Posts Tagged ‘scams’

Beware of trademark scam from TM-DB

Posted by ipelton on: October 28th, 2015

The list of scams soliciting business from trademark holders in the US continues to grow. The latest one that I received (as a trademark owner) was from “TM-DB”. It is for a directory listing that is worthless. And the cost is $980 for 2 years. A picture of the offer that I received is below. I wonder how many people have been duped?

If you have been taken by this scam, I suggest that you file a complaint with the FTC, write a letter to the USPTO Commissioner, and contact law enforcement.


For more information about dealing with these scams, see:


Trademark scam operator indicted

Posted by ipelton on: October 13th, 2015

According to a Justice Department press release, there was finally a criminal case brought against a trademark scam operator last weekend: California Man Charged in Mass Mailing Scam Aimed at Holders of U.S. Trademarks.

The individual was apparently behind the Trademark Compliance Center (TCC) (aka Trademark Compliance Office (TCO)) and never provided the customs registration services that he promised to customers.

The individual was charged with 12 counts of mail fraud and 4 counts of aggravated identity theft.

This is an interesting development in the effort to combat trademark scams. A client of ours just emailed me last week inquiring about a solicitation received in the mail from a U.S. Trademark Compliance Office.

Perhaps this action by the government will be enough to scare other sc
am operators, but I doubt it. We will need a more concerted effort to get rid of them.

Last year, I posted about solicitations from the “Trademark Compliance Center.” Using the same form, but a difference address, our clients are now receiving solicitations from the “U.S. Trademark Compliance Office. NOTE THAT THE “U.S. TRADEMARK COMPLIANCE OFFICE” IS NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE U.S.P.T.O. (United States Patent and Trademark Office).

The name itself is concerning. I have no idea whether the services provided by this company are commensurate with their charges. Registration with US Customs is quite valuable, as I have written several times. (See:  But this solicitation came to a client that provides services, which cannot be imported through Customs and therefore can in no way benefit from CBP recordation.

What concerns me about the “U.S. Trademark Compliance Office” is that they are contacting applicant’s represented by counsel and (A) possibly offering to provide a legal service,  (B) resembling official government correspondence, and (C) using a name that sounds like an official government agency. Their service claims to be “annual” and to renew, but I’m not sure why or how. In other words, this service may be a scam. The USPTO even warns applicants about the U.S. Trademark Compliance Office on its WARNING: Non-USPTO Solicitations That May Resemble Official USPTO Communications page. They even sent this letter to a client that provides services, which cannot be imported through Customs and therefore can in no way benefit from CPB recordation.

US TRADEMARK COMPLIANCE OFFICE CCF10062015_00000_redacted_001

On the heels of my post last week about how New trademark scams continue to proliferate, I decided to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding a solicitation I received for one of the trademark registrations I own. I submitted a complaint online via regarding Patent&Trademark Bureau.

I specifically noted that the services were unclear (are they legal?), the price was unfair, and the correspondence resembles government communication. I provided a link (there was no way to add an attachment) to the Patent&Trademark Bureau sample solicitation from the USPTO’s website.

I expected that someone would review my complaint. Perhaps they would investigate further, team up with the USPTO, or respond in detail to my request. I certainly did not expect what happened next. One day later, I received the following response via email:

Thank you for contacting the Federal Trade Commission. We have reviewed your complaint and have determined that the following information may assist you.
Government Imposter Scams –

That’s it? Case closed? This is the totality of the Federal Trade Commission’s response to a specific complaint? The link is to a web page about “Government Imposter Scams” and tips how to avoid them. The link contains ZERO information about trademark scams. Also, I already know how to avoid government imposter scams, that is why I submitted information to the FTC about a particular one.

When I submitted a single complaint to the FTC, I did not believe that it would solve the trademark scam problem, where thousands (tens of thousands) of trademark owners receive bogus solicitations every week from companies that offer nothing substantive and/or impersonate the government. But I certainly expected a response from the FTC that was more than a mere link to a generic FTC webpage.

New trademark scams continue to proliferate

Posted by ipelton on: October 2nd, 2015

There is seemingly no end to the scams and ridiculous offers that prey on trademark owners. The most recent I received is from “Patent&Trademark Bureau.”  The USPTO has warned about this and several other “new” scams. Until the USPTO and the FTC and the Postal Inpection investigate and crack down and punish and penalize the offenders, I imagine the same scam artists will show up every year with new names and addresses, preying on innocent trademark owners with bogus or over-priced services. Until trademark owners and attorneys protest en masse to these agencies that such a crackdown is necessary, it is unlikely that they will take the initiative and/or find the time and money to handle the problem.

I suggest that anyone affected by this issue write to the USPTO, the FTC, and the Post Office and urge them to move more quickly and more forcibly to bring an end to these scams.

See WARNING: Non-USPTO Solicitations That May Resemble Official USPTO Communications


image courtesy of