Legal Issues

Table of contents

Protecting intellectual property
Introduction The importance of protecting intellectual property Intellectual property management - conducting an audit Getting legal protection for your intellectual property Intellectual property rights and your employees Prevent intellectual property infringement Protecting your business name and domain name Respect other people's intellectual property Helplines Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful

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Assistance with intellectual property protection 5 6 7 8 9 9 10 10

Intellectual property and freelance contractors 7

E-commerce and the law
Introduction E-commerce Regulations Tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations Regulations applying to telephone and fax marketing
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Legal Issues

Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Tips for complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Distance Selling Regulations Provision of Services Regulations Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful 15 16 17 17 17 15

Related web sites you might find useful

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Trading online - understanding e-commerce contracts 19
Introduction Formation of online contracts Essential terms of a contract Issues to consider when selling online Protecting consumers Complying with the Distance Selling Regulations Resolving legal disputes Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful 22 23 24 24 19 19 20 21 22

Sample internet policies and notices
Introduction Sample privacy policy Sample website disclaimer Sample business email disclaimer Sample acceptable internet use policy Sample acceptable email use policy Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk

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Sample website usage terms and conditions 25

Sample internet copyright notice & guidelines 29

Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service

Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007

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Protecting intellectual property

Subjects covered in this guide

Introduction
Introduction The importance of protecting intellectual property Intellectual property management conducting an audit Getting legal protection for your intellectual property Assistance with intellectual property protection Intellectual property rights and your employees Intellectual property and freelance contractors Prevent intellectual property infringement Protecting your business name and domain name Respect other people's intellectual property Helplines Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk Related web sites you might find useful All businesses have intellectual property (IP), regardless of their size or sector. IP can mean a brand, invention, design or other kind of creation, and it can be legally owned. Your IP is likely to be a valuable asset. It could include the name of your business, the products or services you make or provide, or the written or artistic material you create. Securing and protecting it could be essential to your business' future success, so it's vital to understand your rights and how the law can help you. This guide explains the importance of conducting an audit of your business' IP. It sets out the different kinds of legal protection available for IP available (including patents, trade marks, design rights, registered designs and copyright) and explains the range of things you can do to protect and manage your IP rights.

The importance of protecting intellectual property
Intellectual property (IP) rights are valuable assets for your business - possibly among the most important it possesses.

You can find this guide on http://www.businesslink.gov.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > Exploit your ideas > Protecting your intellectual property > Protecting intellectual property

Your IP can: • set your business apart from competitors • be sold or licensed, providing an important revenue stream • offer customers something new and
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Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007

helping you identify and protect your IP later on. You also need to consider items such as any bespoke software. domain names and customer databases. selling or importing it without your permission • earn royalties by licensing it • exploit it through strategic alliances • make money by selling it • identify where IP is used • find out who owns the IP rights • assess the value of the IP This won't always be straightforward. To exploit your IP fully. You can then: • protect it against infringement by others and ultimately defend in the courts your sole right to use. Remember that your IP doesn't just reside in patents you hold or trade marks you have registered. To carry out an audit. with witness signatures where appropriate. sell or import it • stop others using. Key questions an IP audit should raise: • Is my IP protected? • Am I infringing anybody else's IP rights? • Am I fully exploiting my IP? Using a logbook to manage your IP It can be helpful to record all research. This can serve as a powerful tool. look closely at your business to: Getting legal protection for your intellectual property There are four main ways in which the law provides protection for your intellectual property. You must apply to the Intellectual Property Office for a patent. You can find out about IP on the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window. Patents Patents protect your inventions for a set period. but there are also other types of legal protection you can apply for. it makes strong business sense to do all you can to secure it.its name and logo. inventions. written material. works of creative or intellectual effort or trade marks that distinguish your business can all be types of IP. notes. Some IP rights are automatically safeguarded by IP law. designs and meetings related to your ideas in a dated. make. designs. Find out about IP on the Intellectual Property Office website . tamper-proof logbook. Intellectual property management conducting an audit The first step to protecting and exploiting your business' intellectual property successfully is carrying out a systematic intellectual property (IP) audit. See our guide Page 4 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . making.Protecting intellectual property different • form an essential part of your marketing or branding You may be surprised at how many aspects of your business can be protected .Opens in a new window.

Find information on the patents rules on the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window. You can get information on copyright on the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window. You can take legal action to prevent someone else using your trade mark if you have built up sufficient trading reputation and goodwill in it . Find out about patent searches on the British Library website Opens in a new window. You can find out about trade marks on the Intellectual Property Office website . To see if there is an existing patent you need to carry out a patent search. For added protection it's a good idea to use trade mark registration to safeguard your trade mark. artistic or dramatic work and sound recordings that are the result of intellectual effort or creative skill.Protecting intellectual property on how to get patent protection for your business.Opens in a new window. This could cover your website's content. See our guide on design right and registration. among other things. IP protection is a complex legal area and getting help is often sensible. so it's essential that you get it right. brand names or shapes.but this can be difficult to prove. for example. You can only patent an invention if no one has done so before you. Design right and registered designs Design right gives automatic but limited protection for the appearance of three-dimensional objects. A registered design gives added protection and applies to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. See our guide on how to use trade marks in your business.in the form of slogans. Copyright This is the automatic protection the law affords original literary (including software). Assistance with intellectual property protection Intellectual property (IP) protection can be an important part of ensuring your business' success. Rules came into force in 2007 which. technical drawings or instruction manuals. Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 5 . You can get information on design on the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window. Find your trade association on the Trade Association Forum website . They can even result in your business' failure. symbols. for example. Sources of IP law • The Trade Association Forum. words. logos. Trade marks A trade mark is the distinctive way in which your business' goods or services are represented . introduced flexible and user-friendly patent litigation procedures and also simplified and updated administrative requirements. Mistakes can be time-consuming and expensive.Opens in a new window. See our guide on copyright for your business.

