Trademark Package Terms of Service and Employment Contract

Trademark Package Terms of Service and Employment Contract

Trademark Package Terms of Service and Employment Contract
(as of February 28, 2024)

By purchasing Trademark Services from The Hart Law Firm, P.A. d/b/a Hawthorn Law (the “Firm”), you (the “Client” and collectively, the “Parties”) agree to the following terms of this Employment Contract (“Agreement)” which will take effect upon payment of the legal fees as outlined below:

SERVICES. Client agrees to abide by all policies and procedures as outlined in this Agreement. The Firm agrees to research and advise the Client on registering a specific word, slogan, name, logo or phrase with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The Firm will prosecute a Trademark application on behalf of the client as outlined below.

DISCLAIMER. The Firm does not and cannot guarantee that each word or phrase that Client applies for will be approved by the U.S. Government.

PROCEDURES. Once the client pays the fees to secure the services of the Firm, the Firm will send the client an online questionnaire to complete with additional information about the chosen word, slogan logo, or phrase that they would like to register as a trademark. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaire from the client, the Firm will undertake to conduct a comprehensive trademark search of the USPTO database and a common law search of the client's chosen name. The fee for this search is $497 and is included as part of the Trademark package. After concluding the initial comprehensive search, the Firm will prepare a written report with its findings and recommendations. If the Firm believes that the proposed mark cannot be registered, it will so advise the client, and the client may elect to proceed with the proposed mark, or an alternative mark. The Firm will provide additional complimentary searches as indicated in the client's chosen trademark package. Any searches above and beyond those included in the chosen trademark package will be billed at $497 per search. Alternatively, the client may elect to terminate the services of the firm and a full refund will be issued, less a $497 fee for the trademark search. Once advised and with the client's approval, an application for the proposed trademark shall be completed by The Firm and sent to the client for approval and signature. The client promises to respond to all draft applications within seven (7) calendar days. A filling fee of $350 per class (or the USPTO's current rate) shall be collected from the client prior to filing the application with the USPTO.

TRADEMARK PACKAGES. The Firm offer's two trademark packages as outlined below. 

Trademark Basic Plan

The trademark “basic” plan offers the following services for a flat fee of $1,497 per trademark application:

  • Comprehensive Trademark Search and Legal Opinion

  • Refund or Additional Search if your first choice is problematic (1 additional search is complimentary, thereafter searches are billed at a rate of $497/search)

  • Attorney prepared and filed trademark application

  • Up to three classes (additional classes are billed at a rate of $250 per class)

  • Office action responses (first 60 minutes are complimentary, thereafter non-substantive actions will be billed at a rate of $350/hour, and substantive office actions will be billed at a flat rate of $2,500-$5,000)

  • Email and Phone communication throughout the process

Trademark Premium Plan

The trademark “premium” plan offers the following services for a flat fee of $3,497 per trademark application:

  • Comprehensive Trademark Search and Legal Opinion

  • Refund or Additional Search if your first choice is problematic (2 additional searches are complimentary, thereafter searches are billed at a rate of $497/search)

  • Attorney prepared and filed trademark application

  • Up to three classes (additional classes are billed at a rate of $250 per class)

  • Unlimited responses to non-substantive office actions

  • Substantive office action responses (first substantive response is complimentary, thereafter additional substantive office actions will be billed at a rate of $2,500-$5,000 per office action)

  • Email and Phone communication throughout the process

  • Guarantee = We will register your trademark or the next trademark is on us!*

  • Trademark monitoring (1 year only)

  • Monthly payment plan is available

*Our 100% refund guarantee is contingent on a clear legal opinion regarding the merits of your trademark. If we do not feel your mark is capable of registration, but you choose to proceed regardless, the guarantee is void.

TERM. A relationship between the Parties shall last until the official Trademark Certificate is received from the USPTO, a final denial is received, or the client chooses to abandon their trademark application. An additional employment contract and legal fee will be required in the event that the Client wishes to appeal a final denial of the proposed Trademark to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) or engage the firm for an opposition proceeding or other negotiations regarding the trademark. Client understands that a relationship with The Firm does not exist between the Parties after the conclusion of the Service. If the Parties desire to continue their relationship, a separate agreement will be entered into.

TERMINATION. The Firm is committed to providing all clients with a positive experience. By entering into this agreement, Client agrees that the Firm may, at its sole discretion, terminate this Agreement and limit, suspend or terminate the Service if Client becomes disruptive or upon a violation of these terms by the Client. If Client decides to terminate this Agreement after an application has been filed, no refunds will be issued.

FLAT FEE PAYMENT. Client shall pay the Firm the fees outlined above as agreed to by the parties for one trademark application. The firm may ask the client to sign an additional employment contract with substantially the same terms as this contract once the client's order is processed and client agrees to promptly execute this agreement.  Fees paid by the client shall reserve the Firm's services and are earned immediately upon receipt. The total price of the services outlined above do not include the government filing fee (approximately $350 per class), which will be invoiced separately and must be paid prior to filing your trademark application. 

OFFICE ACTIONS. With most trademark applications, the USPTO will issue some sort of “office action,” or notice that requires a timely response before your trademark may proceed to registration.

In most situations, these office actions can be resolved quite easily, and to the extent that your application receives a “non-substantial” office action that can be responded to in less than 60 minutes, the Firm will respond to those actions on your behalf at no extra cost to you. Under the basic plan, any work that exceeds 60 minutes will be billed at the attorney's current prevailing rate (currently $350 per hour).

However, in some cases the office actions are considered “substantial”. This means that they will require a substantial amount of time and legal work (typically 10-15 hours of legal research, evidence gathering and drafting) to respond to. In most cases, these substantial office actions will preliminarily refuse your application and a substantive written response is necessary to overcome the refusal. With the Premium and Ultimate plans, any response to such a “substantial” office action is also covered in your plan. However, if you elect the “basic” plan, than responses to substantive office actions will be billed at a rate of $2,500 per response.

If your application does receive a substantial office action, we will send you an email or secure message summarizing what that office action says and what your legal options are generally. We will also provide you with an opinion letter, in which case we will closely review the office action in conjunction with your application. We'll advise you on whether or not we think a response would be successful and what arguments would be included in such a response.

MANAGING OPPOSITIONS AND NEGOTIATIONS. Although rare, from time to time another party may step forward to oppose your proposed trademark during the examination stage of the process. Any fees to negotiate a resolution to this opposition, including drafting a co-existence agreement or other related legal document, will be billed at the lawyer's prevailing hourly rate (currently $350/hour and subject to change) unless a separate fee arrangement is agreed to with the firm.

GUARANTEES for Trademark Premium Clients. Generally speaking, lawyers are prohibited from guaranteeing the outcome of any specific matter. And the Firm is unable to guarantee that your Trademark will register. However, for clients that sign up for our “Trademark Premium” plan, we promise that we will respond to all non-substantive and the first substantive office action issued during the application process. If we are unsuccessful in registering your trademark (assuming a clear trademark search), we will file a new trademark on your behalf absolutely free, including filing fees. 

REFUNDS. Client is responsible for full payment of fees regardless of whether or not the Trademark is officially approved.

CONFLICTS. You are aware that the firm represents many other companies and individuals. You agree that we may continue to represent or may undertake in the future to represent existing or new clients in any matter that is not substantially related to our work for you, even if the interests of such clients in those other matters may be directly or indirectly adverse to you. We agree, however, that the prospective consent to conflicting representation contained in the preceding sentence shall not apply in any instance where, as a result of our representation of you, we have obtained proprietary or other confidential information of a non-public nature, that, if known to such other client, could be used in any such other matter by such client to your material disadvantage. You should know that, in similar engagement letters with many of our other clients, we have asked for similar agreements to preserve our ability to represent you.

ELECTRONIC CORRESPONDENCE. The Firm routinely sends and receives information through secure messaging via our case management program. We discourage the use of email in corresponding with clients because it is insecure. The internet does not provide a totally secure method of communication, and email may be copied and held by any computer through which it passes. Persons not participating in the communication may intercept emails, and emails stored on computers may be accessed by unauthorized parties. 

NON-DISPARAGEMENT. Client shall not make any false, disparaging, or derogatory statement in public or private regarding The Firm, its employees, or agents. The Firm shall not make any false, disparaging, or derogatory statements in public or private regarding Client and its relationship with The Firm.

GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of North Carolina, regardless of the conflict of laws principles thereof.

ACCEPTANCE. This Agreement is deemed signed and accepted by Client upon payment of the fees.

SEVERABILITY. Each provision of this Agreement is severable. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase or term of this Agreement shall not affect or impair the validity or enforceability of any other provision, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase or term of this Agreement.

ASSIGNMENT. This Agreement may not be assigned by the Client without express written consent of the Firm.

FORCE MAJEURE. In the event that any cause beyond the reasonable control of either Party, including without limitation acts of God, war, pandemic, curtailment or interruption of transportation facilities, threats or acts of terrorism, State Department travel advisory, labor strike or civil disturbance, make it inadvisable, illegal, or impossible, either because of unreasonable increased costs or risk of injury, for either Party to perform its obligations under this Agreement, the affected Party’s performance shall be extended without liability for the period of delay or inability to perform due to such occurrence.

CLIENT RESPONSIBILITY; NO GUARANTEES. Client indicates an understanding that the Firm has made no agreement or promise about the outcome or result of the matters it is handling on behalf of Client. Client understands that because of the nature of the Service, there is an inherent risk of loss of capital and there is no guarantee that Client will reach its goals as a result of the purchase. Client further understands that their attorney is an officer of the court and is bound by rules regulating the North Carolina Bar and the American Bar Association. Client acknowledges that while the firm accepts employment and shall render professional legal services to the best of their ability during such employment, the firm has made no guarantees in the disposition of any phase of the matter or matters for which they have been retained, as all expressions relative to it are only opinions, and this employment contract is not contingent upon a favorable outcome. Client agrees to fully cooperate with the attorneys; to do nothing that would compromise their professional ethics; and not to request or require the firm to do anything in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.

CLIENT COOPERATION. Client understands that their cooperation, as the client, is very important. Client has been informed that they must keep the firm informed immediately of any change of address, phone number, or any other circumstances that is relevant to the Firm’s representation of the Client. Client will promptly fill out and return all papers sent to them, and will provide all documentation required or requested by the firm. If Client fails to do so, Client agrees that the firm shall have the right to withdraw from representing the Client.

CLIENT’S DUTY TO INFORM FIRM IF MATTER NOT HANDLED PROPERLY. Client agrees to notify the Firm immediately in writing if Client feels or believes that any matter is not receiving proper attention or is otherwise not being properly handled or if Client suspects any misunderstanding about what the Firm is to do for Client.

We appreciate the opportunity to represent you in this matter. If you have any questions about any aspect of our work for You or our billing practices at any time, please let us know.

Updated: February 28, 2024

Prior Engagement Contracts:

Through January 15, 2023
Through March 8, 2023
Through February 28, 2024

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