These General Conditions shall apply to all orders from a customer accepted by the European Patent Organisation (EPO) for delivery of EPO information products, namely data and/or software delivered by the EPO to the customer on paper, on a data carrier or by internet or other electronic means onto a data carrier of the customer, specified in the order and shall also apply to the use of any information and software which such products contain.
As far as software is concerned, the customer shall acquire a non-exclusive licence.
3.1 The customer shall not make any copy of the EPO information products except where this is specifically permitted by mandatory rules of law.
3.2 The software may be stored on the hard disk of the customer's computer. It shall be prohibited to make any copy thereof with the exception of one copy for back-up purposes. The software shall not be disassembled, decompiled and/or modified except where this is allowed under mandatory rules of law.
3.3 Should a customer contravene any of the restrictions laid down above, the EPO shall be entitled to revoke the right to use the software and data with immediate effect. This shall be without prejudice to any further claims for damages on the part of the EPO.
4.1 An annual subscription shall commence on the date mentioned in the order or - if no date is indicated - on the date of receipt by the EPO of the order.
(a) An annual subscription shall cover a publication period of 1 (one) calendar year. EPO information products may be ordered after the year has started, in which case the customer shall receive the full information for the entire calendar year.
(b) If the products are delivered periodically, and the deliveries consist of existing products with cumulative updates, the first subscription shall comprise the data carriers appearing during the period subsequent to the order until the end of the current calendar year. The price shall be calculated on an aliquot basis. From the second subscription period onwards the annual subscription shall cover a calendar year.
4.2 (a) Annual subscriptions shall be extended automatically by further periods of 1 (one) calendar year each unless cancelled in writing at least 3 (three) months before the end of the calendar year.
(b) Subscriptions as provided for in alternative 4.1(b) above shall be extended automatically, by subsequent periods of 1 (one) calendar year each, unless cancelled in writing at least 3 (three) months before expiry of the current subscription period.
4.3 Orders which are not part of an annual subscription shall be regarded as single orders. No single orders can be placed for the Official Journal and the European Patent Bulletin, nor for individual CD/DVD-ROMs which are available by annual subscription.
5.1 The price for single orders shall be calculated by reference to the price list valid on the day the order is received. Prices for annual subscriptions shall be fixed by the EPO in good time before the start of each calendar year.
5.2 If, on expiry of the period for cancellation, the price for an annual subscription is increased by more than 5% (five per cent) compared to the previous calendar year, the subscriber may exceptionally cancel his subscription by giving notice in writing within 2 (two) weeks of receipt of notification of the price increase.
5.3 Unless otherwise stated, costs for despatch and packaging (and insurance if applicable) shall be billed separately.
5.4 Unless otherwise provided on the invoice, payment shall be made net and without reduction within 1 (one) month at the latest of receipt of the invoice. The EPO shall be entitled to make a delivery dependent on prior payment, where it considers this necessary.
Delivery, including any taxes, duties or charges payable, shall be at the expense of the customer, who agrees to accept responsibility for any damage or loss during transportation.
7.1 Liability for defects shall cover product defects which existed at the time of shipment by the EPO to the customer on condition, as far as data carriers and software are concerned, that they are used on the computer hardware and with the operating systems for which they are intended, as indicated in the current version of the product’s specifications.
7.2 The EPO does not guarantee that the software will meet the customer's requirements or will operate in an error-free manner. No warranty is given or representation made, either express or implied, with respect to the quality of the products provided, their performance or their fitness for a particular purpose. The EPO accepts no responsibility for the completeness and correctness of the data supplied or for the timely delivery of the products ordered.
7.3 The EPO shall remedy defects either by way of correction or by way of substitution, but reserves the right to test the products to ascertain their defectiveness. If the EPO does not comply with its obligation to remedy defects, or if the remedy fails, the customer shall have the right to pay an appropriately reduced price for the product or to return it to the EPO; in the latter case the EPO shall reimburse the price paid for the product. This right shall apply only to the defective product.
7.4 Further defect and damage liability claims by the customer shall be excluded unless the damage has been caused by the EPO wilfully or through gross negligence or entails injury to life, body or health or is attributable to violation of an essential contractual obligation. If the customer is an entrepreneur within the meaning of Section 14 of the German Civil Code (BGB), such liability in the last-mentioned case of negligent violation of an essential contractual obligation shall be limited to foreseeable damages typical of such contracts.
7.5 The aforementioned defect liability claims shall become time-barred 1 (one) year after delivery of the products to the customer. Where they concern an obvious defect, the claim shall be made in writing without delay and at the latest within 1 (one) month of delivery of the product to the customer.
The transfer of data carriers together with the relevant software to third parties, including subsidiaries, associated or affiliated companies, and members of the same group of companies, is allowed only if the customer ceases to use the data and data carriers and software, transfers all data, the data carrier and software, and deletes or destroys any copy he has made and if the third party has undertaken in writing visà-vis the EPO to observe these General Conditions.
The customer shall be informed in writing of modifications to the General Conditions. The customer shall be deemed to have accepted these modifications if he does not object in writing within 1 (one) month of such notification. The EPO shall specifically draw his attention to this consequence when informing him of the modifications.
10.1 These General Conditions and any agreement incorporating them shall be governed by German law, without regard for the provisions of German private international law. The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods shall not apply.
10.2 Any dispute arising out of or in connection with these General Conditions and any agreement incorporating them shall be finally settled by binding arbitration with one single arbitrator in accordance with the provisions of the German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO). The venue for arbitration shall be Munich.
10.3 Notwithstanding Article 10.2, if the EPO waives its immunity from national jurisdiction, the courts of Munich shall have jurisdiction for any dispute arising out of or in connection with these General Conditions and any agreement incorporating them.
The invalidity of individual provisions shall not affect the validity of the other provisions of the General Conditions. In such a case, the parties undertake to conclude an agreement which comes closest from the commercial point of view to the invalid provision.