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Posts Tagged ‘scams’

Last month, the FTC announced a warning, and tips, regarding government imposter scams.  A related FTC webpage features some good information for identifying such scams, and for how to report them.

Unfortunately, the FTC posts don’t reference scams targeting trademark owners based on the USPTO’s public records. These scams, for international registries and other worthless services, request large sums of money be wired to the offering party. And the solicitation is often made to mimic government correspondence.

While the USPTO did go after one such scam operator in the last few years, it is a shame that the USPTO and the FTC have not done more.

If you are interested in the topic, please contact the USPTO and/or the FTC.  You can sign my petition (Request USPTO Investigation and Action Regarding Trademark Scams) here.

image from ftc.gov

 

To my knowledge, the USPTO and FTC have not yet taken any action against scammers in the US preying on trademark applicants and registrants. See for example:

However,  the UK IPO is not sitting idly. They have taken against against at least two of these outfits to protect consumers and punish the entities for “passing off.” According to a report on gov.uk from August 18, 2014,

“Two of the most blatant offenders – ‘Patent and Trademark Office’ and ‘Patent and Trade Mark Organisation’ – and the persons behind these organisations, Mr Aleksandrs Radcuks and Mr Igors Villers, have admitted and settled our claims and agreed to be bound by an Order of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court prohibiting them from further acts of passing off.”

Furthermore, the report indicates that the parties were required to make a substantial payment to cover some of IPO’s legal costs.

I sure hope the USPTO takes note of these actions and successes and considers taking steps to stop these scams and to protect US consumers.

For more reporting on this story, see:

 

Leason Ellis continues fight against trademark scammers

Posted by ipelton on: July 29th, 2014

The good folks from the firm of Leason Ellis have continued litigating against select companies that send solicitations to trademark owners.

From the Leason & Ellis website:  

OUR CASE AGAINST PATENT & TRADEMARK AGENCY MOVES FORWARD

Posted on 10 July 2014

In a decision dated July 2, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a motion to dismiss our claim for false advertising against Patent & Trademark Agency LLC and Armens Oganesjans. Among other things, our complaint alleges that defendants mail confusing “reminder” notices to trademark owners that appear to be government-issued and falsely state that the owners’ trademarks are about to expire. These notices are actually solicitations, which defendants distribute to mislead trademark owners into using defendants’ services. See http://goo.gl/i68JlT for a copy of the decision.

To read more on this matter, including the Memorandum Decision, see:

Leason Ellis LLP

I received yet another scam related to one of the trademark registrations I own. This one comes from IP Data (www.ip-data.biz).

The solicitation makes little if any sense. They actually appear to disclaim any connection other worthless registry services. They appear to be based in the Czech Republic. A copy of their offering is below.

Their offering costs $2,327. Is it worth a single dollar? Has any trademark attorney, judge, or trademark office consulted their “register” for anything?  I doubt it.

BRNF14744_010259_001

BRNF14744_010260_001

 

I first wrote about these solicitations that offer absolutely no value a year and a half ago. According to the comments on my original blog post (see link below), these solicitations continue to be sent by the “International Catalogue of Trademarks.”

I know of not a single trademark attorney who has ever advised his or her clients to submit their trademark(s) to the “International Catalogue of Trademarks.”  I do not know of a single person or business who has ever read the “International Catalogue of Trademarks.”

Instead of spending your hard earned money on a worthless catalog listing, you could invest it in registration another trademark, perhaps a slogan or logo!

May 15, 2012 blog post: Beware of trademark scam from “International Catalogue of Trademarks”