Monday, August 6, 2012

Misleading Trademark Solicitations (USPTO)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is now warning trademark applicants and registrants about misleading solicitations sent by private companies based on the publicly available information contained in trademark office filings. Some of these solicitations offer legitimate, albeit possibly unwanted, duplicitative, and confusing commercial offerings, while others seek to profit by deception. The safest course of action for trademark applicants and owners is to refer any communications to your trademark attorney. The text of the warning, which is being provided by the USPTO to all new registrants:
WARNING: Non-USPTO Solicitations That May Resemble Official USPTO Communications

Be aware that private companies not associated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) often use trademark application and registration information from the USPTO’s databases to mail or e-mail trademark-related solicitations. Trademark applicants and registrants continue to submit a significant number of inquiries and complaints to the USPTO about such 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.

These companies may use names that resemble the USPTO name, including, for example, the terms "United States" or “U.S.” Increasingly, some of the more unscrupulous companies attempt to make their solicitations mimic the look of official government documents rather than the look of a typical commercial or legal solicitation by emphasizing official government data like the USPTO application serial number, the registration number, the International Class(es), filing dates, and other information that is publicly available from USPTO records. Many refer to other government agencies and sections of the U.S. Code. Most require “fees” to be paid.

Some applicants and registrants have reported paying fees to these private companies, mistakenly thinking that they were paying required fees to the USPTO. So, be sure to read trademark-related communications carefully before making a decision about whether to respond. 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.”

If you receive a trademark-related solicitation that you believe is deceptive, you may file an on-line consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), at www.FTC.gov. Although the FTC does not resolve individual consumer complaints, it may institute, as the nation’s consumer protection agency, investigations and prosecutions based on widespread complaints about particular companies or business practices.

The USPTO encourages recipients of misleading communications to contact the USPTO about them by emailing TMFeedback@uspto.gov. When notifying us about a misleading communication, please also:

Include a copy of the misleading communication (including the envelope it came in) if available;
Indicate whether the recipient thought the communication was an official U.S. government communication or had to ask an attorney or the USPTO whether it was legitimate;
Indicate whether fees were mistakenly paid in response to the communication and, if so, provide a copy of the cancelled check. Please also specify what services, if any, were provided in exchange for the payment made.

This document is an example of a private company solicitation about which we have received numerous recent complaints. We contacted the company (which was doing business under the name “United States Trademark Registration Office”) and have received assurance that this company has, as of March 12, 2012, ceased sending solicitations under that name. If you have received a solicitation from this company after March 12, 2012, please let us know at the above-listed email address

18 comments:

  1. Very informative article!! Nevada business law is now warning a trademark applicants and registrants private company based on the publicly available information, which contained in trademark office filings. Thanks for your important post.
    getting the cheapest deals

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was a well written and informative blog! Do have a look at our website dealing with business law for more such articles.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very informative article!! You have made a good impression with your interesting content and unique point of view on this subject. Thanks for your important post. Do have a look at our website on class action in Canada for more such articles.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was a good read. Will surely reblog it. Check out my website dealing with franchise law in Canada as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your legal articles are always so informative and useful! I wish to publish your new articles on Attorney Online, especially in rubric of business law articles. There is also an attorney directory where you can submit contacts of all good attorneys you know. They can post to Attorney Blog or legal news regarding their practice.

    ReplyDelete




  6. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.











    Register my trademark

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

    business lawyer boston

    ReplyDelete
  8. Businessmen of USA need quality legal defense and complete information on law issues. That is why I like to read your articles and recommend them to businessmen. Would you like to publish some you works in a section of business law articles on Attorney Online. There is also a possibility to post to Attorney Blog, publish legal news and submit contacts of lawyers to Attorney Directory.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congratulations Jonas M. Grant! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this exciting information.

    employee background checks

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is good to have most of these articles around to maintain the regular flow of information. Help people that no one could do it later, good work!

    Trademark Attorney Los Angeles & Trademark law firms

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm confident that once you read this again you come to read these articles and blogs.

    queens dwi lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's good to know that there are companies out there with fake USPTO solicitations. People need to be careful with what companies they use because you never know if they are real or fake. Do a bit of research and save yourself some time and money in the long run. Find a good solicitation company that would be able to help you out. http://www.sandersonssolicitors.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a great blog, usually I don't post comments on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so!

    Lizenzgeb├╝hr(en) & Lizenzprodukt(e)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that I've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.

    Licence de marque & Qu’est ce que le licensing?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just want to say your article is striking. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can take for granted you are an expert on this field. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.

    Diventare licenziante & Sport e licenze

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that I've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share.

    merchandise licensing & IMG

    ReplyDelete