Client Empowerment 2: Trademark Scams — Client Beware

Here is a warning for anyone who files a trademark.  As a business and trademark lawyer, I have filed hundreds of trademark applications for my clients in the USA and abroad.  Although I am set up as the point person for all communications, the applicant’s address must be listed in the application and the application is a public record.

Taking advantage of this public information are a number of unscrupulous companies. These companies send the applicant directly, via email and/or mail, extremely official looking notices, warnings, and invoices for sham services or legitimate services that the applicant often does not need.  Virtually every applicant and/or trademark registrant will receive one or more of such solicitations. The unwitting applicant completes the form and pays the fee thinking it is required by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or foreign trademark office. The USPTO provides this warning on their website.  As of a few weeks ago, the USPTO now sends this notice attached with all Trademark Registration Certificates.

Definitely inform your lawyer before your pay any fee or complete any form.  If you filed without legal counsel, I suggest you carefully review the notice and/or invoice before completing and check with the USPTO before submitting.

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