This means they can object to distortions of their work and retain the right to be identified as its author.Opens in a new window. Showing that a member of staff has an employment contract is usually enough to prove you own all IP rights. they're compiling databases. Intellectual property rights and your employees It's likely that your employees will create work that carries intellectual property (IP) rights. musical or artistic works created as part of their employment. You may also want to ask employees to record information relating to any innovative work they do in a logbook. Find further advice on IP protection and the work of patent attorneys on the CIPA website Opens in a new window. employees will retain the moral rights to any literary.Opens in a new window. This prevents any confusion arising perhaps over work created outside office hours or as a by-product of specified work. If you want to obtain the moral rights in your employees' work you must state this clearly in employment contracts. Contact the Intellectual Property Office Central Enquiry Unit on Tel 08459 500 505 or find information on IP protection on the Intellectual Property Office website . See our guide on intellectual property protection overseas. Your employees may also have access to sensitive information about IP.Protecting intellectual property • The Intellectual Property Office. Find advice on trade mark attorneys on the ITMA website . Patent attorneys are legally qualified in all aspects of patents. design and copyright issues. They are represented professionally by the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA). for example. Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . dramatic. Specialist legal advice is also available. Protecting your ideas overseas IP protection is territorial. the majority of countries have similar laws relating to intellectual property and you can seek protection in other countries. trade marks. Similarly. They are represented professionally by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA). But it's a good idea to state the position explicitly in separate clauses of employees' contracts. design and copyright law. However. but have no economic rights over it. which means if you have registered protection in the UK it applies only within the UK. trade mark attorneys are legally qualified in trade mark. The good news is that rights to IP created by employees generally belong to the employer. It can make good business sense to include confidentiality clauses in your employment Page 6 This does not just apply to those who are developing inventions in a research and development department. Staff could also be creating potentially valuable IP if. Unless otherwise explicitly stated in their contracts. writing marketing material or producing training brochures.

control and use the IP rights of all work created before a contractor produces anything for your business.as any disclosure could jeopardise your claim to originality. However.or registered . Unless Prevent intellectual property infringement If your ideas get into the wrong hands before you have taken action to protect them. unless you take adequate precautions you could find your business would be unable to use a successful advertising slogan across all its promotional material if the phrase in question was coined by an agency that agreed to produce the slogan for a one-off newspaper campaign only. in a written agreement.and third parties to whom key information must be disclosed . This is essential before IP protection has been applied for . For certain creative works it will also be important afterwards because enforcing your intellectual property rights against infringers can be time-consuming and expensive. You may want to seek legal advice when drawing up contracts. unless you take steps to assign the IP rights to your business you will neither own them nor be able to make additional use of them. Basic steps you can take to avoid IP infringement include: • asking employees . You have an implied legal right to use IP rights in work you have commissioned from freelance contractors for the purpose it was originally intended for. You should therefore set out. You may want to seek legal advice when drawing up agreements with contractors. Intellectual property and freelance contractors You should take steps to ensure your business owns any intellectual property (IP) rights in work created for you by freelance contractors. For example. bespoke software such as databases and website content management systems . your contractors will retain the right to object to distortions of their work as well as to be identified as the author. You can search for a solicitor on the Law Society website . See our guide on the employment contract. It's therefore very important that all your business' material in which there are IP rights is kept secure. A clause assigning moral rights to your business could also be beneficial.Opens in a new window. Remember that IP rights may reside in promotional material. you could find your intellectual property (IP) rights seriously compromised or even lose them entirely. who will own. You can search for a solicitor on the Law Society website Opens in a new window.and other creative work which may be undertaken by freelance contractors.Protecting intellectual property contracts. you do this.to sign confidentiality Page 7 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .

To register a domain name you first need to check whether it's available. see our guide on how to use trade marks in your business. However.com on the Verisign website Opens in a new window. You can search domain names ending in . intellectual property asset you have. You will get additional legal protection if you register the name as a trade mark. Protect your name on the internet If you want to set up a website for your business you will probably want to register a domain name incorporating your business name. idea or design to an agent.uk on the Nominet website . if you have not protected your idea by applying for a patent. or any trade marks you have. If you want a domain name ending in . You should: • ensure sensitive information is kept on password-protected areas of your system • install anti-virus software and keep it up to date • install firewalls to prevent unauthorised users from hacking into your system and update them regularly • back up your work and ensure back-ups are stored securely • protect your system against power surges and failures For further information. needs protection from both lapses in security and IT disasters. But you may be able to take legal action if you think: • someone is using a domain name to Page 8 Protecting your business name and domain name Your business name is the most basic Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . having a trade mark doesn't give you an automatic right to a domain name incorporating your trade mark.Protecting intellectual property agreements • keeping important hard-copy information locked up Take special care when trying to sell or license an invention. Apart from a confidentiality agreement.Opens in a new window. Many web hosting companies offer domain searching and registration facilities. Your business' reputation is tied up with its name so you don't want somebody else trading on it. even if registration is complete. Someone may have already registered the domain name you want for the same or different goods and services. manufacturer or potential partner. Information stored electronically.com. you can search domain names ending in . post a dated copy of your idea to yourself using recorded delivery and lodge the unopened envelope and postal record with your bank or solicitor. trade mark or design. you may be able to take legal action against anyone using it in the same or a similar field. For further information. If the name of your business is distinctive to the goods and services you provide. It could also be the most important. see our guide on keeping your systems and data secure. particularly on computers connected to the internet.

