17 Seconds #15

Useful, quick.

17 Seconds

One story.

A lobsterman based in Portland, Maine, was giving a guest a tour of Casco Bay, which is notoriously tricky to navigate. As the lobsterman navigated the boat to and fro, the guest was clearly getting antsy. “Man, you’re going fast,” said the guest nervously, “you must really know where all of the rocks are!” Without missing a beat, the lobsterman calmly replied, “Nope, know where they ain’t!”

“Knowing where they ain’t” is the key to drafting smart patent and trademark applications. Clocktower does a patent search before every patent filing and a trademark search before every trademark filing, because the key to successfully prosecuting both patents and trademarks is knowing where the prior art is (for patents) and prior trademarks are – and then avoiding them.

Two updates.

As of 09/01/15, we are increasing the amount we charge for non-Madrid trademark filings from “$3000 including government fees for 1 class” to “$3000 excluding all government fees” This is because the fees for non-Madrid filings are significant and add up quickly. Fortunately, more countries are expected to join the Madrid Protocol soon (including Canada).

Clocktower’s proposal says, “For billing, we use QuickBooks Pro 2014, apologize in advance for its quirkiness, and are actively seeking its replacement.” This month we are testing whether QuickBooks Online (QBO) will be a viable replacement for QuickBooks Pro. We anticipate the transition to be painful and mistake-ridden. And we thank you in advance for your patience. As for the anticipated mistakes, our mistake policy is also in our proposal: “Clocktower is not perfect, no law firm is perfect. When we make a mistake, we will admit it, fix it as soon as possible, to the best of our ability, to the extent possible, and at no charge to you.”

Thank you for your referrals and your business!

17 Seconds #14

Useful & quick.

17 Seconds

Some prospective clients are hesitant to share details with Clocktower before they “hire” us. I put “hire” in quotes because we have to screen every prospective client for conflicts – and make sure it makes sense to proceed with patents and/or trademarks.

In other words, completing our proposal form does not create an attorney-client relationship unless/until we accept the engagement.

Since we give advice that we would want to receive, we pre-screen all matters. Occasionally, we decide that it does not make sense to start with a trademark search for a particular brand or a patent search for a particular idea. In this case, we decline to engage.

We also don’t sign nondisclosures, because getting patents and trademarks for our clients is what we do for a living. And you don’t have to worry about us stealing your stuff, because we’d lose our law licenses if we did so.

In short, trust us to make the right decision for your business. Because we treat yours as if it were ours.