October 2019

Milestones deserve to be celebrated, and December will officially mark 20 years since I filed my first trademark application for a client. A lot has changed over those two decades, but the firm's core values to provide great service at a fair and flat rate have never wavered. Offices have moved, technology has changed, and brands have moved online and ways that were unforeseeable; yet the registration process remains essentially the same. As a result, we are constantly learning and growing, making our service better and more efficient, and bringing new tools and experiences to help our clients build and protect their brands.

During that time, we have helped clients obtain more than 3,000 USPTO registrations. Here are some fun facts about those registrations (click image for more):

What the USPTO's different trademark filing fees?

The various fees charged by the USPTO for filing can be quite confusing. Listen to this podcast to understand the various options available  and the applicable fees of each. 

Great Trademarks are Everywhere

Brands and trademarks surround us all the time. And great trademarks can be found anywhere. Watch my video for some examples:

Great Trademarks Are Everywhere

October is a Scary Month:
beware of frightening trademark scams

Have you received something in the mail purporting to be about your trademark and offering some sort of listing in an international directory or some other catalog of trademarks?  The odds are what you received is a scam. I receive emails and calls from clients every week asking about these scams, which are always tweaking to try to stay ahead of the authorities. They must be working if they continue to operate because for years they've been sending out this mail with official looking documentation and government sounding names, asking people for money related to their trademarks.

What to be on the lookout for, how to avoid these scams, and how to report them.

Any important correspondence should come from your attorney or directly from the US Patent and Trademark Office. The US Patent and Trademark Office uses the domain name uspto.gov, and their address is in Alexandria, Virginia. If you receive something from a government-sounding office in Washington DC, New York, or Philadelphia, all of which I have seen recently in these scams, you can know right away that that is not official correspondence from the USPTO.

If they are asking for money for some sort of directory or register or equivalent of yellow pages, know that these directories are completely worthless. I've never once in 20 years seen one of these directories in person. I've never once in any conversation with a colleague or anyone from the Patent and Trademark Office ever been asked to look at a directory or refer to one for any official business. They have zero value. And yet they charge hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to participate in this directory listing scam.

Beware of these offers. They use names like Patent and Trademark Institute, Glotrade, International Patent and Trademark Register, World Patent and Trademark Registry. All of these names are not the US Patent and Trademark Office and they are not official.
If you have any questions, contact your attorney. Contact the USPTO. Do a search on the web to try to learn more about it before you send anyone money related to some kind of directory offer. And finally, if you have been taken by one of these scams, I urge you to contact the FTC and the USPTO to notify them, provide them with details, so that hopefully it can help in the crackdown on these scam operators

My recent comments about the proposed increases to the USPTO's trademark filing fees made some news, as I was ask to author a guest commentary on the subject for World Trademark Review:

If there are any topics or issues you would like to see covered here, let us know!

This publication has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of the firm. It is not intended to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter. Under rules applicable to the professional conduct of attorneys in various jurisdictions, it may be considered advertising material.

© 2019 Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC.