The United States Patent and Trademark Office (hereafter, the “USPTO”) has been generating a list of private companies who have been soliciting trademark applicants and registrants for:
- Legal services;
- Trademark Monitoring Services;
- Recording services with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and
- Register trademarks in the company’s own private registry
These companies, and others not listed on the USPTO website, routinely send out letters with invoices, seeking money to maintain and/or watch your trademark for you. In some instances, the invoices are designed to resemble USPTO communications. These deceitful practices have led to numerous complaints, which resulted in the USPTO creating a list of repeat offenders for general public awareness.
Our clients have received similar letters related to their trademarks. Each time they inform us that they received an unsolicited letter and/or invoice, we tell them that if it is not from our firm; do not pay it.
Should you receive these solicitations while represented by a trademark attorney, let your trademark attorney know. However, if you are not represented by a trademark attorney, any truly 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.” You can also check the status of your trademark application or trademark registration by searching for your trademark on the Trademark Electronic Search System (commonly known as “TESS”). There you will find copies of any notices sent by the USPTO to you or to your attorney.
If you have been duped and paid money to one of these private companies, we strongly encourage you to reach out to a trademark attorney immediately. In addition, as indicated by the USPTO, consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and your state consumer protection agency as they may get involved to stop these deceitful practices.
If you are interested in learning more about these unwanted solicitations, click here to be directed to the USPTO website.
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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.