Privacy Policy

Your privacy is important to us.  The following policy sets out how Beck Greener (‘we’/’us’) uses and protects the personal information you provide to us through this website at www.beckgreener.com (the ‘Website’) and through other channels, how we use it, when we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.

For information about how we handle information relating to job applications, please see our separate privacy policy in the recruitment section of our website.

Clients of the firm should read this notice alongside our Terms Of Business which provide further information on confidentiality, handling and retention of files, etc.

About us

Beck Greener is what is known as the ‘data controller’ of the personal information you provide to us.  We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a data controller under registration no. Z5785551.

Beck Greener is a partnership of patent attorneys, trade mark attorneys, design attorneys and IP Litigators regulated by IPREG.  Our main office is situated at Fulwood House, 12 Fulwood Place, London, WC1V 6HR.

If you wish to contact us in relation to any aspect of our privacy policy, this can be done at the above address, or by email at privacy@beckgreener.com.

Personal Information we may collect

Personal Information is information about you which can be used alone, or combined with other information, to identify you personally.

The exact information we will request from you will depend on what you have asked us to do or what we are contracted to do for you.

Generally the personal data we collect may include basic information such as your name, address, contact details, nationality, financial information etc.  so that we can contact you to respond to any enquiry you make and/ or carry out legal work on your instructions.

In connection with providing legal services to you, we may also collect personal data concerning you or any other individual who is the owner or licensee of a proposed, pending or granted patent, design, trade mark or other intellectual property right (“IP rights”) which we are handling on your instructions, or concerning you or any other individual who is an inventor or designer designated in connection with such an intellectual property right.  We may also store and process data concerning other parties in legal disputes and their representatives.

In the majority of cases personal data will be restricted to basic information.  In the case of an inventor or designer the personal data may include information as to whether the individual is an employee of the owner of the intellectual property right concerned, and/ or brief details of how rights were transferred from that individual to the owner.

Generally we will not ask you for sensitive personal information.

Sources of information

Information about you may be obtained from a number of sources, including:

- You may provide the information about yourself via our website when signing up to services or applying for a job.

- You may provide the information about yourself in connection with our provision of legal services.

- Information may be passed to us by third parties, such as referrers, and instructing attorneys, in order that we can undertake your legal work on your behalf.

- You may provide information relating to someone else who is connected to legal work you wish us to undertake, such as an inventor or designer, or third party in a legal dispute, or we may obtain this information from other public and non-public sources.

- You may provide the information in connection with your provision of services to us.

The personal data will be entered into our database and written records in accordance with this privacy policy.

Our use of the information and legal basis for its use

The main reason for asking you to provide us with your personal data, is to allow us to carry on our business as patent and trademark attorneys, i.e. to represent you (or your company) and carry out legal work on your instructions.  Accordingly the legal basis for processing your data is to fulfil our contractual obligation to you (or your company).

The following are some examples, although not exhaustive, of what we may use your information for:

- Verifying your identity.

- Communicating with you and managing our relationships with our clients, their personnel and intermediaries and our other business, supplier and professional contacts

- Providing you with legal advice or services, including preparing, filing and prosecuting applications to obtain IP rights, submitting the information to intellectual property offices in connection with such applications which may later be published or made publicly available by those offices, providing you with advice; carrying out litigation on your behalf or otherwise enforcing your legal rights; attending hearings on your behalf; preparing and filing documents to register transactions or other instruments.

- Seeking advice from third parties, such as legal and non-legal experts.

- Keeping records of the of the work we have carried out for you.

- Invoicing you for services we have provided.

- Sending you from time to time electronic or paper marketing to bring to your attention services which may be of benefit to you, invitations to events, or to advise you of information such as developments in the law or other news.

- Responding to any complaint or allegation of negligence against us.

Where it is necessary for us to process another’s personal information in carrying out your legal work, for instance, where you supply us with personal information relating to an inventor or designer who is to be designated in an application for intellectual property rights, where applicable, you will be a joint controller of that data with us and you will be responsible for obtaining any necessary consent of any such individual to their personal data being handled in that manner and making them aware of their rights under the GDPR.

