Thank you for considering CPA Global’s the IP Platform. CPA Global’s enterprise platform service model is an innovation in the IP sector and the following FAQs are intended to give you better understanding of what is being purchased and how contracting via the Platform works. We hope that this FAQ will be useful as you review the CPA Global documents. This FAQ does not form part of the contract and is for information purposes only.
1. What is my company purchasing?
CPA Global offers intellectual property management software applications using a one-to-many platform delivery model plus associated IP related services (for example patent searching) and an IP renewal service. The Platform acts in two main ways: it is an online channel (eg the RENEW App) for existing CPA customers to access services previously contracted for, and traditionally provided, offline; and it is a controlled environment for authorised users of customers to make new transactions through our SaaS software and services.
CPA Global provides fully functional enterprise platform applications through the web. Customers access CPA Global’s applications on CPA Global’s servers. The Platform is updated and the data backed up by CPA Global. All customers are on the same version of the Platform.
2. How does the contracting work?
Contracting works at two levels – the Platform level and the Corporate level.
2.1. The Platform level
The customer (a Subscribing Organisation) is in control of who in their organisation can access and use the Platform (Authorised Users). Every Authorised User of the Platform will be bound by the Platform Access Agreement (PAA) which users access when entering the Platform. These cover matters such as password admin, cookies etc, provide some rules of use and also refer out to our security/privacy and legal notice repository (Trust Centre). The PAA and the Trust Centre are a living set of terms, policies and statements and will evolve as the Platform evolves – our commitment to you is that we will notify any changes to you and endeavour only to make such changes either in the interests of the customer; to reflect changing law or regulation; or to deal with new offerings brought on to the Platform. If for any reason this is not the case then customers will be given sufficient notice and a period in which they may terminate their users use of the Platform. For these reasons the PAA and the Trust Centre are referred to, but are not “baked in”, in our terms governing purchases or transactions with customers on the Platform.
2.2. The App level
An Authorised User, once authorised by his/her Subscribing Organisation and set up on our systems, can interact with the purchased functionality on the Platform via the relevant Apps. These transactions are subject to legal terms and conditions known as the CPA Global Platform General Terms of Business (GToB) which govern the legal relationship between us and the Subscribing Organisation in providing our services/SaaS. These GToB will have been signed by the parties prior to any User access of the Platform and act as a framework agreement governing future purchases of functionality/offerings on the Platform from then on. It is not intended that these GToB will change other than for reasons of change of law or regulation or because new Apps are added to the Platform requiring further terms; in that event we will give you notice and your subsequent continued use of the Platform will signal your agreement to those changes. Users may be reminded of applicable terms and conditions or disclaimer by pop-up or otherwise on the Platform
CPA Global has many existing customers who can now use the Platform simply to access their existing services. The Platform channel itself is not intended to have any effect on those pre-existing arrangements contained in our existing contracts, however Authorised Users who choose to use this online channel will be subject to the Platform Access Agreement. The following are the two main groups of customers with pre-existing arrangements:
2.3.1 renewals customers–the Renew App on the Platform has replaced the previous portal, CPA Direct, and does not itself provide contracting for the renewals service – although we may update the service with improvements via this online channel; choosing to use the Renew App is akin to communicating with us via email. There is one minor exception where new functionality via the Renew App allows customers to instruct us to renew new cases – in this instance, the customer may not have received any terms in respect of those new cases (eg by our paper reminder notice) and the parties are at risk of no t’s and c’s covering the service that follows that instruction. In this case we provide the User with a set of click through terms which mirror to the greatest extent practicable, the terms and conditions a customer would have received via a paper reminder notice in the ordinary course of our service;
2.3.2 existing software customers – access to our SaaS software products via the Platform will not affect customers’ existing software contracts and will only require the Authorised Users to comply with the PAA. New functionality introduced via the Platform will be subject to the PAA and the GToB and associated documentation.
3. How is CPA Global’s Platform different from installed, on premise software?
CPA Global’s platform-based Apps are a true one-to-many business model. CPA Global’s one-to-many business model allows for a more cost-effective delivery of solutions by ensuring that all customers are on the same release at all times. Customers avoid costly and disruptive upgrades.
4. How does CPA Global protect our customer data?
4.1. Protecting the security and privacy of our customers’ data is a priority for CPA Global. CPA Global regards all customer data as confidential, and does not distinguish in its treatment of personally identifiable information or other customer data. More details on the treatment of Customer data is contained within the Trust Centre.
5. What standards of Data Security apply to the Platform?
Please see the separate Trust Centre which deals with all aspects of security of the Platform and the Apps.
6. What are Compliance Standards does the Platform meet?
6.1 Compliance with Laws: CPA Global commits in its GToB that in connection with its performance of the MSA, CPA Global complies with all Laws applicable to it related to data privacy, international communications and the transmission of technical or personal data.
7. Can we attach our own security/privacy exhibits to the MSA?
No, CPA Global's ability to provide a consistently high level of Service relies on the standardisation of our processes, including security / data privacy methodologies. Thus, our customers adopt CPA Global’s description of our security / privacy controls. So that our customers feel comfortable sharing their Customer Data with CPA Global, CPA Global provides sufficient information of our controls (which are in the Trust Centre) and endeavours that in no event during the term shall CPA Global materially diminish the protections provided by CPA Global’s controls
8. How do we get our data back when the relationship ends?
CPA Global’s customers own their data at all times (See GToB, Clause 6.1). Any download copies of customer data should be arranged by contact with CPA Global helpdesk staff. CPA Global has a standard processes for a final data download upon any termination of relationship, which may vary across different Apps.
9. Does CPA Global offer an SLA?
Yes, CPA Global has a service level agreement so customers always know CPA Global’s commitments regarding service levels. Since CPA Global has the same operational business model for our entire customer base, the SLA cannot be modified on a customer by customer base. The success of CPA Global's platform delivery business model is predicated upon a "one to many" infrastructure efficiency. CPA Global does not offer service credits for SLA failures in respect of non-subscription based offerings. Should the App or the Platform be unavailable then it is in CPA’s interest to restore it as soon as practicable to ensure its customers continue to use it.
10. What is CPA Global’s pricing methodology?
CPA Global’s business model varies depending upon which App is being used. Some will be provided free of charge but will charge for transactions performed through them; others will be on a subscription basis (for which service credits may be available in the event of downtime).
11. Does CPA Global offer an acceptance test period?
CPA Global's platform based business delivery model is fundamentally different than other business delivery models. Since CPA Global runs the Service for all of our customers on a "single code line", the viability of the Service has already been demonstrated by the existing customers who run their businesses on the same "single code line". Thus, the concept of an “acceptance test” is made obsolete and therefore does not exist in CPA Global’s business model.
12. Will CPA Global permit customers to audit CPA Global?
In order to maintain the security of CPA Global's Service and facilities, CPA Global prefers not to host audits. In order to provide Customer with objective evidence that CPA Global is maintaining its security controls, CPA Global will provide suitably updated information in the Trust Centre.
13. How does CPA Global limit its liability?
Where a service has been contracted for in a pre-existing arrangement outside of the Platform, the terms of that pre-existing arrangement will apply. In this instance the Platform simply acts as a communication channel for an existing offering and as such the availability of that channel is subject to the SLA and the limitation in the Platform Access Agreement. This also applies to Offerings purchased via the Platform except that the Platform Access Agreement and GToB limitations will apply to those transactions.