You’re working on a registration… but you’ve been stopped with an office action.
You’ve put in the work to file a trademark registration that protects your brand nationwide, but the USPTO has sent you an office action…
Now, you are wondering what’s next? We can help!
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Our Trademark Terms + FAQ
Trademark Package Terms of Service
This section outlines the terms under which you and Indie Law, LLC (“Indie Law”) agree to work together and will take effect upon payment, after which will you be bound by this agreement (“the Agreement”).
1.0 Indie Law’s obligations
By signing up for one of the packages above, Indie Law will have been engaged to provide legal services to you as the owner of your business (“You”). Representation of any other entity or individual requires a separate agreement.
1.2 SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION
Indie Law will provide legal services reasonably required to represent You as part of the package outlined above, which includes the features described in this Agreetmen.
Indie Law will take reasonable steps to keep You informed of the progress of your matter and to respond to Your inquiries in a timely manner during representation.
2.0 Client’s obligations
You agree to cooperate with Indie Law by providing timely, accurate and complete information requested by Indie Law and by reasonably considering Indie Law’s advice and instruction.
You will communicate any questions or concerns regarding the matter or Indie Law’s representation forthrightly as they arise.
In the event Indie Law and You differ on the course of action to be taken during the representation, You and Indie Law will discuss such issues candidly. The ultimate decision regarding the course of action rests with Indie Law. Indie Law may withdraw from representation if, in Indie Law’s view, continuing representation would be ineffective, unlawful or unethical.
You will pay legal fees and expenses in a timely manner as provided in this Agreement.
2.4 GENERAL TERMS
You understand and agree to Indie Law’s General Terms of Engagement and Office Procedures.
3.0 Fees and expenses
You have agreed to a flat fee listed above for Indie Law’s representation. This amount will be due promptly after the signing of this agreement or according to a payment plan if selected.
Joseph Vitale will have primary responsibility for work on Your case and may engage contractors to assist with Your work upon Your prior approval and at agreed billing rates. When drafts of documents are sent to You for Your review, You will be responsible for responding to Indie Law within 7 (seven) days after receipt of that draft.
You will be billed for expenses incurred in connection with the legal services, subject to Your prior approval. These charges may include postage, delivery fees, or other fees associated with services performed on Your behalf. Indie Law may pay minor expenses and send You an invoice with the charges. For any substantial expenses, you agree to pay the fees and expenses directly and you authorize Indie Law to have those expenses billed directly to You.
3.3 ADVANCE PAYMENT
Indie Law will not require advance payment for this matter. Should any advance payments be made, however, such advance payments will be handled according to the section below.
3.4 TRUST ACCOUNT
If advance payments are made, the advance payment, as well as any future advances, is held in a trust account for You, and it will be used to pay the fees and/or expenses incurred.
By signing this Agreement, You authorize Indie Law to use the funds held in trust for You to pay the fees and other charges as they are incurred. Payments from the fund will be made upon Indie Law providing You with a statement showing billed charges. The advance payment is not an estimate of total fees and costs, but merely an advance for security.
4.0 Disclaimer and termination
4.1 DISCLAIMER OF GUARANTEE AND ESTIMATES
Nothing in this agreement and nothing in Indie Law’s statements to You will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of the matter. Indie Law cannot make any such promises or guarantees, and any statements or other comments about the outcome of a matter are expressions of opinion only. Any estimate of fees given by Indie Law is not a guarantee, as actual fees may vary from estimates provided at the beginning of a matter. Any fees beyond the estimated fees will be discussed with You in advance.
4.2 TERMINATION OF SERVICES
You have the right to terminate Indie Law’s representation at any time by notifying Indie Law in writing. Indie Law will have the right to withdraw from representing You at any time with Your consent, or for good cause without Your consent; for example, if You do not honor the terms of this letter, if You fail or refuse to cooperate with Indie Law, to follow Indie Law’s advice on a material matter, or if Indie Law becomes aware of any fact or circumstance that would, in Indie Law’s opinion, render continuing representation ineffective, unlawful or unethical. In the event services are terminated by either of us, You agree to pay the reasonable fees for professional services performed to the date of termination or in connection with an orderly transition, including costs and expenses.
5.0 General provisions
This Agreement sets forth the entire understanding of the parties. Any amendments must be in writing and signed by both parties. This Agreement will be construed under Illinois law. If any part of this Agreement is held invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, all remaining portions of this Agreement will remain binding and construed so as to effectuate the original intent and purpose of this Agreement.
INDIE LAW OFFICE PROCEDURES – THE FINE PRINT
Attorney-client relationship and privilege. Indie Law’s duty is to act in your best interests and to maintain the confidentiality of privileged communications and other privileged information shared with you. Accordingly, Indie Law will not share information about your matters with anyone else without your express permission. With your prior permission only, Indie Law may publicly identify you as a client of the firm with Indie Law’s other clients, but will not divulge privileged information about the representation. If our representation includes filing documents with government agencies, such as the Secretary of State, Department of Labor or Division of Unemployment Security, information about you and the attorney-client relationship may become a public record. We will discuss with you in advance the implications of any such filings.
