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    Terms of Use


    LAST UPDATED:
      14 November 2008

    Ask Nature Website Terms of Use


    Welcome to the Ask Nature website! Ask Nature is a project of The Biomimicry Institute, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture and grow a global biomimicry community of people who are learning from, emulating, and conserving life's genius to create a healthier, more sustainable planet. The Biomimicry Institute is organizing the world's biological literature by function and sharing its resulting taxonomy with you through the Ask Nature website, with the goal of connecting innovative minds with life's best ideas in order to inspire technologies that create conditions conducive to life (the "Purpose"). But before you use this site, please look carefully at this Terms of Use agreement ("Agreement"). It is important that you read and understand the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

    BY USING THE SITE, YOU AGREE TO THE USE LIMITATIONS IN THIS AGREEMENT AND YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOU MAY NOT USE THE SITE.

    1.    Acceptance of Terms. 

    (a)    The Biomimicry Institute ("we" or "us") provides this website (www.asknature.org) and all site-related materials and services (collectively, the "Site") subject to your compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement. This Agreement governs our relationship with you, the Site visitor (as well as your employer and affiliates, and its or their employees, contractors and agents) ("you") with respect to your use of the Site.
      
    (b)    From time to time, we may update or make changes to this Agreement. If we do, we may notify you of such updates or changes by any reasonable means (for example, by posting a revised draft on the Site). To determine when this Agreement was last revised, look at the "LAST UPDATED" legend at the top of this Agreement. Your continued use of the Site after such changes will indicate your acceptance of such changes. 

    (c)    We reserve the right, at any time and from time to time, temporarily or permanently, in whole or in part, to: (i) modify or discontinue the Site, with or without notice; (ii) charge or change fees in connection with the use of the Site; (iii) modify and/or waive any fees charged in connection with the Site; and/or (iv) offer opportunities to some or all users of the Site. For example, we expect to charge a fee for access to premium products and services on the Site (like access to white papers, compiled market intelligence, or services offered by our partners) and to modify and/or waive fees for certain groups of users (like academics or small businesses). You agree that neither we nor any of our sponsors or affiliated companies shall be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of the Site, in whole or in part, or of any service, content, feature or product offered on or through the Site.

    (d)    Some of the materials and services available on the Site may be provided under additional posted guidelines, rules, or terms and conditions, which are hereby incorporated by reference into this Agreement. Your use of the Site is subject to such additional posted guidelines, rules, or terms and conditions.

    2.    Registration. 

    (a)    In order to access certain services, content, features or products offered on or through the Site, you may have to become a member. For example, we expect that member registration will be required to access and use the Site's collaborative tools (like creating a user profile, browsing other user profiles, contacting other users, and posting comments). When and if you register to become a member, you (i) represent that you are over the age of thirteen (13); (ii) agree to provide accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by our registration form; and (iii) agree to maintain and update your information to keep it accurate, current and complete. Examples of information that we may ask you to provide include: your name, email address, location, occupation, and affiliation with the biomimicry community, and which languages you speak. You acknowledge that if any representation or information provided by you is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, we reserve the right to terminate this Agreement and your use of the Site.

    (b)    As part of the registration process, you will be asked to select a username and password. We may refuse to grant you a username that impersonates someone else, is or may be illegal, is or may be protected by trademark or other proprietary rights law, is vulgar or otherwise offensive, or may cause confusion, as determined by us in our sole discretion. You will be responsible for the confidentiality and use of your username and password and agree not to transfer or resell your use of or access to the Site to any third party. If you have reason to believe that your account with us is no longer secure, you must promptly change your password by visiting http://www.asknature.org/profile/ and immediately notify us of the problem by emailing us at support[at]asknature.org. YOU ARE ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF YOUR USERNAME AND PASSWORD AND FOR ANY AND ALL ACTIVITIES THAT ARE CONDUCTED THROUGH YOUR ACCOUNT.

