If WTP sent you mail about publication in a trademark directly (see image below), beware. Trash it. It is a scam. The cost of the scam has changed over the years, but the essence of this trick is the same. For $ 1420.00, WTP offers publication in its “directory,” which has no real value. And their form, sent to recent trademark applicants, looks official.
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.
If you think you might have received a trademark scam letter or
solicitation, here are some tips:
- Search the internet for information about the material you
received. Use particular language or addresses from the material
and place it in quotations (“ ”) to make the search more direct.
- Contact an attorney if you have any questions.
- Contact the USPTO if you do not have an attorney. The USPTO
Trademark Assistance Center can be reached at 800-786-9199 or
via email at TrademarkAssistanceCenter@uspto.gov.
- Read the fine print. I know, the fine print is often quite difficult to
read (intentionally), but it usually makes it clear that the letter is
not from the government and it describes what the costs or
invoice allegedly cover.
- Be wary of requests to wire money to any bank, particularly a
foreign one. Any such request should raise significant red flags.
Try contacting the company that sent the letter via email or
phone or online. Do they respond?
- Don’t pay for trademark directory listings. No one uses them!
- Check the list of “Non-USPTO Solicitations That May Resemble
Official USPTO Communications” provided by the USPTO.
Check the list of unofficial solicitations compiled by the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Beware of such scams. Read the fine print. Contact your attorney. Report scams to the FTC and USPTO.
For more on such scams, see:
- World Trademark Review: Call for USPTO to “pound its fist more loudly” in efforts to tackle trademark solicitation scams
For about the various scams targeting trademark owners, see