Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

The Prior Art Archive website (the “Site,” which includes all pages within the www.priorartarchive.org host directory and subdomains, and all associated services) is a project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) that allows visitors (“Users”) to search, and registered users (“Contributors”) to upload, archival materials related to prior art. For clarity, all terms that apply to Users also apply to Contributors.

These Prior Art Archive Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (together, the “Terms”) govern the Site. By registering for a user account, accessing any content on, visiting, or otherwise using the Site, you accept and agree to be bound by the Terms.

MIT reserves the right to change the Terms or modify the features of the Site at any time, so please check this page periodically for any updates. By continuing to access the Site after any such updates, you accept and agree to be bound by all modified terms. If you do not agree, you must stop using the Site immediately.

1. Registration & Eligibility

You must be 13 years of age or older to register or access features on this Site. If we discover or have reason to suspect that you are not 13 or older, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate your registration and/or access to this Site immediately and without notice.

In order to post content to the Site, you must become a Contributor by registering for an account with the Site, which includes submitting the name of your organization, a contact name, and contact e-mail address. All information you provide must be accurate, current, and complete. The decision to provide personal information to the Site is optional, however, if you elect not to provide it, you will not be able to create an account or upload content to the Site. Personal information will only be used in strict accordance with our Privacy Policy (see Section 5 below).

Neither the Site nor MIT will be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to protect your account password or login information. To the extent permitted by applicable law, MIT reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate the registration of and/or deny Site access to any person for any reason.

2. Acceptable Use of The Site

When using the Site, whether as a User or Contributor, you must comply with all applicable laws of your jurisdiction. You also agree not to:

  • Communicate or behave in any manner that is threatening, harassing, obscene, offensive, knowingly false, or intended to cause distress;
  • Impersonate any person or entity or create a false identity on the Site;
  • Disseminate or transmit “spam,” unsolicited messages, chain letters, advertisements, solicitations, or other unsolicited commercial communications, including but not limited to communications describing investment opportunities;
  • Post material that infringes a copyright, trademark, patent right, trade secret, or other legal right of any person, corporation, or institution;
  • Knowingly disseminate or transmit viruses, Trojan horses, worms, defects, date bombs, time bombs, malware, spyware, or other items of a destructive nature or any other malicious code or program;
  • Knowingly carry out any action with the intent or effect of disrupting the Site or interfering with other users’ access to or experience of the Site;
  • Access or use the Site in any manner that could damage or overburden any MIT server, or any network connected to any MIT server.

Any violation of this section may result in your access to the Site being terminated immediately and without notice.

3. Site Content

For the purposes of these Terms, “Site Content” means all content posted to and available for download from the Site, including but not limited to “Contributor Content” (see Section 4 below).

Except where otherwise specifically noted, all Site Content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives International 4.0 (“CC BY-NC-ND 4.0”) License, a copy of which is available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode. This license allows Users and Contributors to copy and redistribute the Site Content, in whole or in part, provided that the source of the material and its license terms are given proper attribution, and the material is not modified, transformed, built upon, or used primarily for monetary compensation. No other license to the Site Content is provided by these Terms.

You may not use MIT’s names, trademarks, logos, or insignia, or any version, abbreviation or representation of them, in any advertising, publicity, promotional materials or other public announcement without the prior written consent of MIT’s Technology Licensing Office, which consent MIT may withhold in its sole discretion.

If you believe that any Site Content infringes your copyrights, please visit http://web.mit.edu/copyright/dmca-notices.html for more information, including the email address for MIT’s DMCA agent.

4. Contributor Content

This Site allows Contributors to post archival materials related to prior art (“Contributor Content”). By submitting Contributor Content that you own, you agree to license such content under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License. If you submit Contributor Content that you do not own, it must either be (i) licensed by the owner under terms no more restrictive than the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 License (for example, a Creative Commons Attribution-only or open source license) or (ii) in the public domain (for example, materials that are not copyrightable). All Contributor Content must be clearly marked with the appropriate attribution and licensing information.

