The following terms are agreed to between you (the “client”) and JPG Legal LLC (the “law firm”).
1. All advance fees and reimbursements are fully refundable until services are rendered. The client is entitled to a refund of money for services not yet rendered, at any time during the process. If services have only partially been rendered, the client is entitled to a reasonable partial refund.
2. The client acknowledges that the law firm may currently represent, may have represented in the past, or may represent in the future, a competitor of the client or even a party legally adverse to the client. The client consents to representation in the aforementioned situations. Possible situations may include, but not be limited to, helping a competitor’s trademark application succeed even if that application’s success may weaken or dilute the client’s trademark, or strengthen a competitor’s legal case against the client. However, the law firm will not represent one client in a way that violates the law firm’s duties to any other current client, and will withdraw from representation in a matter where it believes it cannot in good conscience fully represent both clients.
3. The law firm and the client both reserve the right to terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time. In such a case, the client is will receive a refund for any services not yet rendered.
4. The client is only retaining the law firm to represent it on the matter detailed in the form or otherwise agreed to between the law firm and the client. Further, the law firm is not obligated to perform any additional services relating to this matter that it has not agreed to (e.g. substantive office action responses, licensing agreements, litigation) until those services are agreed to by both the law firm and the client. The law firm will not charge an unreasonable amount for any further services, and will base all fees, whether billed hourly or on a flat fee basis, on the law firm’s hourly rate of $290. Additional tasks that are billed hourly can take anywhere from one half-hour to five or six hours in extreme cases. The law firm will give estimates of how long such tasks will take before client agrees to them and these estimates will generally be accurate to within one half-hour. The law firm’s hourly rate is subject to increase as the firm’s demand, experience, and client base grow. However, the law firm will not increase its hourly rate to an unreasonable extent.
5. The client agrees that funds paid to JPG Legal will be deposited to the law firm’s operating account and treated as the law firm’s own funds, as allowed under New York Bar ethics rules. Regardless, the client is still entitled to a refund at any time before services are rendered.
6. The client gives the law firm permission to publicly acknowledge the client’s status as a client and to use the client’s name and branding on the law firm’s website and in promotional materials, as a way of showing examples of “success stories.” The client gives the law firm permission to write about details of the client’s case on the law firm’s legal blog and social media, and to quote emails from the client for testimonial purposes. The client may revoke either of these privileges at any time. Regardless, the law firm will not reveal any information of the client’s that it deems to be sensitive.
7. The client is paying not only for the specific trademark action requested, but also for the availability of an attorney, as well as communication with the attorney. Any fees held by the law firm for a period of six months will be transferred from law firm’s trust account to the law firm’s operating account as payment for services rendered (reimbursements, however, will stay in the trust account). Any fees or reimbursements still held by the law firm after two years from the date of payment will be considered to have been earned as an “availability fee” and will no longer be refundable after that amount of time has passed, unless long-term holding has specifically been arranged between the law firm and the client.
8. The client understands that these engagement terms are subject to change from time to time and the client is responsible for checking these terms periodically. Regardless, the law firm will not mislead the client by promising or advertising one included service and then materially altering the terms to remove its obligation to perform that service.
9. The client is either at least 18 years old or has express permission and guidance from a parent or guardian throughout this process.
Additional Engagement Terms for Trademark Application Filing
1. For Search, Application, and Monitoring package: If the client decides not to move forward with the original proposed trademark, the client may request one additional free clearance search for a new proposed trademark.
2. The $275 filing fee is meant to cover a range of possible fees that the law firm may have to spend to file a federal trademark application, as well as payment processing fees and the law firm’s time spent filing the application. The law firm will keep or pay for, respectively, any surplus or deficit remaining after paying the actual cost of filing the application. The filing fee is not a direct reimbursement; it is an advance legal/service fee paid to the law firm in addition to the client’s trademark package fee.
