IP Solved understands that privacy is important for individuals. As a professional services firm, IP Solved takes the allied (though different) concepts of confidentiality and privacy very seriously.
This document sets out the general policy of IP Solved with respect to privacy and our handling of personal information.
What information does this policy apply to?
This policy is about how we collect and use personal information:
- Personal information means information we record and keep about an individual, that identifies or could be used to identify the individual and information kept with identifying information. It includes names addresses, phone, email and other contact details and any opinion or photograph – anything that would identify the individual. It also includes other information about the person which, even though it does not identify them, is kept with information that does identify them.
- Sensitive information is a special type of personal information and the law provides special rules of its collection and use. You are dealing with sensitive information if the information concerns the individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, philosophical beliefs, religious beliefs or affiliations, membership of a professional association or trade union, sexual preferences or practices, criminal record or health information.
Health information includes personal information about the health or disability of an individual, the provision of health services to a person and information collected for the purposes of providing a health service to that person. It also includes certain genetic information.
This policy applies to personal information that we collect, record and keep. It will apply to personal information we have, whether we solicit it from the individual (or someone else) or the information is volunteered or provided unsolicited.
What individuals does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to all individuals whose personal; information we collect and record, except for our employees*. This will include clients, other professional practitioners, suppliers and potential recruits.
It is the responsibility of all IP Solved staff to comply with privacy laws and this policy.
A copy of this policy will be made available to all current staff and new staff on induction. Periodic training will be provided.
In addition, where commercially and legally practicable, we will contractually require external contractors to comply with this policy.
Breach of this policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
What kind of information do we collect?
To do our work, we will collect information that enables us to identify and contact individuals that we are dealing with, keep appropriate records and distinguish them from others. The information we collect and retain will be that information which is reasonably necessary to enable us to carry out our work. This will ordinarily involve the collection of:
- Job title;
- Street address (business or residential);
- Email address;
- Phone numbers (land line and mobile numbers); and
- Fax numbers.
Where relevant to our dealings with the individual, we will also collect information concerning:
- Information relevant to the work we are doing, such as inventions, trade marks and designs of interest to the individual;
- The business or employment relationship of the individual to other organisations’;
- Membership of a profession (or professional association) –eg “patent attorney” or “NSW barrister”;
- Details concerning personal and business interests and plans of the individual;
- In some cases, where the information is volunteered, birthdates and family details that may enable us to provide a more personalised service.
Except for professional association membership we will collect sensitive personal information only where the individual consents.
We will not use government related identifiers as our identifiers of an individual, save only where the Australian Privacy Principles permit.
How we collect and hold personal information
We may collect information at face-to-face meetings with you, by post, phone, fax, email or other electronic form of communication.
We may retain personal information we collect and keep in hard copy or electronically in our database. Information will be retained, backed up and some of it will be stored via “cloud” – based technology.
The purposes of collection/holding and use of personal information
The primary purpose of our collection of personal information is to facilitate the provision of our intellectual property and related services and the management of our business relationships with clients, suppliers and fellow professional advisers.
We will keep and use the information we collect from client individuals to communicate and provide our advice and for billing purposes.
We may use the personal information of clients to advise them of news, developments in the world of intellectual property and (if we think the individual may be interested) of our other related services.
In the case of suppliers, we will keep and use the information to procure appropriate goods and services, to manage our account and to make payments of monies due and payable.
In the case of other professional practitioners, including patent attorneys and legal practitioners, we will collect personal information and use it for the purposes of communication to:
- progress the client matters in which we are involved;
- refer new work or accept referrals;
- invoicing for our work and receiving invoices;
- maintain and managing our professional relationships with such persons, for the sharing of general information, market intelligence and professional camaraderie.
In all cases where personal information relates to a business transaction , we will keep the information also for legal purposes (for example, evidence of advice we have given) and tax purposes.
Disclosure of your personal information
We will disclose your personal information to persons and organisations external to IP Solved for the following purposes and in the following circumstances:
- We may disclose personal information of a client to:
- IP Australia and other registrar bodies to register intellectual property rights, oppose registration of intellectual property rights and manage our interactions on behalf of the client (or a client’s employer);
- other professional advisers including legal practitioners and patent attorneys to assist the progress of their matters;
- other government organisations, persons and individuals if we reasonably consider it appropriate for the progression of a professional matter;
- We may disclose personal information of a fellow professional adviser to an individual to make a recommendation or provide a referral, to pass on advice received from the adviser or to pass on instructions received from a client or other interested person, such as a witness.
Disclosure to overseas recipients
In the course of providing our services it may be necessary for us to disclose personal information to overseas professional advisers and to overseas patent offices and registrars. If a matter involves the registration of intellectual property rights overseas this is more likely. It is not practicable to specify which countries the recipients will be in as this will depend on the countries in which the individual wish to protect or defend intellectual property rights.
Our outsourcing of some functions and activities
IP Solved engages external contractors to:
- Host, maintain and manage our IT system and database. This means that the relevant contractor may have access to the personal information held in our computer system;
- Clean our premises; and
- Conduct clerical, mail-out and other tasks.
The use of such external contractors means that they may have access to the personal information stored in the database, or seen in the offices being cleaned We will, where practicable, require such contractors to agree to comply with the National Privacy Principles.
Access to personal information, correction and complaints
An individual whose personal information we hold can gain access as provided in the Privacy Act 1998 (Australian Privacy Principles). Please note that the access right is qualified and in some cases it may be lawful for us to refuse to give access to some or all the information we hold.
To gain access to personal information we hold about an individual, to correct or to make a complaint about privacy, we ask that the individual contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We request (though it is not mandatory) that an individual requesting access tell us the reasons for the request. This will help us to deal with the request.
We will not charge for access. We will respond within 30 days. If we determine to grant access, we will either send you a copy of the information we hold or will allow you to inspect original materials at our office.
We will correct any errors in personal information of which we are notified either by email, post, phone or fax or in person.
If you consider that we have breached our privacy obligations under the Australian Privacy Principles (in the Privacy Act 1988, (Cth)) please set our your concerns in writing and send it to IP Solved by any of the means noted above. We will respond in writing within 30 days of receipt of the complaint unless the individual notifies us that is not required. We may need to seek further information from you if we are to respond in a meaningful way.
It is impracticable for us to allow clients, suppliers or collaborating professionals to remain anonymous or to use pseudonyms. For professional, legal and confidentiality reasons, we need to know the identity of the people we are dealing with at all times.
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect and keep is accurate. Our staff is responsible to record personal information accurately. We will periodically give individuals the opportunity to check certain details (particularly contact details) within the information we hold.
We encourage individuals to let us know if they become aware that the personal information we hold is inaccurate and we will respond promptly to any request for correction of data and will act quickly to correct any data that is found to be inaccurate.
It is not appropriate in this policy to provide specific details of security measures we have adopted to protect the personal information we hold. We will use an appropriate combination of:
- physical measures including barriers, locks, doors and alarms and door-access technology where our lease arrangements permit;
- up-to-date computer virus prevention technology, password security and firewalls for our computer systems and websites; and
- behavioural and administrative protocols
within our means, to exclude unauthorised persons or intruders from gaining access to information.
For enquiries about our approach to privacy, requests for access to personal information we hold, and complaints, please contact our privacy officer:
Phone: 8267 7300
Fax: 9264 1287