Watermark Intellectual Property Pty Ltd, in association with Watermark Intellectual Property Lawyers Pty Ltd (collectively “Watermark”) will need to collect and hold personal information about you to provide our services to you. In accordance with our commitment to be open and transparent about the management of your personal information, Watermark has developed this Privacy Policy.

“Personal information” means information or an opinion about an individual, or information by which an individual can be reasonably ascertained, whether the information or opinion is true or not.

This Privacy Policy has been developed in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles. This Privacy Policy applies to the collection, storage, use and dissemination of your personal information. By accessing or continuing to access any of Watermark’s websites or social media pages, including www.watermark.com.au, you accept the terms of this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy applies to personal information provided to us whether via Watermark’s websites, social media pages or by any other means.

Personal Information that Watermark collects and holds

Watermark provides intellectual property services, including patent and trade mark attorney services, legal services, IP advisory services, conducting IP searches, filing applications to register IP rights, providing advice, corresponding with IP offices and government departments, communicating with attorneys and lawyers outside Australia and liaising with third parties on your behalf. We will collect personal information that is reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions and activities, and in particular so that we can provide our services to you.

Where possible we collect your personal information directly from you. Personal information is generally collected during the course of our relationship with you. We may also need to collect personal information from third parties and publicly available sources. We will only collect personal information by lawful and fair means.

The kinds of personal information that Watermark collects and holds will depend on the type of service that you require, but may include:

  • your name, address and contact details such as telephone numbers and e-mail addresses;
  • your date of birth and age;
  • your citizenship details;
  • your qualifications, memberships and industry associations;
  • your financial information including information with respect to bank account details; and
  • information with respect to companies and trusts that you control, own or represent.

The nature of our services means that it will generally be impracticable to deal with you if we do not collect your personal information, or if you do not correctly identify yourself. You may be able to make enquires anonymously, although in those circumstances we may not be able to represent you at all.

If we need to collect sensitive information that is reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions or activities, such as information about your race, ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, or trade union memberships, we will obtain your consent before doing so unless a permitted general situation exists under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).

If we receive personal information about you from a third party, we will promptly determine whether or not we could have collected that personal information had we sought that information. If we determine that we could not have collected that personal information and the information is not in a Commonwealth record, we will destroy the information or ensure that the information is de-identified, but only if it is lawful and reasonable to do so.

When you visit Watermark’s website, a small data file called a cookie may be placed on your computer. The purpose of a cookie is to assist us in analysing web traffic by recording information about the pages people visit, so that we know what people find interesting and useful. This anonymous information is not linked to your identity or any other personal information that you provide us. You may be able to set your computer so that cookies are refused, however this action could impede the functionality of Watermark’s website.

Telephone call details are recorded as a result of billing practices. Only the information pertaining to the call is collected and not the call itself.

An encrypted copy of all emails sent to and from Watermark is taken for backup purposes.

Dealing with personal information that Watermark collects and holds

Watermark may use or disclose your personal information relating to the purpose for which it was collected. For example, we may use or disclosure your personal information to IP offices, courts, government departments, barristers, and attorneys and law firms in other countries.

We may also use or disclose your personal information for purposes related to the purpose for which it was collected where it is reasonable to do so. For example, we may use or disclose your personal information to let you know about Watermark’s related services, or to let you know about particular events or legal developments that may be of interest to you.

We may be required or authorised by law to disclose your personal information. For example, we may need to use or disclose personal information to external accountants for tax and audit purposes, banks to facilitate the establishment of electronic funds payments and transfers, debt collection agencies and mail service providers.

We provide personal information to CPA Global Limited in relation to IP renewal matters. Generally, however, we do not disclose your personal information to a party outside Watermark without your consent, unless that party is contracted to Watermark to provide administrative services on our behalf. We may contact you to obtain your consent to use or disclose your personal information for certain purposes, for example internal or external presentations, tender documents or industry surveys.

Direct Marketing

Watermark does not disclose your personal information to any third party outside Watermark for the purposes of allowing them to market their products or services to you.

From time to time, we may use your personal information for direct marketing purposes in circumstances where you would reasonably expect us to use your personal information for that purpose. You authorise us to use your contact details such as your postal address, email address, phone number and fax number to send you information about our products and services.

If you do not wish to receive direct marketing material from us, you can opt-out at any time by contacting us using the details below. Once you have told us that you no longer wish to receive direct marketing material about our products and services we will not send you any further material, unless that material is otherwise necessary to continue providing our services to you.

Security of personal information that Watermark collects and holds

Watermark takes reasonable precautions to safeguard your personal information from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, theft, modification or disclosure. We employ a number of means to protect your personal information including:

  • external and internal premises security;
  • restricted access to personal information;
  • IT password protection; and
  • internal policies in relation to Watermark’s computer use.

We take reasonable steps to securely destroy or de-identify all personal information where it is no longer necessary to retain the information for the purposes for which it was requested or as required by law.

However, we cannot guarantee that the transmission of data over the Internet is totally secure. As such, any information that you choose to transmit to us over the Internet is done at your own risk. Further, despite taking reasonable precautions, we cannot guarantee against theft of personal information from our premises.

Cross-border transfer of personal information that Watermark collects and holds

As our services include regular dealings with other countries, we may need to transfer your personal information overseas, for example, to IP offices, courts, government departments, advisors, attorneys and law firms. It is not practicable to specify those countries in this Privacy Policy, as it could apply to any country or region where you want to protect, renew or defend your IP rights.

By giving us your personal information, you expressly consent to the disclosure of your personal information to these foreign entities for the purposes of providing our services.

You acknowledge that we reasonably believe that these recipients would be subject to a law or binding scheme that has the effect of protecting the information in a way that, overall, is at least substantially similar to our privacy laws. However, by consenting to the use and disclosure of your personal information overseas, you understand that we have not made specific enquires and will not generally take steps to ensure that these overseas recipients are bound the same privacy rules that we follow.

Access to your personal information

We rely on the personal information we hold about you to efficiently provide our services. For this reason, it is very important that the personal information we collect from you is accurate, complete and up-to-date.

During the course of our relationship with you we will ask you to tell us of any changes to your personal information. However, you can contact us at any time to update your personal information or to tell us that the information we hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete.

You may also request access to any personal information that we hold about you. In most cases a summary of personal information such as your name and address details, contact telephone numbers and the matters that you have engaged us on are freely available to you by contacting us as set out below.

Watermark is not, however, always required to provide you with access to your personal information on request. We may refuse you access to your personal information in a number of circumstances such as where the information may relate to existing or anticipated legal proceedings with you, where denying access is required or authorised by law, or where the request for access is regarded as frivolous or vexatious. If we deny your request for access to, or refuse your request to correct your personal information, we will explain why.

Contacting Watermark about privacy matters

If you would like to contact Watermark in relation to this Privacy Policy, or if you believe that Watermark has not complied with this Privacy Policy or the Australian Privacy Principles, you may lodge a complaint in any of the following ways:

By writing to:       Gayle French
Watermark Intellectual Property Pty Ltd
GPO Box 5093
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

By telephone      (03) 9819 1664

By email             privacy@watermark.com.au

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as we can, and in any case within 30 days.

What if I am not satisfied with the response?

If you are not satisfied with the result of your complaint to Watermark, you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) – see http://www.oaic.gov.au for details.

Effective Date: 12 March 2014