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I have an Invention ... Now What?
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   What does retainment mean?
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   Author  Topic: What does retainment mean?  (Read 3227 times)
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Posts: 81
Re: What does retainment mean?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 17th, 2007, 9:05am »
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Retainer is supposed to mean a nonrefundable fee just for accepting the work but it is commonly used to refer to advance money that is put in a trust account and drawn upon as the work is completed.  Retainer agreement usually means an agreement as to what services will be provided, when the representation will end, and how fees will be calculated.  Performing patent work can be a high risk business for patent attorneys.  Some cases have said that an attorney has an obligation if someone could reasonably think they are a client even if the attorney did not accept them as a client and did not get paid a dime.  A 30 million dollar malpractice award was granted against a well know firm in Boston.  And this was not a fly-by-night firm, it was a good firm.  If it can happen to them, it can happen to any patent attorney.  Malpractice insurance companies encourage patent attorneys to use engagement agreements with all clients and disengagement agreements when the relationship ends.  Having an end date to the relationship is important for conflict of interest purposes--obligations to a former client are lower than to a present client.  
Just ask for a copy of the agreement that is being proposed, it should spell out the terms.
IP Logged

Deepak Malhotra, JD, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
Malhotra Law Firm
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