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Beware of “Trademark Renewal Service” in Washington, DC

Posted by ipelton on: June 22nd, 2016

Last week, I received a  trademark solicitation regarding a trademark registration renewal. The company calls itself “Trademark Renewal Service” with an address in Washington, DC. See the image of their mailing that I scanned below.

The document could easily be mistaken as coming from the government – the name, the look and feel of the document, the registration number, and the Washington address.

Their “fee” is $250 “to receive all documentation to renew your trademark…” Yet it is not clear what services they provide? Does receiving all the documentation mean that they are handling the renewal filing? Is the fee for a Section 8 renewal, or 8 and 15? Does the $250 include all the fees? Does the $250 include the government USPTO filing fees? The form asks for a “REPLY NO LATER THAN 6/30/16” yet the Section 8 filing is not due until 7/5/2017.

The form also came with an enclosed slip that makes the fee quote even more confusing.

Do “Trademark Renewal Service” provide legal advice about whether a Section 15 is appropriate, and whether the mark is in use or in use for all the goods and services in the registration, or what the options may be if the mark is not currently in use? Are they attorneys and members of the bar?

If this was a legitimate service at a reasonable value, why would they mask who they are, and why would they choose the odd (generic!) name of “Trademark Renewal Service”? Properly protecting trademarks – and trademark registrations – is more than just filling out a form.

Beware of such scams. Read the fine print. Contact your attorney. Report scams to the FTC and USPTO.

For more information, see USPTO’s WARNING: Non-USPTO Solicitations That May Resemble Official USPTO Communications

0028_160621161735_001_001 0029_160621161756_001_001

Another month, another new trademark scam appears (or re-appears after a hiatus). This one from “Brand Registration Office” features:

  • an office in Washington, DC,
  • a government sounding name,
  • a seal in the top left of the offer,
  • the “Trademark Selection Edition 2016,”
  • a cost of $1,325, and
  • wiring instructions through Germany.

This “publication” has no real value to trademark owners. I have never met a trademark professional who relies on any private directories for anything. They are incomplete and unofficial. They do not add to your trademark’s protection in any meaningful way.

I have published their solicitation below.

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.

Beware of such scams. Read the fine print. Contact your attorney. Report scams to the FTC and USPTO.

It continues to astound me that the USPTO, DOJ, FTC, and others refuse to better investigate and halt these blatant scams targeting trademark owners.

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BRAND REGISTRATION OFFICE scam_001

I have received notice from several clients recently that they were mailed offers from Trademark & Patent Publications. While the offers contain disclaimers, they look like government documents and contain the application serial number. This “publication” has no value (despite the price tag of $1560). I know of no trademark professionals who consult these types of directories and they do not add to the brand owner’s trademark protection.

See WIPO scam warning here: http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/fees/invoices_2015.html

TPP SCAM_001

Yet another scam targeting owners of trademark registrations. This one looks like so many that we have already seen over the last few years. It is from IPTI – International Patent & Trademark Index. For just $2,356 they will register your trademark their database. I have never heard of their database, their database is not complete, and I have never once heard a trademark professional refer to their database as a resource.

Will the USPTO, TPAC, the Department of Justice, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Trademark Commission, the Department of Commerce, or the U.S. Postal Service ever get serious about stopping these scam solicitations and prosecuting the offenders?

WIPO also appears to feature a warning about IPTI, but the USPTO page has no details on them.

IPTI mailing_redacted_001

I recently received a new trademark solicitation regarding a registered trademark that I own, and an offer to publish it in a private database. The company calls itself “Patent & Trademark Association” or “P.T.M.A.” with an address in New York, NY. See the image of their mailing that I scanned below.

I have never heard of this register. Of course! Because all of these private registers are worthless. No trademark profession I have met uses them (assuming they can even be used.) They are scams. And the cost is $755 for 2 years. I wonder how many people have been duped?

Also note that the address listed on their website appears to be a UPS store in New Jersey.

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.

Beware of such scams. Read the fine print. Contact your attorney. Report scams to the FTC and USPTO.

It continues to astound me that the USPTO, DOJ, FTC, and others refuse to better investigate and halt these blatant scams targeting trademark owners.

PTMA mailer_001

For more information, see: