Today is apparently something called “World Anti-Counterfeiting Day”. This day is used – by big companies no doubt, to call attention to the harm that fakes cause, and how prevalent they are. Fakes are a problem and one that is worthy of efforts to stop. Big brands – that make many millions of dollars – rightfully want to reduce the amounts of fakes.
The USPTO something this cause with something called #GoForReal and “Dupe Detector” kit of resources about avoiding copies. None of them include warnings about those mimicking the USPTO itself. See https://www.ncpc.org/goforrealtoolkit/dupe-detector-kit/
For the USPTO to celebrate this day and lend its weight and support to it – while multiple scammers continue their operations of many years to “counterfeit” the USPTO itself and scam trademark owners with their mailings using information from the public records – is quite off-putting when the USPTO could be putting more time and energy into collaborating with law enforcement to go after the scammers. At a minimum, their anti-counterfeiting resources should remind consumers and trademark owners about the scammers mimicking the USPTO.
A counterfeit is defined as “a fraudulent imitation of something else” – and the trademark scammers or fraudulently imitating the very agency that is supposed to help brand owners protect their trademarks. Of course, this is cruel and ironic. Of course, the scammers are the real nefarious ones and shoulder the real blame; but the USPTO must do more. These scams are not being treated with enough attention by the USPTO and the authorities because very little has been done to stop them in the last 10 years. The one scammer who went to jail in recent years, was involved in several scam companies that are still operating. And other companies haven’t been stopped either.
These scammers impact:
- those who are duped
- those who receive the letter and have to spend time researching them
- the lawyers who have to take time to urgently respond to client inquiries before the client gets duped
- the USPTO staff who has to respond to inquiries
- the overall trust in the USPTO trademark system
- the bank accounts of those who are scammed
- and more
Counterfeiting is a problem. As a trademark scammers. They both manipulate brands for vast profit.
The USPTO needs a new taskforce to address the scammers, study their impact, and a detailed – and public – plan to address and stop them.