Scams preying on trademark owners are proliferating even more in 2018. This means:

  • Some must unwittingly fall for them.The mailings aren’t cheap, so if they weren’t profitable they wouldn’t be so common.
  • The measures taken by USPTO and other agencies to combat them are not doing enough to stem the tide. Serious investigations and prosecutions are warranted. While I am glad the USPTO provides warnings and there have been a few prosecutions, the measures taken to date are not effective enough. The list provided by the USPTO is not updated frequently enough.

The IRPS offering is for a publication in a directory of no legitimate value. It uses intentionally misleading language, such as “Provider shall grant the registration in the registration catalogue…”  IPRS has no authority to grant anything official. The top of the offer states “Registration of the international Trademark” – yet their alleged ‘service’ is no such thing. This is outright fraud (definition – “ intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right”). The U.S. Customs and Border Protection database for recording trademark registrations for customs protection is called also known as the IPRS (Intellectual Property Rights Search), another reason this bogus offering is misleading to trademark holders.

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.

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

 


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