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Beware of Unwanted Trademark Solicitations

SolicitationOn November 2, 2015, I wrote a blog entry (click here) about concerns related to unwanted trademark solicitations from private companies. These private companies routinely send out letters and/or invoices, seeking money to prosecute, maintain and/or watch your pending federal trademark application and/or registration for you. In some instances, these unwanted trademark solicitations are designed to resemble US Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) official communications. This has not gone unnoticed by the USPTO or the Department of Justice. In fact, the Department of Justice recently announced that two men from California have pled guilty to scamming U.S.trademark application owners. The two men created their own trademark solicitations and sent them to applicants with pending federal trademark applications in an effort to obtain money for services that neither men intended to perform. According to the Department of Justice, one of the defendants who pled guilty admitted that he scammed approximately 4,446 victims of $1.66 million. To learn more about this case, click here.

In an effort to help applicants and registrants combat these unwanted trademark solicitations and scams, the USPTO published an informative video warning applicants seeking federal trademark protection and/or owners with existing federal registrations about these unwanted trademark solicitations. Click here to view the video. Included in this blog is an example of an unwanted trademark solicitation that the USPTO has posted on its website. We have seen this identical unwanted trademark solicitation sent to our clients.

As indicated above, our clients have received unwanted trademark solicitations related to their pending federal trademark applications and existing federal registrations. Each time our clients inform us that they received an unwanted trademark solicitation, we tell them that if it is not from our firm; do not pay it. If you do not have an attorney and believe you have received one of these unwanted trademark solicitations, I suggest contacting a trusted intellectual property attorney before making any payments to these private companies.

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John M. Burke is a trademark attorney who assists clients in selection, screening, registration, licensing and enforcement of trademarks and service marks. In addition to trademark prosecution and enforcement, John works with clients to identify, manage and license their intellectual property. Through Caseiro Burke’s Litigation Practice, John also provides intellectual property litigation service.

Caseiro Burke is an intellectual property law firm providing legal services to individuals and businesses around the world. We offer clients creative, cost-effective and reliable legal solutions in all intellectual property matters. Our dedication to the practice of intellectual property law provides our clients with the focus of attention necessary to establish, protect and commercialize their innovations. Whether you are a sole inventor looking for patent protection for your invention, a distillery protecting its brand or a manufacturing company asserting or defending a patent infringement claim, Caseiro Burke will work with you to achieve effective results.