If you think you might have received a trademark scam letter or
solicitation, here are some tips:

  • Do not pay it.
  • Search the internet for information about the material you
    received. Use particular language or addresses from the material
    and place it in quotations (“ ”) to make the search more direct.
  • Contact an attorney if you have any questions.
  • Contact the USPTO if you do not have an attorney. The USPTO
    Trademark Assistance Center can be reached at 800-786-9199 or
    via email at TrademarkAssistanceCenter@uspto.gov.
  • Read the fine print. I know, the fine print is often quite difficult to
    read (intentionally), but it usually makes it clear that the letter is
    not from the government and it describes what the costs or
    invoice allegedly cover.
  • Be wary of requests to wire money to any bank, particularly a
    foreign one. Any such request should raise significant red flags.
    Try contacting the company that sent the letter via email or
    phone or online. Do they respond?
  • Don’t pay for trademark directory listings. No one uses them!
  • Check the list of “Non-USPTO Solicitations That May Resemble
    Official USPTO Communications” provided by the USPTO.
    (https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/cautionmisleading-notices)
  • Check the list of unofficial solicitations compiled by the World
    Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
    (http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/warning/pct_warning.html)
  • Remember that if the correspondence did not come from the
    USPTO in Alexandria, VA, or from uspto.gov, then it is not official
    nor from the government.

Bonus tip:

  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via
    www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.


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