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Don’t fall for these trademark scams

Scams are nothing new for trademark applicants and registrants.  Because the application is a public-record, it’s quite easy for anyone to identify those who’ve recently filed or received office actions and target them.

There are two new(ish) scams that have started showing up that are worth warning you about so you don’t wind up a victim.

First off, rest assured that If you’ve engaged my services to file your trademark application, I will be the USPTO’s only point of contact regarding your registration.   If you’re contacted by anyone, even if they seem to be from a government agency, reach out to me, so we can verify their legitimacy. 

If you’ve filed yourself, or through an online service, be extra vigilant, and feel free to contact me if something you receive smells fishy.

Here are the two active scams we’re seeing lately:

“INCOMPLETE APPLICATION” EMAIL SCAM

Shortly after a trademark application is filed, the applicant trademark owner receives an email stating that the application is not complete, and that there someone else has submitted a conflicting application.  

Here’s what the email typically says:

“I hope this email finds you well. We are writing to address a time-sensitive matter related to your trademark application named [MARK]. Upon reviewing your application, it has come to our attention that while you initiated the trademark application process, you did not proceed with the government classifications, resulting in an incomplete filing. Unfortunately, due to this incomplete filing, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has received another application for the same trademark and name.

The USPTO has notified us that there is a potential conflict between your application and the new application. To resolve this matter, we need your immediate clarification on your intent to proceed with the registration of the trademark under the same name and mark. If you still intend to proceed with the trademark registration, we require your confirmation within the next 24 hours. Failure to confirm your intention to register will result in the USPTO transferring the rights to the trademark name and mark to the new applicant. Please understand that time is of the essence, and we strongly recommend that you respond promptly to this email. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately at [OMITTED].

We understand the significance of your trademark and are committed to helping you navigate this situation. Your swift action will ensure the protection of your rights and interests.”

Please don’t fall for this. This is NOT an official government communication.   This is an attempt to get you to pay money for a problem that doesn’t exist.   If you receive something like this, contact me before taking any other action.

TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE SCAM

Because applicant phone numbers are usually included in trademark applications, some scammers have been able to retrieve that information, and call the applicant.  Typically, they will say that they’re from some official sounding (but nonexistent) agency like “Trademark Application Assistance Unit”.  The scam usually involves a dire warning that payment of some additional deposit or fee is required in order to finalize the application.

Again, please don’t fall for this.  The USPTO will never contact you this way.  Especially to collect money.  

As your full-service trademark lawyer, It's my job to represent you and handle all communications with the government regarding your trademark application.  It’s my policy to forward any official communications I receive, so you'll never be blindsided by things and so we can discuss next steps, etc.  

Should you receive any third-party communication concerning your trademarks, please let me know, so we can evaluate, verify, and address any real issues that exist.  

And, if you receive a scam communication, please do forward it or call me, so  I can  alert the appropriate authorities. 

Need help selecting and registering a brand for your business?  Let’s set up a call

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