For other personal data we handle in carrying out legal work, our legal basis for processing this data is legitimate interest in providing legal services, and our client’s legitimate interest in obtaining and enforcing Intellectual Property rights and obtaining legal advice.

Who has access to the data

We have a data protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal data.  We will not sell or rent your information to third parties.  We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.

Generally, we will only use your information within Beck Greener.  However there may be circumstances, in carrying out your legal work, where we may need to disclose some information to third parties, for example:

- An intellectual property office in connection with applying for IP rights, and may in turn later be published or made publicly available by the intellectual property office.

- A court or tribunal.

- Solicitors or patent attorneys acting on the other side in legal disputes.

- An independent Barrister or Counsel engaged to adviseor represent you.

- Foreign associates in connection with applying for IP rights abroad, which may be within the EEA or outside the EEA, who may in turn submit the personal information to their local intellectual property offices, to assist in asserting those rights or provide advice on legal matters.

- Contracted Service Providers.

- Bank or other financial institutions in connection with managing your account with us or recovering debts.

- Providers of identity verification.

- Any disclosure required by law or regulation, such as the prevention of financial crime and terrorism.

How do we protect your personal data

We recognise that your information is valuable and we take all reasonable measures to protect it whilst it is in our care.

We have put technology and operational security measures in place in order to protect personal information from loss and/or misuse.  Similarly, we adopt a high threshold when it comes to confidentiality obligations and both internal and external parties have agreed to protect confidentiality of all information, to ensure all personal data is handled and processed in line with our stringent confidentiality and data protection policies.

We have IT security systems in place such as firewalls, strong passwords, data encryption and periodic external security reviews of our IT systems, and we have in place physical access controls to our buildings and files to keep data safe.  Our data is backed-up, off-site, over an encrypted link to servers located within the EEA, on at least a daily basis.

How long will we keep the data for

Your personal information will be retained, usually in electronic or physical files, only for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes for which the information was collected, as set out in this privacy policy, or as required by law, or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you may hold with us. 

Files and records which are no longer active, whether or not the matter to which the file or record relates is pending, may at our discretion be retained or destroyed.  Files and records will normally be kept, at our discretion, for one year after they are no longer active or pending.  We will then review whether we have good business reasons for retaining the data and retain only that which is necessary.  This is in case we need to refer to the matter for the purpose of defending complaints or claims against us or for checking for conflicts of interest.

What are your rights under the GDPR?

Under GDPR, you are entitled to access your personal data (known as a “subject access request”).  If we do hold personal information about you we will:

- Give you a description of the personal information.

- Tell you why we are holding it.

- Tell you who it could be disclosed to.

- Provide you with a copy of the personal information we hold.

This does not mean you are entitled to a copy of any document that contains your personal data.  We may need to refuse your request if the information is subject to any legal professional privilege that may belong to one of our clients.  If you wish to make a request, please do so in writing addressed to privacy@beckgreener.com or contact the person dealing with your matter.

Under certain circumstances, you have the following additional rights under the GDPR:

1.  The right to be informed: this is met by way of this privacy policy.

2.  The right to rectification: you are entitled to have personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete.

3.  The right to erasure / ‘right to be forgotten’: you have the right to request the deletion or removal of your personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing.

4.  The right to object: you have the right to object to processing based on legitimate interests, and the right to object to direct marketing.

5.  The right to restrict processing: you have the right to request the restriction or suppression of your data.  When processing is restricted, we can store the data but not use it.

6.  The right to request the transfer of your personal information to another party in a machine-readable, commonly used and structured format.

Marketing data

We may contact you for the purpose of direct marketing.  This means that we may use your personal data that we have collected in accordance with this privacy policy to contact you with legal updates, information about our products or services, invitations to events etc. which we feel may interest you.  We never pass on or sell your details to a third party. 

If you sign up to our IP updates mailing list on our website we will send you our free newsletter full of IP updates, news, information, and advice.  We will record your consent to receiving these communications.

If you are our client or legal associate, our legal basis under the GDPR for sending you relevant marketing communication is legitimate interest in keeping in touch with you and keeping you updated with our services and legal development which might be of interest to you.  Relevant marketing communication by email will be sent during the course of the legal work, for a period after the work is complete and/or whilst the intellectual property rights we obtain for you are in force.

