1. This is The Agreement [“Agreement”] between Strawman Limited of Orchard Lea, Horns Lane, Combe, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 8NH, United Kingdom [“Strawman™”] and the Company/Firm of the European Patent Attorney [“EPA”], or any other legal representative entitled to act before the European Patent Office [“Other”], specified in the online Application Form [“Company/Firm”], in respect of filing a Notice of Opposition to the specified Patent [“specified opposition”].
2. A legal contract is created between the Company/Firm or Other and Strawman™ once a receipt of acceptance is issued in response to the online application form. In addition, two copies of The Agreement will require signing on issue of the invoice. One copy of the signed Agreement is then returned to Strawman™.
3. The use of Strawman™ is solely for the purpose of fronting a notice of opposition to a granted patent on behalf of a third party who wishes to remain anonymous [“Anonymous Party”].
4.1 The following terms are accepted:
[i] Strawman™ will not prepare or take part in the preparation of any opposition documents or statements;
[ii] use of Strawman™ does not necessarily indicate, explicitly or implicitly, agreement by Strawman™ of any or all of the grounds, statements, positions taken, made by the Company/Firm and/or the Anonymous Party;
[iiia] Strawman™ will only be represented by the Company/Firm, or any other EPA or Other but only when instructed to that effect by the Company/Firm and Strawman™ has been so notified by the Company/Firm; and that other EPA or Other shall be bound by the same terms herein;
[iiib] Should the Company/Firm or Other transfer or share representation of Strawman™ as opponent during either Opposition proceedings or Appeal proceedings before the European Patent Office in respect of the European patent mentioned herein to or with another Company/Firm or any other legal representative entitled to act before the European Patent Office, a fee [“Transfer Fee”] will become payable to Strawman™ from that other Company/Firm or any other legal representative entitled to act before the European Patent Office, and that other Company/Firm or any other legal representative entitled to act before the European Patent Office will enter into a similar Agreement with Strawman™ known as the Transfer Agreement and shall be bound by the terms therein;
[iiic] The Transfer Fee is due to Strawman™ on the date of the transfer or sharing of the representation. Strawman™ therefore reserves the right to withdraw the notice of opposition should any fees owing to Strawman™ remain unpaid within thirty days of the date of the transfer of representation or the sharing of the representation.
[iv] the Company/Firm or Other will not reveal to Strawman™ the identity of the Anonymous Party;
[v] the Company/Firm or Other will not use any defamatory or libelous or abusive remarks in the specified opposition or during the opposition procedure; and
[vi] the Company/Firm or Other will not perform any irresponsible or malicious acts.
4.2 Breach of any of these terms will terminate the Agreement with immediate effect entitling Strawman™ to withdraw from the specified opposition and to retain any Agreement Fee already paid.
5. On entering into the Agreement with Strawman™, the Company/Firm or Other hereby indemnifies Strawman™ against any legal costs and/or any expenses that may arise against Strawman™ as a result of any part of or all of or as a consequence of the specified opposition or the opposition proceedings. For the avoidance of doubt, Strawman™ will not seek expenses for attending any Oral Proceedings that may be as a result of any part of or all of or as a consequence of the specified opposition unless Strawman™ has been asked to attend such Oral Proceedings either by the Company/Firm or the European Patent Office.
6. The Agreement Fee ["Agreement Fee"] is due to Strawman™ on the date the online Application Form has been accepted by Strawman™. Acceptance is generated by an automatic response. Strawman™ reserves the right to terminate this Agreement should any fees owing to Strawman™ remain unpaid after thirty days from the date of th online acceptance.
7. Should an appeal lie from the decision of the Opposition Division, Strawman™ will unequivocally allow its continued use as the named party to the appeal proceedings, subject to payment of a similar additional fee equal to the current Agreement Fee. This fee is payable irrespective of whether the Anonymous Party itself wishes an appeal to be filed. Again it is accepted that Strawman™ will not prepare or take part in the preparation of any appeal documents or statements. For the avoidance of doubt, the terms in Clauses 4.1 and 4.2 apply here.
8.1 Should the Anonymous Party file an appeal via the EPA or Other then a similar additional fee, equal to the current Agreement Fee, will become payable to Strawman™ before or at the same time an appeal has been filed at the European Patent Office, failing which Strawman™ reserves the right to withdraw from the Notice of Appeal.
8.2 Should an appeal be filed at the European Patent Office by a party other than the EPA or Other and the Anonymous Party wishes Strawman™ to be or to remain a party to the proceedings then a similar additional fee, equal to the current Agreement Fee, becomes payable to Strawman™ at the time the appeal has been notified to the EPA or Other failing which the Company/Firm reserves the right to withdraw Strawman™ from the appeal proceedings.
9. At all material times the onus rests on the Company/Firm or Other to notify Strawman™ of any appeal filed at the European Patent Office in respect of the specified opposition, failing which Strawman™ reserves the right to withdraw from any notice of Appeal.
10. Upon payment of the additional fee, the Company/Firm or Other will hereby indemnify Strawman™ against any costs and/or any expenses that may arise against Strawman™ as a result of any part of or all of or as a consequence of the appeal or the appeal proceedings. For the avoidance of doubt, Strawman™ will not seek expenses for attending any Oral Proceedings that may be as a result of any part of or all of or as a consequence of the appeal unless Strawman™ has been asked to attend such Oral Proceedings by the Company/Firm, or the European Patent Office.
11. Should Strawman™ be summoned to any Oral Proceedings and, should it prove to be necessary, one or more representatives of Strawman™ will attend the proceedings on the basis of a daily rate per representation and the Company/Firm or Other will pay those fees in addition to any out-of-pocket expenditure also incurred as a result of the summons.
12. No term of this Agreement is enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by a person who is not party in this Agreement.
13. In the performance of this Agreement, the status of Strawman™, including its employees and agents, shall be that of independent contractors and not as an agent of the Company/Firm or Other.
14. Subject to Clause 4.2 this Agreement shall terminate on the date on which the specified opposition proceedings, including any appeal, are concluded. Clauses 5 and 10 shall indefinitely survive any termination of this Agreement.
15. This Agreement is made in England and is to be governed and construed in accordance with English Law. The parties hereby submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England.
Last Updated: February 2016
Company Number: 3825903
Registered Office: Winnington House, 2 Woodberry Grove, North Finchley, London N12 0DR, United Kingdom.
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