Conflicts. It is possible that a conflict or potential conflict of interest may arise related to our engagement with you. In that event, we will notify you and discuss whether Indie Law needs a waiver of such conflict from you and another client in order to continue with the representation, or whether Indie Law must withdraw from representation of both clients due to our ethical obligations to each of you.
Change of address or contact information. To represent you effectively, it is essential that we be able to contact you in a timely manner. You agree to keep your contact information current with us during our representation.
Email correspondence. Indie Law routinely sends and receives information via email. 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. If you would prefer that we not communicate with you via email or would like to share files through an encrypted, password-protected system, please let us know at any time.
Document retention and paperless office. Some materials related to our representation belong to Indie Law (e.g. administrative records, time and expense reports, personnel materials, and credit and accounting records) and will be handled in accordance with our document retention policy. Other materials (i.e. documents provided to Indie Law by you and the final version of documents that we have created for you) are considered client files and belong to you. It is our policy to maintain records in electronic form whenever possible. At the conclusion of our representation, we will have the option of either (a) providing you with an electronic copy of your files along with any physical files we may have and deleting the electronic files in our records or (b) retaining your file for ten (10) years or such longer period as required by statute or Indie Law’s document retention policy. Original documents will be provided to you for safe keeping. At any time that you request it in writing, we will return your file to you or any other person designated by you. If, at your request, we retain your client files beyond the conclusion of our representation or their normal period of retention, such long-term storage will be at your cost. If you have not requested that we return your file or made arrangements for long-term storage, we may delete, destroy or otherwise dispose of your client files at the conclusion of our representation or after the retention period. For electronic files, Indie Law maintains on-site and secure, encrypted, off-site backup data storage.
Disclaimer of tax advice. In accordance with Treasury Department Circular 230 and requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, you are notified that any opinion or other legal counsel provided to you by Indie Law is not offered as tax advice. In the event that it is deemed to be tax advice, such tax advice is not provided to avoid penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or to promote, market, or recommend any information as tax advice to another party.
Indie Law appreciates the opportunity to represent You. If you have any questions about any aspect of our work for You or billing at any time, please let us know.
Trademark Guidelines and Expectations
Please note our guidelines and expectations with respect to Indie Law’s trademark services.
#1: No Guarantees of Success
Despite our best efforts, Indie Law cannot guarantee that your trademark application will be accepted by the USPTO. There is always a possibility that the USPTO will refuse the application based on grounds that are mentioned or not in our search results letter. No refunds will be given for trademark applications that are refused.
#2: Preparations Can Take Time
Our goal is to submit your trademark application and/or response within one month of signing on with Indie Law (or, if you have multiple trademark application requests, within 30 days of our start date on any subsequent applications). That said, there is a lot of attention that goes into preparing your trademark paperwork. We want to do everything we can to make the application process relatively quick and seamless so that you have a powerful registration in place that offers maximum protection for your trademark.
In order to get your application(s) in top-notch shape, it may require a series of back and forth between you and our team to make sure we are on the same page and that we have the information we need.
#3: Keeping You Posted with Status Updates
Once we submit your application, we will keep you posted as the application works its way through the trademark office. Whenever there’s a significant update to your application, even if no action is required on your end, we’ll be sure to let you know.
#4: Responding to Office Actions
It is common for trademark applications to receive some sort of “office action,” or notice from the USPTO requiring a response, before your trademark can be registered with the USPTO.
Many office actions can be resolved easily. To the extent that your application receives a “non-substantial” office action, Indie Law will respond to them on your behalf under your plan — at no extra cost to you.
Sometimes, office actions are received that would require a substantial amount of time and work to respond. In most cases, these substantial office actions refuse your application and allow for a response to overcome the refusal. Any response to such a “substantial” office action falls outside of your plan. If you receive a substantial office action, you may or may not want to respond to it. Indie Law charges a $900 minimum for responses to substantial office actions.
If your application does receive a substantial office action, we will send you a letter summarizing what that office action says and what your options are generally. You can request a letter of opinion for $150, in which case we would perform a closer examination of the office action and you application and advise you on whether or not we think a response would be successful and what arguments would be included in such a response.
#5: Registration Followup
If your trademark application is successful and your trademark becomes registered (yay!), we will notify you promptly. We have a packet of information, next steps, and other goodies so that you can confidently use and protect your registered trademark.
#6: Registration Monitoring
Once you have a trademark registration in place, Indie Law can monitor that trademark on a monthly basis and let you know of any potential infringers or similar trademarks that have been applied for.