due to: (1) the non-profit’s failure in having any adequate trademark license agreements in place with its member volunteers; and (2) the non-profit’s failure in taking any actual steps to enforce its guidelines on its volunteers until much too late (i.e., it failed to show that it took any steps to conduct early audits of its volunteer’s adherence to its guidelines and terminate those in non-compliance).

Important Rule: Prior to granting any third party (including volunteers) the right to use your marks, name or logo, always make sure: (1) a license or terms of use agreement is in place that contains a provision allowing you to terminate the third party’s use of your trademarks in the event they fail to adhere to your quality control requirements/guidelines, and (2) you have an active compliance program that monitors uses of your licensed marks by third parties, including a procedure to terminate those who fail to comply with your guidelines.

Failing to Use the Mark in a Consistent Manner with Goods and Services Listed in the Registration

In order to maintain a US trademark registration, owners need to be able to show use of the mark in the identical form originally filed with the PTO (especially if the mark is filed in a stylized design or logo format). If the owners cannot show consistent and continuous use of a particular mark for the set of goods or services listed on its registration, the owner may lose rights in that particular registration and the PTO will not allow the mark to renew. Failing to use a mark for three consecutive years constitutes abandonment. Companies can sometimes inadvertently lose rights in a trademark due to inconsistent use of the mark. For example, if an owner files its mark in connection with a particular product, such as downloadable software, but fails to consistently use the mark on the software itself or the labels, packaging or point of sale displays for the software, the owner can potentially lose its rights in the mark, even if there is digital advertising of the product on social media or websites. The PTO consistently does not consider use of the mark on advertising or websites alone as “trademark use.” As a result, it is important to ensure that you have consistent use of your marks in connection with the actual product itself or service you offer.

Failure to Enforce Your Rights in Your Mark Against Third Parties

Similar to Naked Licensing, failure to enforce your rights in your marks against third parties that use a same or similar mark in connection with similar or identical goods and services as yours can result in loss of your rights. The following section covers methods of enforcing your rights.

How do I Enforce My Rights in My Trademarks?

Enforcement of your mark against third party infringers is important in order to maintain exclusive rights in a particular mark for your relevant goods and services. That said, it is important to consult an attorney and/or conduct investigations prior to making any demands on a potential infringer to confirm that you are in fact the more senior user of the mark in time and to confirm that you have solid grounds of objection. Since trademark rights in the United States are based on who adopted and used the mark in commerce first in connection with a particular set of goods/services, an earlier trademark registration may not be enough to stop a third party who has “common law” usage rights that pre-date both your filing date and date of first use. Further, if the potential infringer’s goods and services are sufficiently different from yours, you may have no grounds to make an objection (e.g., Delta Air Lines peacefully coexists with Delta Faucet without confusion).

Enforcement may include any of the following steps:

● use of a watch service to monitor trademark applications by third parties;

● conducting periodic internet searches of your mark or using “Google Alerts” to alert you of any articles or websites that might mention your trademark;

● filing opposition/cancellation proceedings with the USPTO against pending trademark applications/registrations by third parties;

● sending cease-and-desist letters (after appropriate investigation has been conducted to confirm use dates);

● infringement and dilution litigation.

In the next installment, the authors will take a look at copyrights and what entrepreneurs need to know about securing and protecting them.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Womble Bond Dickinson | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Womble Bond Dickinson
Contact
more
less

Womble Bond Dickinson on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at privacy@jdsupra.com.

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.