If you want to make. Use our interactive tool to search for an available company name and trade mark. See our guide on design right and registration. You should also do a search if you're considering applying for your own patent. sell. You should also consider checking with Companies House to ensure that no one else is using your proposed trade mark as their company name. If you want to use original creative work you should find out whether it is covered by copyright. You can get help with your searches from a patent attorney or trade mark attorney. unless the owner of the earlier mark successfully opposes the new application. use. you should carry out a full patent search. Making a mistake and infringing upon someone else's rights could be costly. If you're planning to use a sign to distinguish your business from competitors. If you want to make. it is still worth checking that no one has registered the same or a similar trade mark before you make your application.Protecting intellectual property pass off their goods and services as yours • someone has taken out your trade mark as a domain name just to sell it back to you For further information. However. you should always carry out a full trade mark search see our guide on how to use trade marks in your business.Opens in a new window. Under the Trade Marks (Relative Grounds) Order 2007 the registrar can now register a trade mark that is the same as or similar to an existing trade mark. use or import goods you should carry out a full design search. See our guide on how to get patent protection for your business. Helplines Intellectual Property Office Central Enquiry Unit 08459 500 505 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 9 . so it is worth obtaining professional help. This IP law infringement can result in injunctions against you. infringers can even be found guilty of a criminal offence and be given a prison sentence or an unlimited fine. Respect other people's intellectual property You must make sure you respect other people's intellectual property (IP).Opens in a new window. See our guide on copyright for your business. You can find a patent attorney on the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) website . Search for a trade mark attorney on the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) website . sell or import someone's invention. If you infringe it the owner of the IP can take legal action against you. along with orders to pay high costs and damages. Intellectual property management carrying out searches It's a good idea to carry out searches to check you're not committing IP infringement. read the guide to trade marks and domain names on the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window. In some cases.

Opens in a new window Trade mark.Opens in a new window Design database on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window Copyright information on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window Patent search service information on the British Library website . copyright and design advice on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window Domain name scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website .Protecting intellectual property Related guides on businesslink.gov.Opens in a new window Patent attorney directory on the CIPA website .uk Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Get patent protection for your business | Copyright for your business | Use trade marks in your business | Design right and registration | Intellectual property protection overseas | Search for existing trade marks on the Intellectual Property Office website | Trade mark registration on the Intellectual Property Office website | Non-disclosure agreements | The employment contract | Introduce an internet and email policy | Using contractors and subcontractors | Keeping your systems and data secure | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | Security and crime prevention | Use our interactive tool to search for an available company name and trade mark | Choose the right name for your business | Trade mark guidance on the Intellectual Property Office website . patent.Opens in a new window Domain name search on the Nominet website .Opens in a new window IP healthcheck tool on the Intellectual Property Office website (registration required) .Opens in a new window Trade mark attorney listing on the ITMA website .Opens in a new window Patents database search advice on the Intellectual Property Office website Page 10 Related web sites you might find useful IP advice on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window Solicitor directory on the Law Society website .Opens in a new window Trade mark and domain name advice on the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window Global domain name checker on the Network Solutions website .Opens in a new window Patent rules explained on the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) website .Opens in a new window Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 .

Protecting intellectual property Opens in a new window Patents database on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window Patents search and advisory service on the Intellectual Property Office website Opens in a new window Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 11 .Opens in a new window IP advice on the Intellectual Property Office website .

or by Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 12 . the legislation is primarily intended to ensure that online contracts are legally binding. The Regulations apply to businesses that: • sell goods or services to businesses or consumers on the internet. it is not a substitute for professional legal advice.E-commerce and the law Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction E-commerce Regulations Tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations Regulations applying to telephone and fax marketing Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Tips for complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations Distance Selling Regulations Provision of Services Regulations Related guides on businesslink. The trader and customer are not face to face at any point. A number of legislative initiatives affect business conducted online .uk Related web sites you might find useful The ways in which electronic marketing can be undertaken to promote the services of e-commerce providers are also regulated. As far as e-commerce transactions are concerned.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > E-commerce > E-commerce and the law E-commerce Regulations The E-commerce Regulations came into force in August 2002.gov. They implement the European E-Commerce Directive into UK law and one of their main aims is to ensure that electronic contracts are legally binding and enforceable throughout Europe.they can be complex and change regularly. You can find this guide on http://www.businesslink. E-commerce is all about selling goods and services via the internet.gov. regardless of location. However. This can pose a number of challenges to the formation and enforcement of contracts. with business conducted remotely. This guide introduces you to the various regulations and provides practical advice on how to ensure that you comply with your legal requirements.

They require that these communications are identifiable from the subject line of the email. without the need to You must also ensure your website complies with part of the Companies Act 2006. read the rest of the message. commonly referred to as spam. geographic address and other contact details including your email address • details of any publicly available register in which you are entered. such as emails. Advertising If you intend to advertise on the internet. these must be clear and indicate whether they include tax and delivery costs. Information requirements The E-commerce Regulations identify specific information about your business that you must provide to recipients of online services. place of registration. together with any promotional offer. or provide access to a communications network They do not cover direct marketing by phone or fax. together with your registration number or equivalent • the particulars of the supervisory body if the service is subject to an authorisation scheme • details of any professional body with which you are registered • your VAT registration number If your website refers to prices. if the company is being wound up. your customer should be able to print and store a copy of the terms and conditions. They must clearly identify the person on whose behalf the marketing communication is sent. A common place to put this information is in the 'About us' or 'Legal info' page of the site . or by email or SMS • convey or store electronic content for customers. To find out about what information you must give the customer and other practical advice on how to comply. From 1 January 2007 all companies in the UK must clearly state the company registration number. Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 13 .it does not have to appear on every page. on all of their websites. that fact. Tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations To comply with the general information requirements of the E-commerce Regulations 2002 you must give recipients of your online services: • your business' name.E-commerce and the law email or Standard Messaging Service (SMS) ie text messages • advertise on the internet. The Regulations also cover "unsolicited commercial communications". This rule also applies to any electronic communications sent out by your company. or by email or SMS. Contracting online If you form a contract online by electronic means. the Regulations stipulate that "commercial communications" must be clearly recognisable as such. and set down guidelines regarding advertising and promotions. registered office address and. SMS messages are not covered for these purposes. see the page in this guide on tips for complying with the E-commerce Regulations.