    3.    Code of Conduct.  We envision the Site as the biomimicry community's home habitat—an online source of inspiration for the biomimicry community. To maintain that habitat, we require our users to comply with the rules of conduct set forth in this Agreement. Accordingly, your use of the Site and/or Materials is conditioned on your compliance with such rules. While using the Site and/or Materials, you agree not to:
    • Restrict or inhibit any other visitor or member from using the Site (for example, by means of "hacking" or defacing any portion of the Site);
    • Use the Site or Materials for any unlawful or fraudulent purposes;
    • Express or imply that any statements you make or products you provide are endorsed by us, without our prior written consent;
    • Upload to, transmit through, or display on the Site (a) any content or information that is unlawful, fraudulent, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene or otherwise objectionable, or infringes our or any third party's intellectual property or other rights; (b) any confidential, proprietary information or trade secret of any third party; or (c) any advertisements, solicitations, chain letters, pyramid schemes, investment opportunities or other unsolicited commercial communication (except as otherwise expressly permitted by us),
    • Engage in spamming or flooding;
    • Transmit any software or other materials that contain any viruses, worms, trojan horses, defects, date bombs, time bombs or other items of a destructive nature;
    • Modify, adapt, sublicense, translate, sell, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble any portion of the Site or Materials;
    • Remove any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices contained in the Site or Materials;
    • "Frame" or "mirror" all or any part of the Site without our prior written authorization;
    • Use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application or other manual or automatic device or process to retrieve, index, "data mine" or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure, taxonomy, or presentation of the Site, its contents, or the Materials;
    • Harvest or collect information about Site visitors or members without their express consent; or
    • Violate any applicable laws or regulations.
    We may terminate your access to and use of the Site immediately if you fail to comply with the above rules of conduct.

    4.    Materials. 


    (a)    You understand that all information and materials (such as data, text, strategies, taxonomies, descriptions, comments, feedback, suggestions, graphics, images, audio and video clips, logos, and links) provided through the Site (collectively, the "Materials") are the sole responsibility of the person from whom such Materials originated, which may be us, you, a Site user, or other third party. You may not copy, reproduce, republish, download, upload, post, transmit, distribute, modify, or otherwise use any of the Materials except as expressly authorized by the owner of such Materials, whether in this Agreement or in a separate written agreement. Unless otherwise specified on the Site or in a separate written agreement, you may download Materials displayed on the Site, and may use the downloaded Materials, solely for the Purpose. If you download Materials, such downloads or copies are subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, and you must retain all copyright and other proprietary notices on downloaded and copied Materials unless otherwise specified on the Site or in a separate written agreement. Use or downloading of the Materials is conditioned on your acceptance of the terms and conditions of any license agreements relating to such Materials, including agreements of third parties. By downloading or using the Materials, you agree to such terms and conditions.

    (b)    We do not claim ownership of Materials you submit or make available for inclusion on the Site. However, in order to allow us to foster the biomimicry community and the sharing of information, you hereby grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicensable (through multiple tiers), transferable, royalty-free, fully paid-up, perpetual, irrevocable right to use, reproduce, distribute (through multiple tiers), create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display, and digitally perform such Materials in any media now known or hereafter developed for the sole purpose of achieving the Purpose.

    5.    Forums. 

    (a)    We (and our designees) may host user profiles, message boards for your comments, and similar forums found on the Site, (collectively, "Forums"), but we have no obligation to monitor the Site or the Forums, or any Materials that you or other third parties transmit or post on the Site or the Forums. You acknowledge and agree that we have the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the Site, the Forums, and the Materials you transmit or post; to alter or remove any such Materials; to disclose such Materials and the circumstances surrounding their transmission to any third party in order to operate the Site properly; to protect ourselves, our sponsors and our members and visitors; and to comply with legal obligations or governmental requests.
     
    (b)    You acknowledge that a large volume of information is available in our Forums and that people participating in such Forums occasionally post messages or make statements, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that are inaccurate, misleading or deceptive. We neither endorse nor are responsible for such messages or statements, or for any opinion, advice, information or other utterance made or displayed on the Site or Forums that is not properly attributable to us. The opinions expressed in the Forums reflect solely the opinion(s) of the participants and may not reflect our opinion(s).
     