The direct marketing communications may be provided to you by social media channels, email or post.  We will never send marketing communications via SMS or call you for marketing purposes without your specific consent.

We may use data processors providing an email platform to provide you with our newsletters.  Currently we use Mail Chimp for this purpose.  Therefore, when you sign up to our newsletter and updates the personal information you submit may be stored on servers which are hosted in the USA.  Where this is the case, we will take steps to ensure that those providers use the necessary level of protection for your information and abide by strict agreements and measures set out by us to protect your data and comply with the relevant data protection laws.

We periodically review our marketing lists to remove people with whom we have had no contact for a period of time or where we believe our marketing communications are not being engaged with.

If, at any time, you wish to update your information or if you wish to unsubscribe from receiving marketing notifications from us please e-mail us at mail@beckgreener.com.  Alternatively, you can use the ‘Unsubscribe’ option which is employed on all our electronic communications.

Website

If you make an enquiry through the Website using the Contact Us form or by e-mailing us or contacting us by other means, we may contact you by post, telephone, or e-mail as per your stated preference.  We will only use the information you provide for the purpose of responding to your enquiry and we will not add you to our marketing mailing list without your consent. 

Please note that you do not have to provide personal information in order to access most areas of the Website.  However, in order to sign up for certain services you will have to provide certain personal information to us.  If during your visit to our website you have chosen to provide us with personal details that data will only be used by us in accordance with our privacy policy set out below.

We will only collect personal information from you if it is necessary for our legitimate interests in connection with operating the Website, in particular:

- responding to your queries where you e-mail us your details.

- providing services and/or information to you where you e-mail us your details or you use any of our online forms to register for services.

- dealing with your application if you apply for advertised vacancy or send us a speculative job application at Beck Greener (Privacy Policy for Job Applicants).

- carrying out direct marketing where you sign up to one of our mailing lists for IP news and legal updates.

The type of information required will be set out on the relevant page of the Website and may include your name, company name, e-mail address, job title, telephone number, postal address and other details.

We collect information about your usage of our website (for example, the URL you came from, IP address, domain types like .co.uk and .com, your browser type and the pages of our website that were viewed during your visit) via cookies.

Cookies

The Website uses "cookies" (these are small text files created and stored on your hard drive by your internet browser software) to monitor website visitor volumes and use.  Our analytics service provider (Google Analytics) uses information from these cookies to compile aggregate data to uncover website user behaviour patterns over time which helps us improve the Website and deliver a better service to users.  None of the cookies we use on the Website contain any Personal Information about you and cannot be used to identify individual users.  Google Analytics' privacy policy is available here.

You can set or amend your web browser controls to accept or refuse cookies.  Most browsers have a facility to disable cookies; please refer to your browser’s help menu to find out how to do this.  Whilst you will still be able to browse most of the Website with cookies disabled, certain features may not be available.

Social Media Share Buttons

When you share an article using a social media share buttons on the Website, the social media network that has created the button will record that you have done this.  Sharing buttons for LinkedIn and Twitter are included on some pages of the Website.  LinkedIn and Twitter have their own policies on how they use information gained from activity on the Website.  Links to their privacy policies can be found here: LinkedIn's Privacy Policy. Twitter's Privacy Policy.

Website Security

We undergo periodic reviews of security policies and procedures for the Website to ensure that our systems are secure and protected.  The transmission of information via the Internet is not completely secure.  Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted to the website; any transmission is at your own risk.

Please note that this website contains links to third party websites and we are not responsible for the data protection or privacy policies of those third parties, or of websites that link to ours.

Complaints about the use of personal data

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact our Privacy Officer at privacy@beckgreener.com who will investigate further. 

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are not processing your personal data in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the regulatory authority, by following this link: https://ico.org.uk/concerns/.

Enquiries about Data Collection

If you have questions about this privacy policy or questions concerning the processing of your personal data please contact the Privacy Officer, Beck Greener, Fulwood House, 12 Fulwood Place, London WC1V 6HR, e-mail: privacy@beckgreener.com.

For more information on GDPR and your rights please see link: https://ico.org.uk/for-the-public/

We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy or any part of it at any time and any changes will be posted on the website.  This policy was last updated on 24 May 2018.