These regulations were superseded by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 in December 2003. government departments and agencies. you must acknowledge receipt without undue delay. CTPS and FPS. For more information. a limited liability partnership in England. see the page in this guide on the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. eg 'click this box' • whether the concluded contract will be filed by you and whether it will be accessible • the languages offered for the conclusion of the contract • any relevant codes of conduct to which you subscribe.E-commerce and the law the Fax Preference Service (FPS) were established as a result of these regulations and are monitored by the Information Commissioner. So. or planning to undertake direct marketing via phone or fax then you must make regular checks with the TPS. Wales and Northern Ireland. It also offers an 'opt-out' for corporate bodies who register with the FPS. This will ensure that you are acting legally if you undertake a marketing campaign using these media. public limited companies and other public bodies. This is the central opt-out register that enables corporate subscribers to register their wishes not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls to any of their organisation's telephone numbers. Once a customer has placed an order electronically. if you are already engaged in. or any partnership in Scotland. A corporate subscriber includes corporate bodies such as a limited company in the UK. hospitals. in June 2004 the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) was launched. The Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations regulated direct marketing by telephone and fax. and information on how these can be consulted electronically You must make sure that your website allows customers to go back and correct any mistakes made in their order before the order is placed. Both the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 14 . TPS and CTPS Initially the regulations only gave individuals the right to opt out of direct marketing by registering with the TPS. Regulations applying to telephone and fax marketing Businesses frequently promote their services via telephone and fax. There are a number of regulations that apply to this area and it is important that your business is aware of them. or risk How to comply when contracting online If your business forms contracts online you must provide your customers with information about: • all technical steps required to conclude the contract. It also includes schools. However. FPS The FPS includes a requirement to obtain individual consent prior to direct marketing by fax.

what files were downloaded and the information viewed. Communications Regulations. corporate bodies may also opt-out of receiving such emails. commonly referred to as spam. In practice this is likely to involve providing them with information about cookies. and how to disable them should they wish to do so. The new regulations include additional rules which legislate against unsolicited emails or Standard Messaging Service (SMS) ie text messages. or an Enforcement Notice will be issued. Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations E-marketing activities are regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations that came into force in December 2003. These are files downloaded from a web server to the website visitor's computer. They can provide the owner of the website with personal details about the visitor such as what purchases were made from the site. A fine may be imposed for breach of an Enforcement Notice. Under the Privacy and Electronic Tips for complying with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations are enforced by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). However.E-commerce and the law committing an offence. Existing customers can be sent unsolicited advertising. Cookies The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations also cover the use of 'cookies'. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations superseded the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations. They also prohibit marketing emails that do not provide the recipient with a valid address they can use to request such communications cease. Criminal sanctions may also be imposed. It is important to remember that it is also a requirement of the Regulations that unsolicited advertising emails must contain both the identity and the contact details of the sender. the recipient should also be given the option to 'opt-out' of receiving such emails. If the Information Commissioner finds a business to be in breach of the Regulations an Information Notice requesting further information. on the condition that the direct marketing relates to products and services similar to those they have already purchased. but there is no 'opt-in' requirement. Page 15 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Addressing the problem of spam The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations require that an individual's consent is obtained prior to sending them unsolicited advertising by email unless they have already 'opted-in' or expressly consented to the receipt of such emails. The aim of the regulations is to allow the visitor to choose whether they want cookies on their computer. They prohibit sending direct marketing communications by email where the identity of the person who sent it is disguised or concealed.

There are some exceptions to these rights of cancellation. you should ensure that each communication is clearly identifiable as relating to the advertising or marketing of a product. after-sales services and guarantees • delivery within 30 days unless otherwise agreed Consumers have a cooling-off period of seven working days in which to cancel the contract. This means that any commercial communication sent by email or text message should be clearly identifiable as such through its header . it is extended to three months. if you use electronic communications as a marketing tool. They cover purchases made via email and the internet. though there are some limited exceptions for existing customers. starting from when the goods are received.other required information can then be set out in the main body of the communication. without having to give a reason. Under the Regulations. The right to withdraw can be exercised by the consumer even after the goods have been delivered. Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Electronic communications as a marketing tool should also: • identify the person on whose behalf it is sent • clearly identify any promotional offer . the complaints procedure. together with telephone and mail order. including a notice of cancellation rights. or the services have been provided. So. catering or leisure services. transport. including: • contracts for the provision of accommodation.and any conditions that must be met to qualify for it (these must be easily accessible. They only apply to transactions between businesses and consumers (individuals acting outside the course of their business) and do not include business-to-business contracts and auctions. premium or gift .including any discount.E-commerce and the law All of these actions can damage the reputation of your business and adversely affect the goodwill of your customers. where these services are supplied on a specific date or for a specific period • the sale of customised goods or perishable goods Page 16 Distance Selling Regulations The Distance Selling Regulations 2000 are designed to protect customers who are not physically present with the seller at the time of purchase. consumers have the right to: • details in writing about the supplier and the terms of the transaction • written confirmation of their orders • further information. clear and unambiguous) • provide the recipient with 'opt-out' rights You should obtain prior individual consent from your customer through them 'opting in'. The consumer is entitled to receive a full refund for a cancelled contract within 30 days. If no details of the cooling-off period have been given by the supplier to the consumer.

