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More trademark scams

Posted by admin on: November 4th, 2010

I recently completed another trademark registration of my own.  SMAR(TM)MARK® is the name of our firm’s newsletter, and now that name is a registered trademark. Just a few days after I received the trademark registration certificate from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (pictured in slideshow below), I received several “offers” to “register” the trademark with other entities at outrageous costs.

What are these entities?

  • The “Register of International Patents and Trademarks” is in the Slovak Republic and charges USD 2,2663.50 for registration. For convenience, they provide their bank routing information.
    • In the fine print, one learns that this is a private directory. In other words, it has no legal value and is worthless!
    • Payment is requested within 10 days!
    • On the back, the fine print advises that the fee is annual one and that this is a solicitation and that RIPT is “not affiliated with USPTO”
  • The offer from Patent Trademark Register is strikingly similar to the first one.  The cost is 2,692.50. And the fine prints notes that they “offer the registration of your Patent dates in our private Database.” Not even a mention of what they plan to do with my trademark after the money is sent “within 8 days by wire transfer or cheque!”
    • The fine print on the back states that their “Directory” is published every 3 months on the Internet and on CD-Rom and that the fee covers one year.
  • The World Intellectual Property Database “Registration of the International Trademark” also requests payment in 8 days y wire transfer or cheque!
    • This entity might be the most concerning because their logo is quite similar to the legitimate World Intellectual Property Organization logo:
World Intellectual Property Organization (legitimate)

World Intellectual Property Database (scam) logo

  • media:net:com offers registration on their “Register of Protected Trademarks” for only $1,117.00 for three yeras.  It claims that trademarks in their “Trademark Internet Services” enjoy “worldwide the recognition of your trademark.”  I doubt this, since no attorney I know has ever consulted the media:net:com database for any reason, and I am not aware on any professional trademark or decision from any court or the USPTO that has ever referenced the media:net:com database.
    • The fine print acknowledges that their database only contains the trademarks of those who have paid for it and that their “registration is no substitute for official registration” of the trademark.

[slideshow]

I am not aware of a single legitimate business or legal reason to use any of these services. They are nothing short of scams.

For information from the USPTO regarding these scams, see here. For my prior post discussing these and other scams, including .cn domain names scams, see here.

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