The following general terms and conditions describe the prerequisites for Acapo to undertake an assignment for a client.
Unless otherwise agreed, these terms and conditions will also apply to repeat assignments from the same customer/client.
As a general rule, and in accordance with the Money Laundering Act, a background check of the client will be carried out which will include verification of the client’s identity. The client is obliged to cooperate and to assist with this process. Please note that if the existence of transactions which can be linked to criminal acts etc., is suspected, Acapo is obliged to report this matter to ØKOKRIM (National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime), and is under no obligation to inform the client or any third party that this has been done.
The client is under obligation to comply with Acapo’s ethical guidelines, which cover respect for basic human rights, ensuring decent working conditions, and environmental protection.
Acapo will consider whether a conflict of interest exists prior to the acceptance of any assignment. Acapo reserves the right to reject or discontinue any assignment if Acapo deems that there is such a conflict of interest.
Our attorneys and associate attorneys operate under statutory confidentiality. Furthermore, all our employees operate under contractual confidentiality with respect to all non-public information to which they have access concerning our clients.
The client is under obligation to inform Acapo about any changes relating to contact persons, addresses, names, as well as changes in ownership of registered rights including trademark and design registrations and patents. This is in order to ensure a proper and timely flow of communication, and to meet any requirements to record such changes in public registries.
Acapo is under obligation to inform the client of any inquiries, statements, and notices from public authorities, courts, and any opposing counsel, as well as any deadline which the client is required to meet. Acapo will therefore work on the assumption that the client will provide us, in writing, with accurate, exhaustive, and timely information and instructions. We also assume that the client will make decisions which will enable us to preserve the client’s interests in the best way possible, and will submit quality documentation in a timely fashion. Acapo is not liable for any loss of rights which is due to absent, inadequate, erroneous, or delayed instructions from the client.
Unless a written agreement with a third party exists, we will assume that the person or enterprise from which we receive instructions is the mandator/client, and is consequently the responsible party for all costs accrued in the case.
In connection with the commencement of the assignment, the client will often have received a concrete offer or a cost estimate. Such offers and estimates serve an indicative function, and it is the actual costs which will ultimately be invoiced to the client. Discrepancies can often occur vis-à-vis received offers due to currency fluctuations, official fees, and taxes, as well as payments to our cooperation partners abroad. Furthermore, a case may prove to be more comprehensive than initially anticipated, which may lead to the estimated time spent being exceeded.
Some of the work carried out by Acapo is invoiced based on unit pricing and fixed charges in accordance with our current price list. Most of our work, however, is invoiced based on an hourly rate and the amount therefore depends on time spent. Prices are always listed excluding VAT.
Our fixed fees in connection with the registration of trademarks and designs and the filing of patent applications cover the following: Case generation in our case management system, bibliographical data registration, deadline generation and monitoring, preparation of the application form , preparation of the necessary documents for submission including Power of Attorney documents, application submission, verification of receipt of the application by public authorities, deadline management in connection with the application, registration of miscellaneous formal correspondence from the Norwegian Industrial Property Office and follow-up actions related to these, payment of the various official fees in connection with the application process, miscellaneous correspondence depending on case type (priority, deadline extensions, etc.), as well as case completion in the database.
All time spent by Acapo in connection with the execution of an assignment will be invoiced to the client. Amongst other things, this will include meetings, meetings cancelled by the client, telephone conversations (minimum 15 minutes for each call), essential reminders, delays incurred as a result of actions by the client, travel (according to the government travel allowance scale) and travel time, as well as any reporting of communications which we receive on the client’s behalf in trademark, design, and/or patent cases. Direct outlays, such as official fees and taxes as well as outlays to our cooperation partners abroad and others involved with the case, will also be invoiced.
Acapo reserves the right to request prepayment, and to halt submission of applications to the public authorities until an invoice has been paid. Acapo also reserves the right to offset any paid advance against any unpaid invoice.
In connection with disbursements in currencies other than NOK, a 10% expense fee surcharge will be added.
Our terms for payment are 14 days for Norwegian clients and 30 days for clients located abroad. Acapo also reserves the right to claim interest in accordance with relevant Norwegian legislation relating to payment delays and fees incurred as a result of overdue payments. We furthermore reserve the right to suspend work for the client and withhold documents should payment not be received after a certain time. Acapo reserves the right to mortgage registered IP rights upon defaulted payments.
Acapo accepts no responsibility for errors or delays caused by national patent authorities or other authorities, nor can Acapo guarantee the outcome of any application process, since this will be subject to the assessment of the relevant authorities in each individual case.
Acapo accepts no responsibility for loss of rights caused by stoppage or transaction delays in connection with countries, companies, or individuals that have been placed on any government, bank, or financial authorities’ sanctions list.
In cases where we act as a consultant in respect of matters outside of Norway, it is often necessary for the case to be dealt with by a local representative in the country in question. Acapo has a well-established network of professional cooperation partners in most countries outside of Norway, and we continually monitor our cooperation partners’ compliance with basic human rights and decent working conditions. Acapo does not assume responsibility for any errors or delays caused by the actions of our cooperation partners.
Limitation of liability.
In the event that Acapo has expressed an opinion concerning the possible outcome of a case, this does not translate into a responsibility on the side of Acapo to achieve this result. In the event that the client is required to cover another party’s legal costs and court fees, it is the client’s own responsibility to do so. In the event that awarded legal costs are lower than the costs that Acapo has claimed or will claim from the client, the client is liable for payment of the remaining amount to Acapo.
Acapo’s compensation liability regarding any case is limited to direct, documented financial losses. Acapo’s liability is limited to the amount covered by their liability insurance.
Both parties will retain what they have obtained in terms of proprietorship, copyright, and other relevant corporeal and incorporeal rights. These include methods, analyses, evaluations, agreements, and so on. The client may only utilize this material for the purposes agreed upon, and it may not be transferred to other parties without prior consent.
Acapo may transfer an invoice to a third party.
In the event that the client seeks to file a claim or complaint against Acapo relating to its performance, this must be done without undue delay. If the client does not file the claim or complaint within 60 days of the conclusion of the relevant part of the assignment in question, the client may not assert the claim or complaint. For claims or complaints pertaining to an attorney assignment, the rules and regulations of the Norwegian Bar Association apply.
Unless otherwise agreed upon, all written communication will take place electronically.
Instructions concerning new assignments should be sent to our central email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notice of mutual termination of services is typically three (3) months.
Acapo reserves the right to terminate the contract and/or the client relationship with immediate effect in the event that the client is unable to meet its responsibilities or obligations.
In the event of a termination of services by the client, Acapo will invoice in connection with any commissioned assignments in the event that Acapo is unable to recoup any lost time and/or revenue in another manner.
An initial attempt to resolve disputes through negotiations shall be made. In the event that the parties cannot reach an agreement through arbitration, the dispute will be brought before a court. The contract is regulated by Norwegian law. The legal venue is Bergen District Court.
Acapo reserves the right to alter these commercial terms and conditions, effective from the time of alteration. All current and updated terms and conditions are available at all times on the Acapo official website, www.acapo.no.