Terms of Engagement
Trade Mark Consultants Co.®, founded on 1st September 1958, was the registered business name of our practice and has continued as the trading style of Trade Mark Consultants Limited incorporated in England as a limited liability company on 13th February 2003. The company is regulated by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board. The following basic terms of reference are published here for the benefit of existing and prospective clients but can be altered or supplemented by mutual agreement signed by us and the client.
The members of the company and its qualified practising staff are registered trade mark attorneys committed to provide competent professional advice which is confidential and avoids conflict of interest but they are not personally responsible for any debts of the practice. We have an established complaints procedure which is available on request.
It is assumed that a client’s instructions are received by us either from a client personally or from an authorised current representative of the client and preferably confirmed in writing. In a case of doubt we shall confirm our understanding of the instructions in writing.
When implementing a client’s instructions, we may have to observe deadlines imposed by the authorities or tribunals. Whereas we emphasise such deadlines in our communications with the client, we do not accept responsibility if a client fails to provide us with adequate instructions in good time. Further, we do not lay out fees on behalf of a client whom we had requested to put us in funds before we would carry out the instructions.
It is the responsibility of the client to instruct us if any changes occur, such as in the client’s setup, postal and e-mail addresses, phone and fax numbers, the name of the authorised contact person and any circumstance affecting the ownership of the client’s intellectual property right. Notification of any assignment, licence or franchise is also important.
We endeavour to acknowledge receipt of e-mail instructions but cannot accept responsibility for non-arrival or late receipt of an e-mail.
Although we have direct access to practice before the Trade Marks Registries of the EU and UK and before the International Trade Mark Office, we maintain a network of competent foreign attorneys to represent a client where and when necessary but they are not on our staff. Such associates are carefully selected and supervised by us and are instructed by us direct on the client’s behalf but we cannot accept responsibility for any negligence by them.
Apart from some standard fixed charges, our service charges are mainly based on the seniority of the person handling the matter, the time spent and its urgency, also its complexity calling for specialised knowledge and experience. If possible, cost estimates will be provided. We are entitled to call for advance payments, which will be held in our client account, and to charge a minimum of 8% p.a. interest calculated on a daily basis for unduly late payment of invoices.
Charges by our foreign associates and by foreign registries vary from time to time and are calculated by us at the exchange rates applicable on the date when billed by us. The client is responsible for such charges as well as other expenses necessarily incurred for the client, such as translations, expert witnesses, bankers’ fees, photocopying, scanning exhibits, couriers, travelling and meeting costs, long-distance telephone and conference calls, instructing learned Counsel and attendance at hearings, trials, arbitrations and mediations and conferences in Counsel’s chambers.
Each file relating to work performed for a client remains our property for the required minimum period of six years from when all the intellectual property matter contained in the file has expired. Thereafter, the file may be destroyed. If a client wishes to transfer the contents of a file to another practitioner, we will endeavour to copy the contents at the client’s expense and transfer the copies after all our charges have been paid. Otherwise, the contents of our files remain confidential except when required to be disclosed by law or by other exceptional circumstances or regulations.
It is a condition that, if we are instructed by a client to challenge a third party for infringement of an intellectual property right, the client shall indemnify us and/or one of our foreign associates against the risk of being sued for making an unjustified threat of infringement.
We have a written complaints procedure which is available on request. In the case of a legal dispute with a client, the laws of England shall apply and the English courts shall have jurisdiction to resolve the dispute.
The registered office of Trade Mark Consultants Limited is at 54 Hillbury Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex, HA3 8EW, England. The company is incorporated in England under No. 4665955 and is regulated by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board.