We are honored that you are considering the possibility of engaging us to represent you in connection matters your intellectual property. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A "RETAINER LETTER." IT SPELLS OUT WHAT WE DO FOR YOU AND HOW MUCH IT COST. PROIR TO YOU BECOMING A CLIENT, WE MUST AGREE TO REPRESENT YOU IN WRITING AND YOU MUST SIGN AND RETURN A SEPARATE ENGAGEMENT LETTER WRITTEN JUST FOR YOU.
Our fees are determined principally on the basis of our time at hourly rates. Hourly rates vary with experience and seniority and may be adjusted by us from time to time. I will be your principal contact at the firm and my hourly rate is $380/hour, and will not increase this calendar year. Depending on the type of work performed, Linda Bugg, our paralegal, may also charge hourly fees at the rate of $100/hour. You will be informed if a paralegal's time on any project exceeds 15% of total hours billed. A list of any others attorneys working on this matter and their hourly rates will be provided to you should any other attorney be engaged to work on your matter.
Fees for intellectual property evaluations are due prior to the earlier of a site visit or initial evaluation. Due to the nature of intellectual property evaluations, the actual bill may exceed the amount quoted, however, every effort will be made to keep the client appraised of any fees in excess of the quote. Following the site visit, should it appear to us that the original quote may be exceeded by 25% or more, a more detailed follow-up written quote will be provided.
Fixed fee projects are also contemplated. Such projects include copyright registration, trademark filing, and patent drafting and prosecution. Where fixed fee arrangements apply, we have included a copy of estimates of these rates along with this letter. AT YOUR OPTION, OPINION WORK MAY BE ENGAGED ON AN HOURLY OR FIXED FEE BASIS; BE SURE TO ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SCOPE OF THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED UNDER EITHER ARRANGEMENT.
Unless otherwise stated, quotes for flat fee work include expenses; we don't charge for small numbers of copies or paperclips or staples. However, extraordinary expenses related to our services will be included in our statements. Examples of such expenses include the various and plentiful fees charged by the various governmental entities, express mail, significant copies/postage, and travel at your request, or on your behalf. We will endeavor to contact you before such expenses are incurred. In addition, flat fee work quotes include only that work specifically disclosed in writing in the disclosure statement (called the Top 3 Questions, or T3Q) on the day the T3Q is received. Additional disclosure or changes away from the invention as disclosed in the T3Q are incorporated on an hourly fee basis. Provided, however, that any patent application or other written work that omits or imprecisely describes the invention as disclosed in the T3Q shall be corrected at no additional charge. Written estimates may be requested for any project, and the client shall be contacted in writing if any project appears destined to exceed the quote by the greater of 10% or $1000. In the event the client wishes to discontinue any project, the client is responsible for the actual work performed and the client will receive a written summary of the work completed to that date.
Where litigation is identified, recommended and pursued, when we prepare the initial identification of infringement/liability package at our expense, you agree that Thrasher Associates has the right to first refusal for such litigation, which may include a referral, provided, however, that you always have the right to select counsel for such litigation. Otherwise, you agree to pay a retainer and to be billed at our regular rates. YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO EXECUTE A SEPARATE AGREEMENT TO PARTICIPATE IN CONTINGENCY-BASED REPRESENTATION.
Our statements are rendered monthly and any outstanding balances are due upon receipt. Statements shall be sent to your attention at the address set forth above. If there is any question concerning a bill, we ask that it be raised within 30 days. A statement that is not paid within 30 days of receipt will be considered overdue and will be subject to a late charge assessed at a maximum rate of 1 1/4% of the unpaid balance per month, but in no event at a rate exceeding the maximum allowed by law.
A retainer must be provided in the form of a check returned with this letter, or in the form of a credit card number/expiration date (the credit card is debited only when the bill is due--no advanced payment is required). In some cases, you may select to use a retainer system where you pay a fix amount monthly to more predictably manage your expenses, or to prepay expenses in the current tax year. We will apply any outstanding balances to fees and expenses from time to time at our discretion. Any outstanding retainer will be refunded, minus outstanding bills, upon request. Based on our conversation regarding your needs for legal advice, please forward a retainer of $________ to us at this time. If you need additional work, you will need to write an additional retainer check prior to that work being done.
In this engagement, our representation is solely of you and no parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or other entity or person related to you. No other person or entity has the status of a client for purposes of conflicts of interest or otherwise. The terms of this engagement will be governed by Texas law, and is an "at will" engagement. If the engagement is terminated, you will remain responsible for payment of fees and expenses incurred until termination, and if court approval is required (if for example, in the event of a bankruptcy), both of us will cooperate seeking it. Your understand and agree that a lien exists for any unpaid balance against the entire intellectual property which is the subject matter of this agreement, as well as any designs, descriptions, papers, manuals, trade secrets, prototypes, or other material associated therewith whether or not created within the scope of this agreement. This lien may be exercised at any time the account is more than 120 days delinquent, however the execution of the lien does not itself eliminate the debt obligations. Any bill in excess of a total of 360 days due results in a forfeiture execution of the lien.
We are pleased that we have been considered by you and selected to perform services on your behalf, and we look forward to this representation.