In addition, all Contributor Content must conform to the Site’s Contribution Guidelines (“Guidelines”), found here. These Guidelines outline the requirements that Contributor Content must meet in order to be published on the Site, including type, file format, size, and descriptive data such as the source and creation date of the content. By submitting Contributor Content, you represent that you have taken reasonable care in assembling and providing all such information and that it is accurate to the best of your knowledge. Contributor Content that does not conform to these Guidelines will not be published. Our Contribution Guidelines may be updated from time to time as needed, so please check back periodically.

You may only post Contributor Content that you have the right to share under the license terms set forth above. You acknowledge and accept that any Contributor Content you post to the Site will be made available for the public to access, view, and use, and that any views or opinions, legal or otherwise, expressed by others on the Site are theirs alone. You may not post any content that violates or infringes upon the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights, breaches or conflicts with any obligation, such as a confidentiality obligation, or contains libelous, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful material.

Contributor Content is the sole responsibility of the Contributor who posted it. MIT does not warrant that any Contributor Content is accurate or complete or that it will not infringe third party rights. MIT may monitor Contributor Content posted to the Site, and in its sole discretion, remove Contributor Content for any reason without notice or liability.

5. Privacy Policy

MIT is committed to respecting the privacy of Users who access the Site and Contributors who upload content to the Site. The following Privacy Policy applies to all use of the Site:

A. Web Server Logs

When you visit the Site, our web server may record the following information in its server log:

  • your IP Address,
  • the URLs you have requested to access,
  • the dates and methods of requests,
  • the status code of your requests,
  • URLs of pages that referred you to the Site,
  • the number of bytes transferred, and
  • your web browser and operating system platform.

We use server log information to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our website by identifying which parts or features of our site are most heavily used. We also use this information to tailor Site Content to User needs and to generate aggregate statistical reports. Web server logs are retained on a temporary basis, during which time their contents are accessible to Site administrators, and then deleted completely from our systems. Unless required by legal process, we do not link IP addresses to any personally identifiable information. This means that User sessions will be tracked by IP address but we do not use that information to identify specific individual activity.

In addition, we ordinarily do not disclose to third parties Site usage by individual IP addresses, but we may do so in limited circumstances when complying with law or legal process, working with consultants assisting us with fixing or improving the Site, or monitoring and improving the security of our network.

B. Contributors

The content you post will be available for all Users and will identify your organization as the source. From time to time, we may solicit feedback from you about your use of the Site and its features (your “Feedback”). You are not required to provide Feedback. We solicit Feedback for internal purposes only, so that we can evaluate the Site and its features, and we will not publish or otherwise disclose your Feedback without first obtaining your permission to do so.

C. Site Analytics

In order to refine the resources available through the Site and to optimize and improve your experience on the Site, we may conduct internal analytics of materials submitted by Contributors. Any such internal analytics will generally be conducted on an aggregate or otherwise de-identified set of Contributor Content.

D. Cookies

Cookies are unique bits of computer data that many major websites will transfer to your computer the first time that you visit. Cookies are stored on your hard drive and may be later accessed by the website to track prior usage.

E. Email

We will only record your email address if you send us a message or submit it to us as part of the Contributor registration process. We will only use your email address for the purpose for which you have provided it (for example, to respond to a message from you or to communicate with you regarding your account).

When you submit your email address to the Site during registration, we may ask you whether you want to receive periodic announcements from the Site by email. Accepting emailed announcements is entirely optional and not a condition of registration. You may change your email settings at any time to subscribe or unsubscribe to these mailings.

In the event we contract with a third party service to assist with email delivery of newsletters and other mailings containing information about the Site, that service will be prohibited from using or sharing your information for any purpose other than facilitating communications on behalf of the Site.