uk Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Planning for e-commerce | Trading online . UK and EEA authorities can no longer make the access to. Businesses can also access a 'Point of Single Contact' in each EEA country where they can securely apply for any authorisations they require in order to trade in that country. For example.understanding e-commerce contracts | Create an online shop | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | Develop an e-marketing plan | Generate business from your e-marketing plan | Manage your personal list of starting-up tasks with our Business start-up organiser | Related web sites you might find useful Page 17 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA).E-commerce and the law • sealed audio or video recordings. legal status and form • your business and email address • details of any UK or EEA authorisation schemes or professional and regulatory bodies you are regulated by or must belong to (if applicable) • details of any trade or other similar public registration (if applicable) • your VAT number. For detailed information on the provisions. you may be required to provide further information such as information on your complaints and dispute resolutions procedures. unless it can be justified by 'objective criteria'. For example. You must also make sure you do not discriminate on the grounds of nationality or location when providing services. Provision of Services Regulations The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 removed many of the barriers to the international trade in services with the aim of making it easier for individuals and businesses to provide services to. increased costs due to the extra distance involved when providing a service internationally.gov. or from. you must provide: • your business name. or software. Innovation & Skills (BIS) website (PDF. if the service is subject to VAT • details of any terms. conditions and Related guides on businesslink. which has been opened • sales by auction after-sales guarantees • the price (where it is pre-determined) and details of the service to be provided • details of any professional indemnity insurance and contact details for the insurance company (if applicable) If requested. Under the regulations almost all service providers offering services in the UK (including those from other EEA countries) are required to provide certain information to the recipients of their services. download a guide to the Provision of Services Regulations from the Department for Business. 814K) Opens in a new window. a service subject to an authorisation scheme or requirement unless it can be objectively justified. or the carrying out of.

814K) .E-commerce and the law Online selling regulations guidance on the Office of Fair Trading website Opens in a new window TPS and FPS contact information on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website .Opens in a new window Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations guidance on the ICO website .Opens in a new window Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 18 .Opens in a new window Premium rate scams information on the Office of Fair Trading website .Opens in a new window Download a guide to the Provision of Services Regulations from the BIS website (PDF.

These elements are an offer. the same rules apply as with the formation of other types of contract. an acceptance. This guide will explain the essential terms of online contracts and provide advice on the main issues to consider when selling goods online. Even where the website is simply used as an advertising tool. You can find this guide on http://www.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > Legal issues > Trading online . In UK law certain elements must be present for contracts to be legally binding.understanding e-commerce contracts Formation of online contracts If you allow customers to place orders online. However. Are online contracts legally binding? Contracts that are formed via the internet are legally binding and enforceable providing that the following conditions are Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 19 . Recent e-commerce regulations are intended to ensure that electronic contracts are binding and enforceable throughout Europe.gov. consideration and an intention to create legal relations.understanding e-commerce contracts Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Formation of online contracts Essential terms of a contract Issues to consider when selling online Protecting consumers Complying with the Distance Selling Regulations Resolving legal disputes Related guides on businesslink. it is not a substitute for professional legal advice. you should ensure that the terms and conditions of the contract are set out on the website and can be downloaded.Trading online .gov.businesslink. it is still advisable to clearly set out your terms and conditions. The issue can be confused by the fact that in e-commerce the trader and customer are never face to face and are sometimes in different countries.uk Related web sites you might find useful Although trading over the internet is often seen as a more informal way of doing business.

Opens in a new window. Innovation & Skills (BIS) website (PDF. When is the contract formed? Generally an advertisement on a website will not constitute a formal offer to contract (although care should still be taken when designing an advertisement). if commercial circumstances change. Essential terms of a contract Any terms and conditions that you use should be tailored to the needs of your business. including the Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. So you should ensure that you word them in such a way that they are not legally an acceptance of a customer's offer. services.the other party must expressly accept the offer • intention to create legal relations both parties to the contract must intend the contract to be legally binding • consideration . Limitation of liability clauses Clauses limiting one or both parties' liability Page 20 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . This will help to avoid situations where you are unable to meet the customer's expectations for any reason. extends to cover goods sold over the internet. Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.in England and Northern Ireland there should be some consideration being exchanged between the parties. particularly if the contract is of a sensitive nature • confirmation of which country's laws applies to the contract Consumer protection legislation Consumer protection legislation. eg offer to buy goods • acceptance .understanding e-commerce contracts satisfied: • offer . However. place and who is responsible for delivery • the rights of either party to terminate the contract • limitation of liability provisions • confidentiality provisions. 134K) . immoveable property. it's an offence to give consumers misleading price information about goods. automatically generated confirmations of orders can potentially cause confusion about when the contract is formed.Trading online . Generally any contract for goods or services should address: • the description of goods or services being supplied • the price and payment structure • the delivery details. The terms and conditions about when the contract is formed should be clear .one party must contract with the other. A contract would be formed once a customer makes an offer by placing an order and the supplier accepts this offer. eg money paid for goods You should note that there is no general requirement for contracts to be in writing or for the parties to actually sign a contract. including the time. rights and obligations. Find out about unfair contracts in our guide to buyers' terms and conditions and unfair contract terms. Download the guide on pricing practices from the Department for Business.for example when the supplier sends back a confirmation email.

Check each potential market sector carefully. but also within any metatags.are a good idea.ensure that terms and conditions are incorporated at the time the contract is concluded.one to use in connection with sales to consumers and the other for dealing with other businesses. There are restrictions on the ability of businesses to limit their liability. not just for items displayed on your site. Intellectual property . Specific regulation . so that it is more difficult for businesses to impose exclusion of liability clauses. Exclusions on restricted goods some types of goods which are legal to sell in one jurisdiction may be prohibited in other jurisdictions. Click-wrap agreements . Some of this protection is also extended to business purchasers under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008. Data Protection Act . • • • • Issues to consider when selling online There is a range of legislation that you are obliged to comply with when transacting online. which imposes conditions on both data processors and controllers. Dealing with consumers and business customers For some businesses dealing with both consumers and other business customers.it is important to have terms and conditions Page 21 are usually the most contentious.Trading online . This is particularly the case with premium-rate internet sites or those aimed at children. The rules are designed to protect the purchasers' rights and to make it clear when a contract between buyer and seller becomes binding. Security .made by pointing and clicking online to indicate acceptance . the Unfair Terms and Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 apply equally to goods sold over the internet. An online vendor could be liable for breaches of security on their site. • Contract formation . • Distance Selling Regulations .you should comply with this legislation. Generally.understanding e-commerce contracts this legislation.issues such as copyright and trade marks should be considered. Access agreement .be aware that selling online will necessitate the passing of sensitive data and payment instructions. There may also be implications as a consequence of competition law.you should ensure that you comply with • • • Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . clauses limiting liability need to be reasonable in order to be enforceable. which covers all contracts conducted online with consumers. Consumer protection legislation legislation such as the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. Business customers also have similar protections to consumers from misleading advertising under the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008. it is usually better to have two sets of terms and conditions . See the page in this guide on complying with the Distance Selling Regulations. There are stricter rules for businesses dealing with consumers.specific industries may be regulated.

