My jaw dropped a few weeks ago when I received the response to our FOIA request from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. They quoted me a $949,284 estimate to retrieve documents regarding trademark scam letters. See full letter below.

Given such an expense, it seems that they must be sitting on a mountain of such documents. If so, how can there have been so few arrests or prosecutions over the years (a handful) while the scammers keep operating and even proliferating and moving into new means of scamming online?

While acknowledging that the USPTO and others are doing some things to combat the scammers, I remain astonished that the USPTO, Department on Commerce, FTC, SBA, USPS, Congress, and others aren’t doing more. Millions of dollars per year are likely be flushed away to these scammers – while trust in the legitimate trademark system and providers erodes, and businesses that were duped have less money to invest in real trademark protection.

If you’ve been scammed, please contact the FTC and the USPTO immediately to provide details.

2021-07-20 USPIS FOIA Response by Erik Pelton

 


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