It’s been well over a year since we shared any news about the No Fee Guarantee®—too long for something with so much significance in our legal marketing world. Our last post was about the trademark meeting federal requirements to be classified as “Uncontestable,” a status that makes the burden of proof for anyone wanting to challenge the trademark extremely high and unlikely. We also shared the news that we were approaching the 200-mark in the number of law firms we’ve successfully stopped from using No Fee Guarantee or similar language we felt infringed on our intellectual property rights.
Now, as we approach the trademark’s ninth year since inception, the news is simply the No Fee Guarantee is alive and well and as relevant as ever. Currently, 23 cj clients actively use the No Fee Guarantee trademark in 43 markets across the country. To date, Creative Services has produced 563 spots where the No Fee Guarantee was showcased. By January, Bill Berg, our inspiration and collaborator during the creation of the NFG, will celebrate nine years of promoting the No Fee Guarantee through his advertising efforts. (By the way, that’s a continuous nine years, non-stop.)
Here’s what Bill had to say about the journey and just how important the No Fee Guarantee is to Berg Injury Lawyers:
“The No Fee Guarantee is more than just a catchy slogan to describe a contingency fee arrangement. It represents the belief we have in our people, our processes, and our confidence in obtaining successful results for our clients. It’s become a part of our brand and represents our commitment to winning. For all these reasons, the No Fee Guarantee is right for our clients and our firm. I can’t imagine a time when the No Fee Guarantee would not be a part of Berg Injury Lawyers.”
The copycats, imitators, and all out infringers continue to follow our lead as well. Typically, their duplication (or flat out thievery) of the No Fee Guarantee only ends in their frustration. We can be relentless and don’t back down from protecting our trademark. As of this writing, we are now nearing the 250-mark for firms we have contacted and stopped from using the No Fee Guarantee language. Enforcement is a monthly ritual and comes in various forms. We systematically conduct web searches, keep a watchful eye on competitors’ spots, and follow up on reported infractions. Whenever we find a violation, our initial correspondence is always cordial and outlines options for similar and acceptable versions like “No Fee Promise,” “No fee Pledge,” etc. Doing so seems to alleviate some of the tension and embarrassment of being caught, while offering a way out that’s acceptable from our standpoint. Of course, we respectfully, but firmly, demand they cease use of No Fee Guarantee.
There’s only one No Fee Guarantee, and it’s as relevant to participating law firms, their clients, and potential clients as ever before. As Bill Berg noted, for some, it has become much more than just a catchy way to describe a contingency fee. It’s become recognized as part of their brand. That’s true for many firms, and that’s why you have our “guarantee” that we will do all we can to protect it.