The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has posted an official warning regarding fraudulent solicitations on its Trademark Home page. As I mentioned last week, patent and trademark registrants and applicants should be on the lookout for non-USPTO solicitations that resemble official USPTO communications.
After a number of our clients received these fake notices, we directly contacted the Deputy Commissioner of Patents. We are pleased that the USPTO responded to our concerns, and those of others in the intellectual property community, by officially addressing these scams.
The USPTO warning echoes the issues I raised last week, noting that private companies not associated with the USPTO are using trademark application and registration information from the USPTO’s databases to mail or e-mail trademark-related solicitations, which may include offers: (1) for legal services; (2) for trademark monitoring services; (3) to record trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and (4) to “register” trademarks in the company’s own private registry.
Given the growing incidence of these scams, the USPTO encourages applicants and registrants to read trademark-related communications carefully before making a decision about whether to respond. In addition, it points out that all official correspondence will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” in Alexandria, VA, and if by e-mail, specifically from the domain “@uspto.gov.”
How Can I Help?
While some of the correspondence you receive regarding your intellectual property may be legitimate, I encourage my readers to consult with me before enrolling in these services or sending any money.