Hugverkastofan Privacy Policy

About Hugverkastofan

Hugverkastofan is a government agency that answers to the Minister of Industries and Innovation, and the nature and extent of the institution's activities is defined by Notification no. 187/1991 and Regulation no. 188/1991. The agency came into being on 1 July 1991 and its role is to handle issues relating to patents, trademarks, design protection, municipal emblems and other comparable rights as provided for by law, regulations and international agreements on the protection of intellectual property rights in the field of industry. The agency is under obligation to provide private persons, institutions and corporations with information and consultancy services on matters pertaining to intellectual property rights in industry. Moreover, the agency is under obligation to ensure that information on new technology and knowledge protected by intellectual property laws is made available to the public.

Hugverkastofan processes personal information for the purpose of fulfilling its role as mandated by law. All such processing and handling takes place in accordance with Act no. 90/2018 on Data Protection and the Processing of Personal Data.

Hugverkastofan is subject to an obligation of transfer in accordance with item 3 of Paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Public Archives Act No. 77/2014. All inquiries and documents received by the agency are kept on file in accordance with the Public Archives Act, cf. also rules established on the basis of that Act, cf. rules no. 85/2018 and no. 571, 572 and 573/2015.

Hugverkastofan's activities are also subject to the provisions of the Government Employees Act No. 70/1996.


What is personal information?

Personal information is information about an identified or identifiable individual.

An individual is considered to be identifiable if that individual can be directly or indirectly identified, for example with reference to a name, identification number, location data, online identity or one or more factors that identify the individual in any manner. The information must be sufficiently detailed for it to be possible to find out which individual it belongs to. This can concern, among other things, the names, personal identification numbers, addresses or other characteristics of certain individuals.


Personal information collected and processed by Hugverkastofan

Hugverkastofan processes and safeguards all personal information in accordance with the laws and rules that apply at each time. The staff of Hugverkastofan ensures that the processing and handling of personal information is done correctly, and that the information is stored securely.

Hugverkastofan processes and stores necessary personal information which the agency receives in connection with applications for and registration of patents, trade marks, designs and municipal emblems, cf. Regulation no. 188/1991.

The purpose of collecting and storing the information is to:

  • Safeguard the interests of owners of intellectual property
  • Have the opportunity to communicate with applicants regarding their applications.
  • Comply with requirements according to laws and international agreements.

In order to safeguard the interests of owners of intellectual property and to meet the requirements according to international agreements, information about applicants for the registration of trade marks, patents and designs is stored in various databases and therefore accessible to the general public as soon as the application is registered with Hugverkastofan.

Information about patent, collective mark and design applications also appears in the databases of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and information about patent applications appears in the database of the European Patent Office (EPO).

Information about the parties involved in individual opposition and nullification procedures is also provided on Hugverkastofan's home page.

Hugverkastofan sends documents and information to the appellate body for intellectual property in the field of industry, to address potential appeals of the agency's decisions. The same applies regarding the submission of documents to the Attorney General in the course of litigation which may arise concerning the agency's decisions.

Hugverkastofan also collects personal information regarding clients who request documents in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act no. 37/1993 and the Information Act no. 140/2012.

Reports and inquiries that Hugverkastofan receives through the reporting button on the home page are processed in accordance with the working rules that apply to the processing of e-mail messages. The intermediary for receiving the messages is the internet network of our service providers, where no further collection or processing takes place. The documents are automatically deleted from the internet network within 12 months.

The agency can also process information it receives when parties avail themselves of services in the agency's offices. In such cases, consent is obtained specifically for such collection and processing. Information collected in this manner is not stored for longer than 12 months. It is possible to withdraw such consent at any time. 

Hugverkastofan processes personal information regarding its staff members in connection with matters concerning wages and personnel management. Information about staff is stored with limited access in a document management system.

Hugverkastofan records personal information about the people who apply for jobs or internships with the agency, as well as information about the people who provide them with references. The information is stored with limited access in a document management system.


Who has access to personal information collected by Hugverkastofan?

The staff of Hugverkastofan has access to personal information to such extent as is necessary. However, the information that passes through the hands of staff members is usually limited to names, addresses, identification numbers and account info. All staff activity in the agency's document management system is recorded in an operational log.

The staff of Hugverkastofan is bound by confidentiality in accordance with Chapter X of the Administrative Procedures Act no. 37/1993.

It may also occur that a third party, such a software company, is granted access to the personal information stored by the agency, but only for the purpose of developing software and computer systems or to correct errors in such systems.


Your rights according to the Data Protection Act

According to the the Data Protection Act, individuals are entitled to receive information about whether a government body or any other entity is processing their personal information.

The rights of the data subject are specifically addressed in Chapter III of the Act on Data Protection and the Processing of Personal Data no. 90/2018. Therein it is specifically stated that individuals shall be able to obtain information about whether their information is being processed, what information is being processed and in what manner. However, Hugverkastofan is bound by the provisions of the Public Archives Act, no. 77/2014, and has an obligation to store the information it receives and deliver it to the National Archives of Iceland.

Such requests for the correction or deletion of data must therefore be assessed based on whether the relevant data comes under the purview of the Public Archives Act or not.


Information security and the data processors of Hugverkastofan

Hugverkastofan places great emphasis on ensuring that the information collected and stored by the agency is secure.

The agency has the legal authority in certain circumstances to negotiate agreements with other institutions regarding the processing of specific cases, such as the investigation of patent application data. In such cases, the information is sent to the relevant party.


Information regarding responsible parties

Hugverkastofan's privacy policy representative works within the agency and receives inquiries via the e-mail address

If anyone believes that Hugverkastofan's processing of information and documents is in violation of laws and regulations, the relevant party has the authority, based on Article 77 of the Act on Data Protection and the Processing of Personal Data no. 90/2018, to register a complaint with the Data Protection Authority.


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Hugverkastofan uses browser cookies to analyse the traffic on the agency's website and to gather statistical information about the use of the website. The information is only used to develop and improve the services provided on the website. By gaining insights on how the website is used, Hugverkastofan can improve the quality of its service and more ably execute its role as a provider of education and guidance. The information which is collected does not include sensitive personal information that makes it possible to identify the user.