the supplier's address • a description of the main characteristics of the goods or services • the price . This legislation stipulates that the supplier must sell goods that comply with their description. transferable securities. futures. This covers email and internet contracts.including all taxes Page 22 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . options. in goods which should have lasted for this length of time. Selling goods to consumers The EU has established a minimum level of consumer protection for the purchase of goods in the single market.Trading online . insurance. See our guide on e-commerce and the law. and exchange and interest rate instruments. Distance selling Distance Selling Regulations apply to contracts concluded when the supplier and purchaser are not physically present in the same place at the same time. Complying with the Distance Selling Regulations To comply with the Distance Selling Regulations you must provide consumers with the following information before they enter the contract: • supplier name and. The legislation gives the consumer a cooling-off period of seven working days to cancel the contract. match the quality of samples or models. The consumer has two years from the delivery date to seek redress for faults demonstrably present at the time of delivery. where payment is required in advance. collective investment schemes. as well as contracts resulting from press advertisements. investment or payment services.understanding e-commerce contracts governing the use of your website. and are fit for any purpose accepted by the supplier. have the same quality and performance characteristics of such goods. They have a cooling-off period of up to 30 days. Financial services Retail financial services sold at a distance are regulated by the Distance Selling Directive for Financial Services. mail order catalogues or those made by telephone. The right of withdrawal does not extend to financial services which could involve speculation. according to the financial service. These must be set out prior to the customer proceeding to purchase commonly the customer must click on an 'I agree' button to proceed. 'Financial services' are defined as banking. depending upon the individual member state's laws. such as foreign exchange. Protecting consumers Consumers in the European Union (EU) benefit from an increasing range of laws and regulations concerning sales and services contracted face to face or remotely. indicating acceptance of the terms and conditions. Consumer purchasers must receive information about the service.

delivery and performance • the right to cancel within a certain time period • how long the offer or price remain valid • the minimum duration of the contract. Consumer protection laws Consumers may invoke consumer protection laws either in their home jurisdiction or the supplier's jurisdiction. and if the consumer then cancels. for example for financial services or consumer protection.eg courts of a particular country. If the parties have not agreed jurisdiction. the basic rule is that a defendant may be sued where they live. where applicable • arrangements for payment.Trading online . in the EU jurisdiction of disputes is determined by the Brussels Regulation. parties can choose the governing law and the forum for dispute resolution . in the event of a legal dispute you should seek legal advice. although certain mandatory rules in a purchaser's country will always apply. If there is an international element. Resolving legal disputes Once an online contract is made disagreements can arise about the terms of the contract or whether obligations have been properly performed. whether the supplier will pay for the return of the substitute goods Regulation 8 of the Distance Selling Regulations also requires certain information to be provided to the customer either before the conclusion of the contract or. However. 'thereafter. in good time and in any event .(i) during the performance of the contract in the case of services and (ii) at the latest at the time of delivery where goods not for delivery to third parties are concerned. There are significant exceptions in favour of consumers. arbitration etc. The Rome Convention rules decide which law applies.understanding e-commerce contracts • delivery costs. See our guide on how to choose and manage a solicitor. to resolve the dispute you must determine what law applies and which country's courts have jurisdiction. This guide gives an overview of the issues that will be important.' The customer must also be provided with: • information about the conditions and procedures for cancelling the order • the address of the supplier to whom the customer may address complaints • information about any after-sales service and guarantees • the conditions for exercising the contractual right to cancel a contract when the contract is indefinite or lasts for longer than one year This information must be provided in writing. or where the contractual obligation was performed. but almost always may only be sued in their Page 23 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . Similarly. or in another durable medium which is available and accessible to the consumer. where the contract is to be performed permanently or recurrently • whether the supplier will provide substitute goods and services if the ordered goods are unavailable. European Union (EU) jurisdiction In the European Economic Area.

understanding e-commerce contracts home jurisdiction.Opens in a new window Distance selling of financial services directive on the euroITcounsel website Opens in a new window Model contracts on the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution website Opens in a new window Related guides on businesslink. e-commerce providers should specify in their terms and conditions the governing law and jurisdiction for disputes. English law is the popular choice for international trade and is often chosen by parties with no other connection to the UK. 127K) .Opens in a new window Distance Selling Regulations summary on the Department for Business. Innovation & Skills website .gov. the BIS website (PDF.Trading online .Opens in a new window Download a Distance Selling Regulations guide from the Office of Fair Trading website (PDF.uk Assess and minimise the IT risks facing your business with our IT risk assessment tool | E-commerce and the law | Create an online shop | Accepting online payments | Planning for e-commerce | E-commerce and the law | Create an online shop | Planning for e-commerce | Buyers' terms and conditions and unfair contract terms | Related web sites you might find useful Online selling regulations guidance on the Office of Fair Trading website Opens in a new window Find updates on legal issues relating to online contracts and e-commerce in general on the Eversheds website Opens in a new window Download a pricing code of practice from Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 24 . Reducing uncertainty To reduce uncertainty in the event of a dispute. 134K) . Therefore online businesses dealing with consumers must be prepared to comply with consumer protection regulations in each market to which they sell.

