April 7, 2017
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a number of warnings concerning fraudulent solicitations to trademark owners. In a typical such solicitation, the perpetrator will create a dummy company with an official-sounding name (recent examples include “Trademark Compliance Center” and “Trademark Compliance Office”). The perpetrator will then mass-mail entities that have recently received a legitimate trademark registration from the USPTO. The solicitation, which often resembles an official government document, will falsely state or imply that the trademark registrant is required to pay additional fees to the dummy company. No such fees are, in fact, required, and anybody who pays such fees is the victim of fraud.
These fraudulent notices have become so prevalent that the USPTO has developed a video to advise trademark applicants how to identify these notices and avoid being victimized.
The USPTO has announced that the Trademark Public Advisory Committee plans to hold a roundtable discussion on fraudulent solicitations on July 26. More information is contained in the bulletin released today.
If you are a trademark registrant who has received a questionable solicitation demanding the payment of additional fees, please contact Fitch Even partner Joseph T. Nabor or any other attorney on Fitch Even’s Trademark and Brand Protection team before responding.
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