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