At the same time. For example. You also need to make clear the copyright of site content.gov. It aims to show you the main issues that these notices should cover.uk Related web sites you might find useful When using the internet for business. both for personal and business use. This should help you to write your own statements according to your business' needs. These sample internet policies and notices can be used and modified without copyright infringement. To modify the sample below for your business. This is important from both business and legal perspectives.businesslink.uk/northeast by navigating to: Home > IT & e-commerce > Legal issues > Sample internet policies and notices Sample website usage terms and conditions If you use a website for your business you will need terms and conditions of usage for visitors. These website terms and conditions give information about the website content and how visitors are and are not permitted to use it. Terms and conditions template for Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 25 .gov. you need a clear written set of company internet policies.Opens in a new window. download our sample terms and conditions of website usage (DOC. you need clear guidelines on how your staff should use the internet and email. 25K) . you need to inform visitors to your website about how the site operates and how you might use any personal data.Sample internet policies and notices Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction Sample website usage terms and conditions Sample privacy policy Sample website disclaimer Sample internet copyright notice & guidelines Sample business email disclaimer Sample acceptable internet use policy Sample acceptable email use policy Related guides on businesslink. This guide gives sample wording for common internet-related statements and notices. You can find this guide on http://www.

Scotland and Wales. timeliness. The term '[business name]' or 'us' or 'we' refers to the owner of the website whose registered office is [address]. • You may not create a link to this website from another website or document without [business name]'s prior written consent. the operator are acknowledged on the website. which forms part of these terms and conditions. They do not signify that we endorse the website(s). The use of this website is subject to the following terms of use: • The content of the pages of this website is for your general information and use only. • Unauthorised use of this website may give rise to a claim for damages and/or be a criminal offence. Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 26 . services or information available through this website meet Sample privacy policy A privacy policy states how you will respect the privacy of your website users. • From time to time this website may also include links to other websites.Opens in a new window. performance. If you continue to browse and use this website you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by the following terms and conditions of use. website usage Welcome to our website. The term 'you' refers to the user or viewer of our website. It is subject to change without notice. how you will use it and how you will keep it secure. • Your use of this website and any dispute arising out of such use of the website is subject to the laws of England. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products. • This website contains material which is owned by or licensed to us. layout. This material includes. download our sample privacy policy (DOC. but is not limited to. We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s). or licensed to. • Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy. completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. which together with our privacy policy govern [business name]'s relationship with you in relation to this website. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the fullest extent permitted by law. To modify the sample below for your business. the design. look. These links are provided for your convenience to provide further information. • Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk. It says what information you will gather. 29K) .Sample internet policies and notices your specific requirements. Reproduction is prohibited other than in accordance with the copyright notice. Our company registration number is [company registration number and place of registration]. • All trade marks reproduced in this website which are not the property of. for which we shall not be liable. appearance and graphics.

fax or mail. We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences. • We may use the information to improve our products and services. cookies help us provide you with a Page 27 Sample privacy policy This privacy policy sets out how [business name] uses and protects any information that you give [business name] when you use this website. We may use the information to customise the website according to your interests. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. preferences and interests • other information relevant to customer surveys and/or offers What we do with the information we gather We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. and in particular for the following reasons: • Internal record keeping. • We may periodically send Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system. Once you agree. phone. What we collect We may collect the following information: • name and job title • contact information including email address • demographic information such as postcode. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website. special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided. This policy is effective from [date]. How we use cookies A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement. • From time to time. we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical. [business name] may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. Overall. electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. [business name] is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs.Sample internet policies and notices promotional emails about new products. the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. We may contact you by email. Security We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

We may use your personal information to send you promotional information about third parties which we think you may find interesting if you tell us that you wish this to happen. about the completeness. once you have used these links to leave our site. To modify the sample below for your business. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Website disclaimer . please write to or email us as soon as possible. Controlling your personal information You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways: • whenever you are asked to fill in a form on the website. The information is provided by [business name] and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct. If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete. at the above address. However. we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. look for the box that you can click to indicate that you do not want the information to be used by anybody for direct marketing purposes • if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes. express or implied. better website. We will promptly correct any information found to be incorrect. download our sample website disclaimer (DOC. by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. 22K) . If you would like a copy of the information held on you please write to [address]. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website. Therefore. distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so.Sample internet policies and notices writing to or emailing us at [email address] We will not sell. Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 28 . you may change your mind at any time by Sample website disclaimer A website disclaimer states the limitations of your liability for the use of your website and the information it contains. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies.sample template The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only.Opens in a new window. A small fee will be payable. we make no representations or warranties of any kind. Links to other websites Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question. other than the data you choose to share with us. You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. you should note that we do not have any control over that other website.

services. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. the use of this website. and will not be liable for. Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information. download our sample business email disclaimer (DOC. your registration number and country of registration and your registered office address in any email correspondence. To modify the sample below for your business. reliability. content and availability of those sites. [business name] takes no responsibility for. or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of. but only if you acknowledge the website as the source of the material You may not. indirect or consequential loss or damage. Sample business email disclaimer An email disclaimer may appear at the foot of all a business' emails. Sample internet copyright notice This website and its content is copyright of [business name] . All rights reserved. Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of [business name]. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system. distribute or commercially exploit the content. except with our express written permission. Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited other than the following: • you may print or download to a local hard disk extracts for your personal and non-commercial use only • you may copy the content to individual third parties for their personal use. 22K) . or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose.Opens in a new window. We have no control over the nature. download our sample internet copyright notice (DOC. 23K) . Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.© [business name] [year]. the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation. or in connection with.Sample internet policies and notices accuracy. Business email disclaimer . However. Remember that you must also include your company name.Opens in a new window.sample template This email and any attachments to it may be confidential and are intended solely for the Page 29 Sample internet copyright notice & guidelines An internet copyright notice sets out the copyright position of your website content eg whether you will allow the material to be downloaded or distributed by visitors. To modify the sample below for your business. products.