3. For clients who retain the firm for a conflict search: Though the law firm will make a reasonable effort to find any potential trademark conflicts, this does not guarantee that a trademark conflict does not exist. The law firm does not use any specialized search engines or databases to perform its conflict searches.
4. If the client does not answer “yes” to the question on the law firm’s submission firm regarding current commercial use of the trademark, the law firm has permission from the client to file the application on an “intent to use” basis, which will require the filing of proof-of-use later in the process, if the application is otherwise successful. Filing proof-of-use after the original application requires reimbursement for a $100 government filing fee. Reimbursements for $125 six-month extensions may also be required by the firm if the client cannot supply proof-of-use in commerce to the law firm within six months of the Notice of Allowance (i.e. notice of success for the application in almost every way except for proof-of-use in commerce). The law firm does not charge a substantial legal fee on top of these reimbursements, but it may charge up to $50 on top of these reimbursements to cover credit card fees and time spent filing.
5. The law firm may have to switch status from “Use In Commerce” to “Intent to Use” for procedural reasons, such as an inadequate specimen. If this is the case, the law firm will charge the client $110 ($100 for the filing fee and $10 to cover payment processing fees) if the law firm needs to file a specimen to finish the application’s registration.
6. The law firm only charges an additional $100 professional fee (plus an additional $275 filing fee) if the client wishes to trademark both a word mark and the logo counterpart of that word mark, even though the USPTO considers these to be two separate applications, as long as:
A. The client submits the second trademark (whether logo or word mark) and payment for the second application to the law firm within three months of hiring the law firm for the first trademark; and
B. The logo and the word mark are used to represent the same brand. For example, if the client hires the law firm to file a trademark application for the name of the company’s line of throw pillows, the client may also add on the logo it uses in association with that throw pillow brand for an additional professional fee of $100 plus the filing fee.
If the client requests, the law firm will send the client an online invoice for the additional $375 if the client wishes to add the logo or the word mark on to their original order.
Additional Engagement Terms for MarkHound Services
1. MarkHound Watch. A MarkHound Watch subscription comprises approximately one check a month for new applications that are similar to the client’s chosen mark, and an email sent to the client whenever the law firm deems a result to be of interest to the client. MarkHound Watch searches are performed only for words; if the chosen mark is a design/logo mark, the law firm will only search for the words and variations of the words in the design, not the design itself. MarkHound Watch searches are primarily based on software that regularly scans the USPTO database for exact words chosen by the law firm. The law firm is not responsible for missing a new application of interest because of a limitation of either the software or the attorney performing the search.
2. MarkHound Threaten. MarkHound Threaten subscriptions include a limit of five substantially different letters in any given month, or fifteen substantially different letters in any given year. A letter that is almost identical to an already-sent letter, but addressed to different parties, does not count toward this total. The law firm will only send letters that have at least some legal merit. The law firm will not send letters that it deems to be frivolous, gratuitous, or in bad taste. Unless the client specifically requests a physical mailing and reimburses the law firm for that mailing, the law firm will send all letters by email. MarkHound Threaten packages include some free negotiation, but any communication beyond a few emails or phone calls will be billed at the law firm’s hourly rate of $290. The law firm will inform the client before the limit of the client’s package is reached. The law firm will not charge the client any additional fees without warning the client first and getting the client’s consent.
3. Markhound Oppose. MarkHound Oppose subscriptions include a limit of five notices of opposition (“oppositions”) or Petitions for Cancellation (“cancellations”) in any given month or ten in any given year. MarkHound Oppose fees do not cover the $450 government filing fee reimbursement per opposition or cancellation ($400 for the USPTO fee and $50 to cover payment processing fees and time spent). The law firm will not file oppositions or cancellations that it deems to be frivolous, gratuitous, or in bad taste. MarkHound Oppose packages include some free negotiation, but any communication or litigation beyond the original opposition/cancellation and a handful emails or phone calls will be billed at the law firm’s hourly rate of $290. The law firm will inform the client before the limit of the client’s package is reached. The law firm will not charge the client any additional fees without warning the client first and getting the client’s consent.