Frequently Asked Questions
All information provided is for Educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice
Why choose A|Squared Legal Group over an online formation service (e.g. LegalZoom)?
Starting your business with A|SquaredLegal Group not only ensures that you start on solid ground, but also makes sure that you have a relationship with an attorney that you can return to if you encounter legal issues down the road. Once your business needs are thoroughly understood, A|Squared can determine the best entity type for your business. Not only will all of the necessary paperwork be filed for you, but we will advise you on the best governance structure for your business and any further steps you may need to complete in the future.
Can I have face-to-face consultations, too?
Yes. A|Squared Legal Group is available to meet with you in person or via video conferencing, whichever is conducive for your busy schedule. Contact us to make an appointment.
Why A|Squared Legal Group when I can provide my own legal services?
A|Squared Legal Group was founded to provide you with the full-service general counsel needed to create and sustain a profitable business. Acting as your own attorney hinders you from focusing on your business. Although you may save money initially, your business will likely be legally vulnerable which can result in considerable legal fees and headaches in the future.
The traditional model. You will place an advance deposit in our trust account. We track our time, and send an invoice monthly or upon conclusion of the retained matter.
Value Billing Promise - Hourly
We think it’s important that clients understand the work we do, the time it takes, and how that work advances your matter. That’s why we offer a Value Billing Promise for hourly work: If you review your bill and don’t find value in our services, tell us why. Then just pay the balance of your bill — you will owe us nothing for the work you do not value. This is not a guarantee of any result — there are times when even excellent counsel will not get the results you seek. Our expectation is that you will find value in everything we do. But ultimately, that’s your decision, not ours.
If the scope of work is predictable, we can propose a flat fee that locks in the rate for us to handle the entire matter. You’ll pay up front, and won’t receive any surprise invoices.
For a set monthly fee, our firm will deliver a defined set of legal services. This means we’ll work with you on a recurring basis to ensure that the business is always in tip-top shape. You’ll know up front how much to budget each month, and what exactly is included. Pricing starts at $500 / month.
These include fees based on a contingency, hybrid hourly-contingency, budgets, volume-based discounts, and even equity investments. Generally, these fees take a bit longer to negotiate.
What is a contract?
A contract is a legally binding agreement between parties that creates an obligation to do something, or, in some cases, not do something
Why should I use a written contract?
Most businesses don't realize the importance of a good, solid contract, not only as protection but also to use as a roadmap for the working relationship between the parties. A good contract decreases misunderstandings, provides methods for resolving problems, and defines the exact relationship between the parties.
What does "breach" mean?
A party breaches a contract when that party breaks its end of the deal or fails to fulfill its obligations under the contract.
What happens if someone breaches a contract?
Most contracts are enforced in court. If the other party breaches the contract, you can go to court to try to collect damages or obtain "specific performance." However, some contracts have an arbitration clause which requires any disputes to be arbitrated by a neutral party.
This contract template I found online should be sufficient, right?
Probably not.Attempting to customize a contract template will often fail to protect you and your business. Often times these "contracts" omit very important terms, contain irrelevant provisions, and/or use confusing language. Unless you are staying current on the relevant statutes and case law in Michigan, contact A|Squared Legal Group to draft your custom contracts.
I was given this contract and it looks okay – I think. Should I sign it?
No. Do not sign a contract until you completely understand the terms and conditions of the contract. A|Squared Legal Group can provide you with a detailed, plain English interpretation of the proposed contract. Our interpretation will make you aware of any provisions that should be of concern and/or any provisions to be added for the protection of your business.
What is a "trademark" or "servicemark"?
A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device used in trade to indicate the source of goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is the same, except it indicates and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a good. The terms "trademark" and "mark" are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks.
What is the difference between the use of TM, SM and ®?
Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, you may use the federal registration symbol "®" only after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending.
Should marks be registered?
Registration is not required, as the right or ownership of a mark is established by the legitimate use of the mark. However, securing a registered trademark is highly recommended because it provides exclusive rights to prevent unauthorized use of the mark. One of the main benefits of registering a trademark is that it is an important step toward building your business and protecting its image and goodwill
Do I need a trademark attorney to register the mark?
No, you can file the application yourself. However, the services of a trademark attorney who is familiar with conducting searches, the detailed application filing procedure and maintenance requirements will help you to save time, ensure proper protection in the appropriate trademark classes and avoid unwarranted rejection.Contact ASquared to get started on your application.
Can I apply for a registration of the mark without actually using it?
Yes. You can file an application on a bonafide "intent to use" basis. Therefore, ifyou have not yet used the mark but plan to do so in the future, you may file an application based on a good faith or bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce. A bona fide intent to use the mark is more than an idea and less than market ready. For example, having a business plan, creating sample products, or performing other initial business activities may reflect a bona fide intent to use the mark.
How long does a trademark last?
Rights in a federally-registered mark can last indefinitely if the owner continues to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services in the registration and files all necessary documentation in the USPTO at the appropriate times.
How long will it take to register the trademark with the USPTO?
Registration with the USPTO is not instantaneous and requires patience. The applicant should receive a response to the application from the USPTO within six (6) months from filing the application. However, the total time for an application to be processed may be more than a year, depending on the basis for filing, and the legal issues which may arise in the examination of the application.
What if there is a trademark infringement?
If there has been an infringement of your trademark, you can file a claim under the federal and state laws. As the owner, the responsibility will be on you to prove that the use of a similar mark by the infringer has created a likelihood of confusion. If you are successful in establishing that there has been an infringement: (i) the court will grant an injunction against further infringement, (ii) your attorney's fees will be refunded, if the mark is federally registered and (iii) you may be awarded monetary damages.
What is a "copyright"?
A copyright is a legal right granted to authors of "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form of expression, whether published or unpublished. Copyright protection is available for the following types of works: literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, architectural, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, sound recordings, motion pictures and other audiovisual works.
What are the benefits of timely copyright registration?
Although copyright protection exists once a work is reduced to writing (or any other tangible medium), a copyright must be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office before a party may sue in federal court for its infringement. A bonus is granted to those that register their copyrights immediately, or within three (3) months of publication, in the form of statutory damages and attorney's fees for any future infringement. Contact us to get started on your registration.