These Terms of Engagement apply to the services provided to you, unless we agree otherwise in writing. If you continue to instruct us after having received these Terms, this will constitute acceptance of the Terms. You are also welcome to sign the end of this document, and initial each page, to indicate your acceptance of these terms.
- We will take reasonable steps to act promptly after receiving your instructions, and after we have received communications from third parties (including Intellectual Property Offices and overseas associates) concerning your intellectual property matters.
- We will take steps to maintain your registered intellectual property matters in line with your written instructions. However, in order for us to do so, you need to provide us with those instructions in a timely, accurate and clear manner.
- Domestic and foreign Intellectual Property Offices impose strict deadlines, and we will normally let you know when we need your instructions so that we are able to meet those deadlines. We cannot accept liability if you do not provide us with written instructions in time for us to meet such deadlines. Whilst we will endeavour to send you reminders, this is not guaranteed and we recommend that all deadlines are noted in your own records.
- We will use our best efforts to obtain an optimum outcome for you. However, we cannot guarantee that any application for registration of intellectual property (e.g., patents, trade marks, designs) will be successful. We also cannot guarantee that any opinion we provide will be upheld by a relevant authority.
- Please let us know if you do not understand or have any questions regarding any of our correspondence. It is critical that you understand our correspondence so that you make an informed decision.
- We prefer communications by e-mail. Arrangements may be made for other forms of communication, if you wish. While we take appropriate steps to ensure that our emails are secure and accurate, we cannot guarantee that they will not be intercepted, interfered with or will be free from defects (such as viruses). We do not accept responsibility and will not be liable for any damage or loss caused by an email that is intercepted, interfered with or is defective. Therefore, please request an acknowledgement of receipt for important communications.
- It is critical that you keep us informed of any changes in contact details, including e-mail addresses. If you fail to advise us of any new or updated contact details, particularly e-mail addresses, your intellectual property rights may lapse due to our inability to contact you.
- We will, from time to time, instruct other professionals to undertake work on your behalf. Such professionals may include searchers, overseas associates and lawyers. We will endeavour to advise you before engaging such professionals.
- We cannot accept liability for any negligence on the part of the professionals mentioned in the paragraph immediately above. Selection of such professionals is at our discretion unless you wish us to use a particular professional.
Where feasible, we will provide written estimates of costs for specific tasks. Such estimates will be provided in good faith based on information existing at the time of the estimate. Such estimates are expected to be within +/- 15%. We reserve the right to pass on changes beyond our control, for example, currency exchange rates, overseas associates’ charges and official fee changes. We will charge fees which we consider to be fair and reasonable in the circumstances. The factors taken into account include:
• the time and resources involved;
• the urgency, skill level, complexity, responsibility and specialist knowledge involved;
• the result achieved and value-added;
• our standard fees for providing certain services;
• the market fee for similar services; and
• the reasonable costs of running our practice.
- To avoid incurring additional fees, please instruct us reasonably in advance of any deadlines and provide us with all relevant information regarding your matter. In addition, if you decide not to proceed with a matter, it is imperative that you let us know as soon as possible so as to avoid unnecessary costs being incurred.
- All actions by us may be chargeable, including phone calls, e-mails, and reporting on communications that we receive on your behalf (including from an Intellectual Property Office or foreign associate).
- Our invoices are due 7 days from the date of the invoice, unless otherwise arranged. If your account remains unpaid beyond the due date, we reserve the right to:
• charge interest on the overdue portion of your outstanding account.; and
• suspend further work (including that conducted by foreign associates) until the account is made current. This may result in a loss of intellectual property rights.
- If it is necessary to engage a debt collection agency to recover an overdue invoice, the costs incurred by the debt collection agency will be payable by you (in addition to the outstanding amount).
- It is our practice to request payment in advance prior to undertaking any work on your behalf. This is particularly the case for payment of disbursements and fees incurred by overseas associates, for which we are liable. The amount requested may be up to the full amount of any estimate provided, or some other amount as deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
- We reserve the right to refuse to carry out your instructions if the payment in advance is not received. This may result in the loss of intellectual property rights.
- For any overseas invoices, we reserve the right to charge any bank fees and fees associated with currency exchanges. We will charge a service fee of $50 per payment of a foreign invoice in order to offset our internal costs of tracking, paying and reporting such invoices on your behalf.
- Unless otherwise notified, we will regard the person (or legal entity) providing us with the instructions as being the client, or having authority to act on behalf of, and bind the client. Such a person will be responsible for settling of our invoices.
- Upon completion of a matter, we will archive and eventually destroy or delete a file. Please advise us of any document or communication that you would like to retain so that we can forward it to you. An extra fee to cover internal costs may be incurred depending upon the nature of the request.
- We reserve the right to retain any documents, work product, materials and communications in a file until all payments due are satisfied. If instructed, we will transfer the contents of a file to another representative, but only after all invoices are paid. Such file transfer may incur a charge to cover internal costs, and where applicable, courier charges, depending upon the nature of the file contents and volume of file to be transferred.
- We will keep all confidential information that we acquire about you and your business strictly confidential and will not disclose that information to any other person (besides our contractors and agents) except where:
• you authorise us to disclose the information; or
• we are required to do so by law.
- Under the Privacy Act 1993, you have the right of access to, and correction of, your personal information held by us. If a legal conflict arises in relation to a matter on which you have engaged us, we will inform you of this as soon as possible. In this case:
• We may need to cease acting for you, or decline your instructions;
• We may continue to act for, or accept instructions from, another client, provided that, if we hold any of your confidential information which is relevant to the matter, we have taken appropriate steps to ensure that information will not be disclosed to the other client.
- Nonetheless, we may act for clients working in the same or competing markets and whose commercial interests compete with yours. Where we are advising more than one person (such as a partnership or multiple shareholders in a venture), we may require each person to take separate advice where appropriate.
- No provision of this agreement may be materially altered unless agreed in writing.
- Only you may rely in our advice. If you would like someone else to be able to do so, you must first obtain our written consent. Where you are a company, we act for you alone and not for your directors and shareholders, unless we otherwise agree in writing.
- We hold professional indemnity insurance.
- Our relationship with you is governed by New Zealand law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts.
- These terms bind you and your successors.
We endeavour to provide exceptional service. Nonetheless, should you have a question or grievance regarding any aspect of our service, please let us know immediately so that we can review it and arrive a mutually satisfactory outcome to both parties. You may reach us at the contact details provided below:
Infinity Intellectual Property Limited Email: firstname.lastname@example.org If reconciliation is not successful, you may decide to refer a complaint to the professional body listed below:
Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board Mail: email@example.com PH: +61 2 6283 2275
We thank you for your interest and look forward to assisting you with your intellectual property. Please note, Infinity Intellectual Property Ltd is a private incorporated company.
All attorneys employed by Infinity Intellectual Property Ltd are registered patent and trade mark attorneys, bound by the Code of Conduct for Trans-Tasman Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys 2018.
By providing you with these Terms of Engagement, we represent that to the best of our knowledge, we are competent to work for you, assisted by supplemental technical experts when needed.
Please confirm your acceptance of the above terms by executing and returning a copy of this agreement to us.