We will at all times act on your behalf to the best of our ability, subject to our duties of professional responsibility, including (without limitation) the requirement to maintain confidentiality of your communications to us, with the exception of information to be transmitted to the relevant government patent office or foreign patent associate, or as directed by you.
Who We Represent
It is our policy that the person or entity that we represent is the persons or entity that are identified in our engagement letter. In this case, we represent you. Unless engaged separately, we are not representing a company or any affiliates, including any parents, subsidiaries, employees, officers, directors, shareholders or partners of a corporation or partnership or commonly owned corporations or partnerships, or any members of any trade association we represent. Accordingly, for conflict of interest purposes, we may represent another client with interests adverse to any such affiliate without obtaining your consent.
Staffing of Your Matter
I will have primary responsibility for the Matter, but may utilize other US patent agents, attorneys and paraprofessionals (employed and/or independent) when that is appropriate and cost effective. We will keep you informed of our progress, and will utilize our best efforts to respond to you as promptly as possible. In return, we need you to keep us informed of any developments that affect the Matter as soon as you become aware of them, and to be available when we need to consult with you.
Conflicts of Interest
Before we can start working on a project, we will need to check our records to determine that there is no conflict of interest that prevents us from working on the Matter. We will do so based on the information you provide to us at this time.
Termination of Representation
If at any time you become dissatisfied with our handling of your Matter, you should not hesitate to tell us immediately so we can discuss and resolve the problem. It is essential to your representation that we maintain a good relationship throughout.
Either of us may terminate this Agreement at any time for any reason by written notice. We are subject to applicable rules of professional conduct when terminating a client engagement. If we terminate the engagement, we will take all reasonable and practical steps to protect your interests in the Matter and, at your request, suggest possible new counsel. We will provide new counsel with any papers you have given us. If permission from the court is necessary for withdrawal, we will promptly apply for it, and you will engage new counsel to represent you.
You may terminate our representation at any time, with or without cause, by notifying us. If such termination occurs, property which you have provided to us will be returned to you promptly upon receipt of payment for outstanding fees and costs, and upon your written request. We reserve the right to destroy or otherwise dispose of any documents or other materials retained by us within a reasonable time after the termination of the engagement. Your termination of our services will not affect your responsibility for payment of services rendered and additional charges incurred before termination and in connection with an orderly transition of the matter.
We are subject to the rules of professional responsibility by the US Patent and Trademark Office, which may permit several types of conduct or circumstances that require or allow us to withdraw from representing a client, including for example: nonpayment of fees or costs, misrepresentation or failure to disclose material facts, action contrary to our advice, and conflict of interest with another client. We try to identify in advance and discuss with our client any situation which may lead to our withdrawal and if withdrawal ever becomes necessary we give the client written notice of our withdrawal.
After completion of a matter, changes may occur in the applicable laws or regulations that could have an impact upon your future rights and liabilities. Unless you engage us after completion of the matter to provide additional advice on issues arising from the matter, we will have no continuing obligation to advise you with respect to future legal developments.
Disposition of Files and Records
Following such termination, any otherwise nonpublic information you have supplied to us which is retained by us will be kept confidential in accordance with applicable rules of professional conduct. Our own files, including US patent agent work product, pertaining to the Matter will be retained by us. These firm files include, for example, firm administrative records, time and expense reports, personnel and staffing materials, credit and accounting records and internal lawyers' work product such as drafts, notes, internal memoranda and legal and factual research, including investigative reports, prepared by or for internal use. All such documents retained by us will be transferred to the person responsible for administering our records retention program. For various reasons, including the minimization of unnecessary storage expenses, we reserve the right to destroy or otherwise dispose of any such documents or other materials retained by us within a reasonable time after the termination of the engagement, unless you request otherwise.
Your file (or client records) will include any electronic communications that we receive from you or another person/entity about this matter. We may at our discretion include in your file hard copies of any electronic communications. At the closing of the matter, you are entitled to and may request your file. After one year, we may destroy your hard copy file.
We often send our clients information about us or patent matters we think might be of interest to them. You agree that we may send you this material, either by electronic mail or other means. You also agree that we may communicate with you about this Matter by electronic mail on an unencrypted basis.
Billing Arrangements and Terms of Payment
Should any additional work be agreed in writing, we will bill you on a regular basis, normally at the end of each transaction, or by the end of each month, for both fees and disbursements. Payment is due net 30 days from the date that an invoice is transmitted to you. Payment is not contingent or dependent upon the outcome of the representation.
We will give you notice if your account becomes delinquent, and you agree to promptly bring the account or the retainer deposit current. If the delinquency continues and you do not arrange satisfactory payment terms, we will withdraw from the representation and pursue collection of your account. You agree to pay the costs of collecting the debt, including court costs, filing fees and reasonable attorneys’ fees.
In addition to payment of our fees, as described above, you agree to cooperate with us in the matters we are handling for you and to provide all information known or available to you relevant to our representation. To achieve the best possible representation, you will need to fully cooperate with us and to provide us with all the information we need to assist you. So that we may maintain continuous contact with you throughout the representation, please notify us immediately if there is any change in your physical or email address, or telephone number.
Your Right to Arbitrate
While the agreement is intended to prevent any confusion of the terms of our representation, should a fee dispute arise you are agreeing, pursuant to this paragraph, to submit any fee dispute between us to arbitration. You understand that you have the right to use other court forums to address fee disputes, but we are both agreeable to compromising those rights to submit to binding arbitration. Any decision made by the arbitration panel, whether for you or me, will be final. It has the same effect and enforceability as if rendered by a court of law. The arbitration panel would hear us in the city of Chicago, Illinois.
No Guarantee of Result
After completion of your matter(s), changes may occur in the applicable rules, laws or regulations that may impact your rights and liabilities. Unless you engage us after completion of the matter to provide additional advice on issues arising from the matter(s), we have no continuing obligation to advise you with respect to future developments.
We will use our best efforts in representing you in this matter, but you acknowledge that we can give no assurances as to the final outcome. Payment is not contingent or dependent upon the outcome of the representation.
Assent and Acknowledgement
Payment of the invoice by electronic invoice or bank transfer indicates acceptance of these terms.