F. Disclosure to Third Parties

We will not sell, lend, or disclose to third parties any personally identifiable information collected from Users or Contributors, except as described in this Policy or in the event we are required by law to do so. We may disclose information to MIT’s employees, fellows, students, consultants, and agents who have a legitimate need to know the information for the purpose of fixing or improving the Site and monitoring and improving the security of our network. We may also disclose this information when special circumstances call for it, such as when disclosure is required by law or court order or when disclosure is, in our sole discretion, necessary to protect our legal rights, including intellectual property rights.

G. Other Websites

This Site may contain links to other web resources, including websites of organizations other than MIT. Such websites may also install cookies on your computer, log your access to their web pages, or collect user-identifying information directly from you, once you proceed to browse those sites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies of other sites to which the Site provides links. Please visit the relevant sites to review their privacy policies.

H. Data Security

We have in place physical, electronic and managerial procedures to protect the information we collect online. However, as effective as these measures are, no security system is impenetrable. We cannot completely guarantee the security of our database, nor can we guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted to us over the Internet.

I. Notification of Changes in the Privacy Policy

We will review our security measures and policies on a periodic basis, and we may modify these Terms as appropriate. We may also change or update our Privacy Policy if we add new services or features. If any changes are made, we will make appropriate amendments to this policy and post them at the Site. By accessing the Site after modifications to this Privacy Policy have been posted, you agree to be bound by the modified terms. We encourage you to review our Privacy Policy on a regular basis.

6. Disclaimer of Warranty & Limitation of Liability

All use of the Site is at your own risk. To the fullest extent permitted by the law, MIT disclaims all warranties, express or implied, in connection with the Site and your use thereof.

MIT makes no warranties or representations about the accuracy or completeness of the Site Content (including Contributor Content) or the content of any websites linked to this Site and assumes no liability or responsibility for any: (i) errors, mistakes, omissions, or inaccuracies in content; (ii) personal injury or property damage, of any nature whatsoever, resulting from your access to and use of the Site; (iii) unauthorized access to or use of MIT’s secure servers and/or any and all personal information and/or financial information stored therein; (iv) interruption or cessation of transmission to or from the Site; (v) bugs, viruses, Trojan horses, or the like that may be transmitted to or through the Site by any third-party; and/ or (vi) content or any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of any content posted, emailed, transmitted, or otherwise made available via the Site. You assume all risk as to the quality, function, and performance of the Site, and to all transactions you undertake on the Site, including without limitation submission of any Contributor Content.

You agree that MIT will have no liability for any loss or actual, consequential, indirect, punitive, special, or incidental damages, whether foreseeable or unforeseeable, arising out of or relating to these Terms, your or any third party’s use or inability to use the Site, your posting of Contributor Content, your reliance upon information obtained from or through the Site, or your communications with other Users, whether based in contract, tort, statutory or other law, including but not limited to claims for defamation, errors, loss of data, or interruption in availability of data, except where and only to the extent that applicable law requires such liability.

7. Indemnification

You hereby indemnify, defend, and hold harmless MIT and its affiliates, employees, faculty members, fellows, students, members of their governing boards and agents (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against any and all liability and costs, including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees, incurred by the Indemnified Parties in connection with any claim arising out of (i) your posting of Contributor Content; (ii) any breach by you or any user of your account of these Terms; or (iii) your or any user of your account’s violation of applicable law. You shall cooperate as reasonably required in the defense of any such claim. MIT reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you.

8. General

These Terms are governed by the laws of the State of Massachusetts, U.S.A., excluding any conflict of laws rules or principles. If there is any dispute relating to the Site or these Terms, You agree to exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue in the state and federal courts of Suffolk County, State of Massachusetts, U.S.A.

If any provision of these Terms is found to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision will be struck and the remaining provisions will remain in full effect.

If You violate these Terms and we take no immediate action, this in no way limits or waives our rights, such as our right to take action in the future or in similar situations.

If you have any questions about the Terms, Contribution Guidelines, Privacy Policy, or Site, please contact Kate Darling at kdarling@mit.edu.

These Terms are in effect as of June 19, 2018.