    (c)    We are not responsible for any errors or omissions in articles or postings, for hyperlinks embedded in messages or for any results obtained from the use of such information. Under no circumstances will we or our affiliates, sponsors, suppliers or agents be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on such information obtained through the Site.
     
    6.    Improvements; Commercialization of Materials.
     
    (a)    We hope that your use of the Site and the Materials on the Site will result in the development and commercialization of new technology that creates conditions conducive to life. If, as a result of your use of the Site and the Materials on the Site, you create or develop modifications or improvements to Materials ("Improvements"), you agree to grant (and hereby grant) to us a worldwide, non-exclusive, sublicensable (through multiple tiers), transferable, royalty-free, fully paid-up, perpetual, irrevocable right to use, reproduce, distribute (through multiple tiers), create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display, and digitally perform (in any media now known or hereafter developed), and to make, have made, sell, offer to sell, and import such Improvements for any purpose whatsoever.

    (b)    If you commercialize a technology as a result of your use of the Site and the Materials on the Site, please provide us with information about such technology. Sharing your success with us will help foster the biomimicry community by providing examples of success. We may choose to feature your story on the Site, or highlight your technology or product on the Site.
     
    7.    Thanking a Genius and Making Donations.

    We also strongly encourage you to honor the organisms and ecosystems that evolved or influenced your technology by "thanking a genius" and making a donation in the form of a two percent (2%) royalty on the net sales of your technology to biodiversity conservation programs such as Innovation For Conservation (www.InnovationforConservation.org).

    Also, if you wish to give back to the biomimicry community by providing us with a donation via the donation services available on the Site, we or a third party provider will ask you to supply certain information applicable to your purchase, such as credit card and other information. You understand that any such information will be treated by us in the manner described in our Privacy Policy. You agree that all information that you provide to us or such third party provider will be accurate, current and complete. You agree to pay all charges incurred by you or any users of your account and credit card (or other applicable payment mechanism) at the amount specified when such charges are incurred. You will also be responsible for paying any applicable taxes, if any.

    8.    Third-Party Products, Websites and Links.
      The Site may reference certain third party products or services that we believe further the Purpose of the Site; however, descriptions or images of, or references to, products or services on the Site do not imply our endorsement of such products or services. In addition, the Site may contain links to other Internet websites, including affiliated websites which may or may not be owned or operated by us. We have not reviewed all of the websites that are linked to the Site, and we may have no control over such sites. Unless otherwise explicitly stated, we are not responsible for the content of such websites, any updates or changes to such sites, or the privacy or other practices of such sites, and the fact that we offer such links does not indicate any approval or endorsement of any material contained on any linked site. We are providing these links to you only as a convenience. Accordingly, we strongly suggest that you become familiar with the terms of use and practices of any linked site. It is up to you to take precautions to ensure that whatever links you select or software you download (whether from the Site or other sites) is free of such items as viruses, worms, trojan horses, defects, date bombs, time bombs and other items of a destructive nature.

    9.    Claims of Copyright Infringement.  The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the "DMCA") provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the Internet infringes their rights under U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that materials hosted by us infringe your copyright (for example, materials posted by us on one of our Forums), you (or your agent) may send us a notice requesting that the material be removed, or access to it blocked. The notice must include the following information: (a) a physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed; (b) identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed (or if multiple copyrighted works located on the Site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works); (c) identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or the subject of infringing activity, and information reasonably sufficient to allow us to locate the material on the Site; (d) the name, address, telephone number and email address (if available) of the complaining party; (e) a statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law; and (f) a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed. If you believe in good faith that we have wrongly filed a notice of copyright infringement against you, the DMCA permits you to send us a counter-notice. Notices and counter-notices must meet the then-current statutory requirements imposed by the DMCA; see http://www.loc.gov/copyright/ for details. Notices and counter-notices with respect to the Site should be sent to Bryony Schwan, Executive Director, 257 W. Front St., Suite B, Missoula, MT 59802. Telephone 406-728-4134 or email bryony[at]biomimicryinstitute.org. We suggest that you consult your legal advisor before filing a notice or counter-notice.  Also, be aware that there can be penalties for false claims under the DMCA.

