I often receive telephone calls from clients who have received a document through the U.S. mail that looks like official correspondence from a government agency. This correspondence tells the client that there is a deadline to file a document with the Trademark office or offers to manage their trademarks. These solicitations are scams.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (U.S.P.T.O.) has been fighting fraudulent trademark solicitations for years. In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that two California men pled guilty in a mass mailing scam that targeted owners of U.S. trademark applications. The men admitted to stealing approximately $1.6 million from trademark registrants and applicants of U.S. trademarks through companies called Trademark Compliance Center (TCC) and Trademark Compliance Office (TC). See the article by clicking HERE.
The services offered are often duplicate services provided by the USPTO or they offer to manage the trademark under false pretenses. Some examples of fraudulent entities that send out these solicitations are:
- Patent & Trademark Resource Center
- Patent and Trademark Organization
- Trademark Office, Ltd.
- U.S. Trademark Compliance Office
For a more extensive list go to USPTO Trademarks.
Tips to trademark owners:
- Before paying any trademark related fees, verify that the invoice is from an authorized entity.
- Make sure the document is from the USPTO, no other government entity will contact you regarding your trademarks.
- If you have trademark counsel forward the document to them for review and advise.
- Read the USPTO warning on non-USPTO Solicitations.
ABOUT CRYSTAL BROUGHAN
Crystal T. Broughan is an Intellectual Property Law Attorney with Marks Gray, P.A. Her practice primarily focuses on matters such as trademark, patent and copyright infringement cases. She prepares and files trademark and copyright applications, licensing agreements, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements for a wide variety of clients. In addition, she represents clients before the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board on trademark disputes.