Common Trademark Scams and How to Avoid Them

Our law firm files lots of trademark applications, so we frequently receive questions from confused clients about official-looking notices and invoices they receive in the mail.  Trademark applications are available for viewing in a public database, and therefore it is easy for third parties to obtain lots of information about trademark applicants.  Information that is readily available includes the applicant’s legal name and mailing address.

Unfortunately, the ease with which a nefarious third party can harvest trademark applicants’ contact information has led to some undesirable consequences.  After filing, trademark applicants routinely receive correspondence in the mail that appears to be an invoice from an official government agency.  Here’s an example of such an invoice:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is aware of these predatory practices and has devoted a section of its website to educating the public about them.  To learn more about these misleading notices and how to detect them, visit https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/caution-misleading-notices

At our law firm, we almost always are listed as the attorney of record and point of contact for our clients’ trademark applications.  There are several benefits to this practice, one of which is that our clients know all legitimate correspondence relating to their trademarks and trademark applications will come from our law firm.  If you receive a trademark-related offer or notice that you believe is misleading, we recommend that you (a) file a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and/or (b) throw it in the trash.