Watch out for these trademark scams

March 30, 2017
Patterson Thuente IP

Shortly after filing a trademark application, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or with another non-US, government trademark agency, a growing number of our clients inevitably receive one or more official-looking letters or invoices seeking payment related to the trademark registration. You may have received one of these notices in the mail or via email yourself—a solicitation, formatted to look like an official government document, that lists data about your trademark application and even an image of your trademark (all of which is publicly available information). Many of these companies use terms that resemble an official agency name including one or more of the terms “United States,” “U.S.,” “Trademark,” “Patent,” “Registration,” “Office,” or “Agency.” The truth is, these solicitations have absolutely no legal or other significance to your trademark registration.

If read carefully, you can see that the solicitations provide useless services such as listing the application on an internet database or sending a reminder that an issued registration is up for renewal sometime in the future. Some of the solicitations don’t even disclose what services they are providing. These worthless notices are convincing and tend to solicit significant amounts of money from the trademark owner, often exceeding the actual fees necessary to register a trademark. Unfortunately, some trademark owners pay these invoices, believing they are legitimate, official invoices, because they are unaware of the scams and do not read the solicitations carefully.

Examples of companies that regularly send fraudulent solicitations to our clients

Brand Registration Office (Trademark Selection Edition) 

– Washington, DC

TM Edition

– Hungary

GBO, Inc., Trademark and Patent Dep.

– Miami, FL

Intellectual Property Agency Ltd.

– United Kingdom

Intellectual Property Services USA Incorporated

– Alexandria, VA

IOPR – Intellectual Office Property Register

– Beaverton, OR

IPTI – International Patent & Trademark Index

– Czech Republic

IPTO International Patent & Trademark Organization

– Czech Republic

P.T.M.A. Patent and Trademark Association

– New York, NY

Patent & Trademark Agency

– New York, NY

Patent & Trademark Bureau

– Philadelphia, PA 

Patent & Trademark Office

– New York, NY 

Patent & Trademark Resource Center

– Seattle & Woodinville, WA

Patent and Trademark Organization

– New York, NY

Patent Trademark Register

– Origin Unknown

Register of International Patents and Trademarks

– Slovak Republic

Registration of International Trademark WDTP

– Czech Republic

RPT Servis – Registration of the International Trademark

– Czech Republic

TM Collection

– Hungary

TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks

– Washington, DC or Wilmington, DE or Pearland, TX

TPP – Trademark & Patent Publications

– Poland

Trademark and Patent Office

– Los Angeles, CA

Trademark Compliance Office

– Arlington, VA

Trademark Office Ltd.

– New York, NY

Trademark Registration and Monitoring Office

– Los Angeles, CA

Trademark Renewal Service

– New York, NY

Trademark Renewal Service

– Washington, DC

Trademark Safeguard – Trademark Monitoring Service

– New York, NY

U.S. Trademark Compliance Office

– Wilmington, DE

U.S. Trademark Compliance Service

– Phoenix, AZ

United States Trademark Maintenance Service

– Arizona

United States Trademark Registration Office

– Los Angeles, CA

USTM Information Services

– Idaho Falls, ID

WIPT World Patents Trademarks

– Slovak Republic

Any official postal correspondence regarding your trademark registration or application in the United States will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” with an address in Alexandria, Virginia. Any emails related to your trademark registration or application will be from the domain “@uspto.gov.” For non-US registrations and applications, official correspondence will also be from official government agencies.

Warnings regarding fraudulent solicitations may also be found on the warnings page on the World Intellectual Property Organization’s website. Also note, if an intellectual property attorney or firm files your trademark registration application on your behalf, any official correspondence regarding that application will be sent to that attorney or firm.

If you ever have a question about your trademark registration or application, you should contact your intellectual property attorney. Or you can always contact the USPTO or non-US agency directly and ask about the status of your registration or application.

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