download our sample internet acceptable use policy (DOC. nor copy or show it to anyone. or software. Sample acceptable internet use policy You may have in place content controls and filters to prevent inappropriate internet use. pornographic or otherwise illegal material • using the computer to perpetrate any form of fraud. you must neither take any action based upon its contents.sample template Use of the internet by employees of [business name] is permitted and encouraged where such use supports the goals and objectives of the business.Sample internet policies and notices of the internet Unacceptable behaviour In particular the following is deemed unacceptable use or behaviour by employees: • visiting internet sites that contain obscene. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of [business name]. such as Page 30 use of the individual to whom it is addressed. 29K) . film or music piracy • using the internet to send offensive or harassing material to other users • downloading commercial software or any copyrighted materials belonging to third parties. your colleagues and/or our customers on social networking sites. Acceptable internet use policy . unless this download is covered or permitted under a commercial agreement or other such licence • hacking into unauthorised areas • publishing defamatory and/or knowingly false material about [business name]. However. This includes such information stored on third-party websites such as webmail service providers and social networking sites. [business name] has a policy for the use of the internet whereby employees must ensure that they: • comply with current legislation • use the internet in an acceptable way • do not create unnecessary business risk to the company by their misuse Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . To modify the sample below for your business. hateful. 'wikis' and any online publishing format • undertaking deliberate activities that waste staff effort or networked resources • introducing any form of malicious software into the corporate network Company-owned information held on third-party websites If you produce. 'blogs' (online journals). Please contact the sender if you believe you have received this email in error.Opens in a new window. If you are not the intended recipient of this email. collect and/or process business-related information in the course of your work. the information remains the property of [business name]. An internet acceptable use policy sets out your employees' responsibilities when using company internet access in their day-to-day working activities.

pornographic.] Agreement All company employees. Monitoring [business name] accepts that the use of the internet is a valuable business tool. together with the internet sites visited. download our sample business acceptable email use policy (DOC. text or materials that might be considered indecent. [These procedures will be specific to your business. all of the company's internet-related resources are provided for business purposes. they will face the company's disciplinary procedure.Sample internet policies and notices Facebook and LinkedIn. They should reflect your normal operational and disciplinary processes. To modify the sample below for your business. Sanctions Where it is believed that an employee has failed to comply with this policy. text or materials that might be considered discriminatory. However. 25K) Opens in a new window. The specific content of any transactions will not be monitored unless there is a suspicion of improper use. Acceptable email use policy . In addition. misuse of this facility can have a negative impact upon employee productivity and the reputation of the business. offensive or abusive. in that the Page 31 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . [business name] has a policy for the use of email whereby the employee must ensure that they: • comply with current legislation • use email in an acceptable way • do not create unnecessary business risk to the company by their misuse of the internet Unacceptable behaviour • use of company communications systems to set up personal businesses or send chain letters • forwarding of company confidential messages to external locations • distributing. The actual penalty applied will depend on factors such as the seriousness of the breach and the employee's disciplinary record. they will face a disciplinary penalty ranging from a verbal warning to dismissal. You should establish them from the outset and include them in your acceptable use policy.sample template Use of email by employees of [business name] is permitted and encouraged where such use supports the goals and objectives of the business. obscene or illegal • distributing. Therefore. disseminating or storing images. disseminating or storing images. contractors or temporary staff who have been granted the right to use the company's internet access are required to sign this agreement confirming their understanding and acceptance of this policy. Sample acceptable email use policy An email acceptable use policy sets out your employees' responsibilities when using email in their day-to-day working activities. However. If the employee is found to have breached the policy. the company maintains the right to monitor the volume of internet and network traffic.

they will face the company's disciplinary procedure. The actual penalty applied will depend on factors such as the seriousness of the breach and the employee's disciplinary record. Sanctions Related guides on businesslink. all of the company's email resources are provided for business purposes. the company also reserves the right to use monitoring software in order to check upon the use and content of emails.gov. Monitoring [business name] accepts that the use of email is a valuable business tool. misuse of this facility can have a negative impact upon employee productivity and the reputation of the business. religious or other non-business related matters transmitting unsolicited commercial or advertising material undertaking deliberate activities that waste staff effort or networked resources introducing any form of computer virus or malware into the corporate network • • • • • • Where it is believed that an employee has failed to comply with this policy. However. contractors or temporary staff who have been granted the right to use the company's email services are required to sign this agreement confirming their understanding and acceptance of this policy. [These procedures will be specific to your business. Such monitoring is for legitimate purposes only and will be undertaken in accordance with a procedure agreed with employees.uk Assess and minimise the IT risks facing your business with our IT risk assessment tool | Comply with data protection legislation | Privacy and data protection in direct marketing | E-commerce and the law | Develop an e-marketing plan | Best practice in web design | Protecting intellectual property | Benefits of email and the internet | Introduce an internet and email policy | Handling disciplinaries | Dismissal | Prevent discrimination and value diversity | Related web sites you might find useful Page 32 Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 . political. You should establish them from the outset and include them in your acceptable use policy. the company maintains the right to examine any systems and inspect any data recorded in those systems. Therefore. If the employee is found to have breached the policy.] Agreement All company employees. they will face a disciplinary penalty ranging from a verbal warning to dismissal. sexist or racist. In addition.Sample internet policies and notices context is a personal attack. In order to ensure compliance with this policy. or might be considered as harassment accessing copyrighted information in a way that violates the copyright breaking into the company's or another organisation's system or unauthorised use of a password/mailbox broadcasting unsolicited personal views on social. They should reflect your normal operational and disciplinary processes.

Sample internet policies and notices Intellectual property and copyright information on the Intellectual Property Office website .Opens in a new window Email policy guidance on the is4profit website .Opens in a new window IT policy implementation guidance on the Lasa Knowledgebase website .Opens in a new window Legal Issues | Created by Business Link on 26 January 2010 09:50 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 33 .Opens in a new window Creating IT policies guidance on the AUPcheck website .

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