    10.    Ownership of the Site and Trademarks. 

    (a)    The Site is owned and operated by us in conjunction with others pursuant to contractual arrangements, and the Materials and their selection, compilation, collection, arrangement and assembly are protected by U.S. and international copyright, trademark and other laws. You acknowledge that these rights are valid and enforceable. You acknowledge that you do not acquire any further ownership rights by using the Site or the Materials. 

    (b)    The trademarks, logos, and service marks (including without limitation "Ask Nature" and "The Biomimicry Institute", and any associated logos) displayed on the Site (collectively the "Trademarks") are the registered and unregistered trademarks of The Biomimicry Institute and its affiliates, licensors, sponsors, suppliers, and others. The Trademarks, whether registered or unregistered, may not be used in connection with any product or service that is not ours, in any manner that is likely to cause confusion with customers, or in any manner that disparages us. Nothing contained on the Site should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark without the express written permission of us, our licensors or sponsors, or the third party owner of any such Trademark. Misuse of any Trademarks is prohibited, and we will aggressively enforce our intellectual property rights in such Trademarks, including via civil and criminal proceedings.

    11.    Access By Minors.  Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. Section 230(d), as amended, we hereby notify you that parental control protections (such as computer hardware, software or filtering services) are commercially available that may assist you in limiting access to material that is harmful to minors. Information identifying current providers of such protections is available on the Internet by searching "parental control protection," including on the website of GetNetWise (http://kids.getnetwise.org/tools/). 

    12.    Jurisdictional Issues.  The Site is directed to individuals residing in the United States.  We make no representation that Materials available on or through the Site are appropriate or available for use in other locations. Those who choose to access the Site from other locations do so on their own initiative and at their own risk, and are responsible for compliance with applicable local laws. The Materials are further subject to United States export controls. No Materials may be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported (a) into (or to a national or resident of) Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria, or any other country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods or designated as supporting terrorist activities; or (b) to anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department's list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Table of Deny Orders, or other list of individuals and organizations prohibited from receiving U.S. exports. By downloading or using any Materials, you represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any such country or on any such list. We reserve the right to limit the availability of the Site and/or the provision of any service or other product described thereon to any person, geographic area or jurisdiction, at any time and in our sole discretion, and to limit the quantities of any such service or other product that we provide.

    13.    Termination.  This Agreement shall remain effective until terminated in accordance with its terms. Either party may terminate this Agreement immediately upon notice to the other party. In addition, we reserve the right to immediately terminate this Agreement, and/or your access to and use of the Site or any portion thereof, at any time and for any reason, with or without cause. Upon termination of this Agreement by either party, your right to use the Site shall immediately cease, and you shall destroy all Materials obtained from the Site and all copies thereof, whether made under the terms of this Agreement or otherwise.

