This is so scammy! The top of the page in bold states “REGISTER OF PROTECTED PATENTS & TRADEMARKS.” Yes the fine print notes that it is for publication in the worthless “PTMI Database.” This private database has not legal or practical value. The cost of $765 is outrageous – because the value is worth $0.

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

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.

At last week’s TPAC meeting, the Commissioner for Trademarks indicated that the USPTO is loading the Dept. of Justice two attorneys to work on the issues with the fraudulent solicitations targeting trademark owners. But perhaps more can be done? Shouldn’t the FTC, Dept. of Commerce, SBA, and more be cracking down?

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

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45 thoughts on “Beware of scam from PTMI (Patent and Trademark Institute)

  1. The company I work for has gotten a couple of these in the mail this month. The invoices are well-formatted and professional looking. The invoice draws your eyes to the alarming information (making you think your trademarks are at risk) and buries the truth in fine print. I consider myself fairly world-wise to scams and it still made me hesitate and double-check things. Further web research suggests that this PTMI organization is a Russian operation running out of Ukraine. This is definitely a savvy scam.

    • We just received one today, we were looking into paying it, fortunately I googled PTMI and the first thing that popped up was this article. Thank you!!!

    • Thank you for the information. I received the invoice in the mail today. Read the fine print, which didn’t hold out the exact value that the services were being invoiced for. Fortunately came across your website and comments before anything further came of it.

    • I received 3 of these, each wanting $765 for payment. I went to finance dept to see how to handle for payment. I was told after some research this is a scam. What I don’t understand is why are the people not being held responsible and brought up on charges? Glad I didn’t send them anything.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. I was going to email to see when the renewal was due. It was not clear on the letter. Your post came up and we received exactly the same letter. You saved our business $815.00. Thank you very much!

  3. To those of you who replied, thank you for letting our organization know it’s a scam. Just got a letter in the mail this evening from PTMI stating the balance due is $765.

  4. We recently fell victim to this scam, but with a little due diligence and threat of litigation they sent us a certified check for the full amount. The return address on the envelope read;
    96 Linwood Plaza #440
    Fort Lee, NJ 07024

    Which is actually a UPS store..

  5. I received one of those letters today, but knowing the Canadian Government, this looked scammy right away. The Government never asks you for money like that. I have to admit though, I did get an initial shock that lasted about 30 seconds followed by anger.

    To Erik M Pelton, thank you for sharing this scam and thanks to all for confirming here!

  6. I received one of these as well. Toronto. I knew it was a scam right away. Only the CIPO or US Patent Office would contact anyone regarding a patent anyways. Good to everyone who spots these. As I recall there was a similar one a few years ago too.

  7. Thank hou for this post. I wasn’t sure what this bill is about, but after googling PTMI came across this informations, this saves me time and money.

  8. Wow! So glad to find this information before I paid up. As business owners, we face scammy patent law suits that have cost us real money and now, also, fake billing statements too. Thank you for this post.

  9. Thanks for the heads up. This deceptive scam needs shutting down, you instantly assume your trade mark is expiring. FYI. Your registered trade mark should be good for 15 years from the date of the final registration.

    I’ve reported this scam and so should everyone else who receives this worthless piece of junk in the mail.

  10. Thank you very much, I received one of these for our not-for-profit and nationally registered charity which we’ve trademarked a title for our ski swap and ski show. It looked very fishy to me but I googled the Canadian trademark office about these scams and then I was also drawn to your excellent post on the Internet. Thank you so much

  11. We have been receiving these for a while from PTMI with a different return address. I have been sending them back, postage due so that they know we are aware that this is a scam. I would suggest everyone do the same thing and maybe these will stop.

  12. Looks like this scam is still ongoing since I just received one today! It didn’t pass the sniff test so I researched it and found this site, thank you for the warnings!

  13. February 20, 2019
    Still an ongoing scam, received one in the mail this week. Thankfully found your post before moving forward with payment.

  14. Just received one for the amount of $815.00:
    Right away I noticed that it is a scam.
    It is very nice to share those information with you and other
    Thank you again for this post

  15. Just received this scam letter today. In fact, I’ve received many of these from different scammers in the USA. My trademark legal team just advises to toss them in the trash where they belong.

  16. We have received the same letter last week, asking for 815$ with a return address to a UPS Store in Mississauga. We just dismissed it, but aren’t they using our registered trademark in a commercial operation with this letter? Maybe we should bill them. 😉

  17. Thank you so much for the information. I knew it was faked because there was no requirement to do this when I filed with my attorney. I pray that the FTC will put this .org out of business!!!

  18. We received a letter from PTMI last week. It did not indicate the due date of the payment and neither the renewal start date or end date, just “up to 2022”! When I tried to phone, there was a robot like recording asking if we had any qustions to send an email to them at I felt something was not right and when I googled, came across this blog. Thank you

  19. I keep getting these letters from them and it makes me so angry. I finally went to ship your enemies glitter and bought a penis glitter bomb and sent it to them. I hate them … and I hope no poor elderly person falls victim to them and their crimes

  20. Got one of these letters today. Right away it seems fishy as only CIPO contacts about trademarks in Canada and my fees have been paid in full for years. $865 for what? Also no specific dates or for what this is for except “up until 2022” Total scam!!

  21. Pingback: Top Trademark Trends of 2018 | Erik M Pelton & Associates, PLLCErik M Pelton & Associates, PLLC

  22. Got this letter about 5 months ago and had it set aside to pay since they said I had until 2021 to pay. I have several that would have put me $3,000 +
    Thank you so much for posting this information!!

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