    14.    Disclaimers.
      THE SITE, THE MATERIALS ON THE SITE, AND ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE OBTAINED THROUGH THE SITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, WE AND OUR AFFILIATES, LICENSORS, SUPPLIERS, ADVERTISERS, SPONSORS AND AGENTS DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, ACCURACY, MERCHANTABILITY, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND ANY WARRANTIES THAT MAY ARISE FROM COURSE OF DEALING, COURSE OF PERFORMANCE OR USAGE OF TRADE. Applicable law may not allow the exclusion of implied warranties, so the above exclusions may not apply to you. WE AND OUR AFFILIATES, LICENSORS, SUPPLIERS, ADVERTISERS, SPONSORS AND AGENTS DO NOT WARRANT THAT YOUR USE OF THE SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, ERROR-FREE OR SECURE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE SITE OR THE SERVER(S) ON WHICH THE SITE IS HOSTED ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING AND MAINTAINING ALL CONNECTIVITY, COMPUTER HARDWARE AND OTHER EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO ACCESS AND USE THE SITE, AND ALL CHARGES RELATED THERETO. YOU ASSUME ALL RESPONSIBILITY AND RISK FOR YOUR USE OF THE SITE AND YOUR RELIANCE THEREON. NO OPINION, ADVICE OR STATEMENT OF US OR OUR AFFILIATES, LICENSORS, SUPPLIERS, ADVERTISERS, SPONSORS, AGENTS, MEMBERS OR VISITORS, WHETHER MADE ON THE SITE OR OTHERWISE, SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY. YOUR USE OF THE SITE AND ANY MATERIALS PROVIDED THROUGH THE SITE ARE ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    A possibility exists that the Site, Materials or Forums could include inaccuracies or errors, or information or materials that violate these Terms of Use (specifically, the Code of Conduct above). Additionally, a possibility exists that unauthorized alterations could be made by third parties to the Site, Materials or Forums. Although we attempt to ensure the integrity of the Site, we make no guarantees as to the Site's completeness or correctness. In the event that a situation arises in which the Site’s completeness or correctness is in question, please contact us at support[at]asknature.org with, if possible, a description of the material to be checked and the location (URL) where such material can be found on the Site, as well as information sufficient to enable us to contact you. We will try to address your concerns as soon as reasonably practicable. For copyright infringement claims, see the section on "Claims of Copyright Infringement," above.

    15.    Limitation of Liability.  NEITHER WE NOR ANY OF OUR AFFILIATES, LICENSORS, SUPPLIERS, ADVERTISERS. DONORS, OR SPONSORS, NOR OUR OR THEIR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, CONSULTANTS, AGENTS OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVES, ARE RESPONSIBLE OR LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE OR OTHER DAMAGES (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF DATA OR LOST PROFITS), UNDER ANY CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER THEORY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING IN ANY WAY TO THE SITE AND/OR MATERIALS CONTAINED ON THE SITE, ANY LINKED SITE OR ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE ACCESSED THROUGH THE SITE. YOUR SOLE REMEDY FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE SITE, MATERIALS OR ANY LINKED SITE IS TO STOP USING THE SITE, MATERIALS OR LINKED SITE, AS APPLICABLE. OUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE MAXIMUM LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE, SHALL BE THE TOTAL AMOUNT PAID BY YOU, IF ANY, TO ACCESS THE SITE. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.

    16.    Indemnification.  You agree to indemnify, defend and hold us, our affiliates, licensors, suppliers, advertisers and sponsors, and our and their directors, officers, employees, consultants, agents and other representatives, harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, losses, costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) and other expenses that arise directly or indirectly out of or from (a) your breach of this Agreement, including any violation of the Code of Conduct above; (b) any allegation that any Materials you submit to us or transmit to the Site infringe or otherwise violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property or other rights of any third party; and/or (c) your activities in connection with the Site.

    17.    Questions.  The Site is provided by The Biomimicry Institute. If you have any questions, comments or complaints regarding this Agreement or the Site, feel free to contact us at: The Biomimicry Institute, 257 W. Front St., Missoula, MT 59802, telephone 406-544-9530 or support[at]asknature.org. 

    18.    Miscellaneous.  This Agreement is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, United States of America, without regards to its principles of conflicts of law. You agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of any State or Federal court located in California, United States of America, and waive any jurisdictional, venue or inconvenient forum objections to such courts. If any provision of this Agreement is found to be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this Agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. This is the entire Agreement between us relating to the subject matter herein and supersedes any and all prior or contemporaneous written or oral Agreements between us with respect to such subject matter. This Agreement is not assignable, transferable or sublicensable by you except with our prior written consent.  No waiver by either party of any breach or default hereunder shall be deemed to be a waiver of any preceding or subsequent breach or default.  Any heading, caption or section title contained in this Agreement is inserted only as a matter of convenience and in no way defines or explains any section or provision hereof.

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