It has taken more than a year and you have gone through all the hoops to get your trademark registered.  You receive a notice from an official-sounding entity requesting an additional fee, such as a “Publication Fee” to publish your trademark on a trademark register such as an “International Trademark Register” or “World Trademark Register”.  Since the notice looks like an official government notice, you may think that the listed fees must actually be paid in order to complete the trademark registration process.  However, the offer is likely a misleading or fraudulent offer from a private company.  These companies often simply list your trademark on an unofficial private website in exchange for a fee.  This type of publication typically has little or no commercial or legal value.

Here are some examples of such misleading or fraudulent letters:

If a U.S. attorney assisted you in registering your mark, you will not receive this kind of solicitation from them and, as a general matter, you should only receive official communications from them.

If you filed a trademark application yourself, all official USPTO correspondence about your trademark application or registration currently should come from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” in Alexandria, Virginia, and all emails should come from the domain “”

Don’t be deceived by company names that sound like government agencies or offers that reference your trademark information or sections of the U.S. Code. Some company names may include terms such as “United States,” “U.S.,” “Trademark,” “Patent,” “Registration,” “Office,” or “Agency.” For example, the operators of a private company—the “Trademark Compliance Center”—were recently convicted of money laundering in a trademark renewal scam, and the operator of two entities sending out misleading solicitations under the names “Patent and Trademark Office” and “Patent and Trademark Bureau” pled guilty to four counts of federal mail fraud.

If you receive any official-looking correspondence and are in doubt as to whether the correspondence is legitimate, we recommend contacting a licensed trademark or patent attorney to confirm whether the correspondence is legitimate. If you are not working with a licensed IP attorney, we would recommend checking the U.S. Trademark Office’s online system to see if they have sent any official correspondence that matches the correspondence that you received. This can be done using the following link:

And always err on the side of caution.

#trademarks #trademarkscams #brientiplaw #atlantapatentattorney

Traps for the Unwary Trademark Owner (Part Two) – Spoof Trademark Calls

Scammers have become increasingly sophisticated.  They have even educated themselves on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s filing system so that they can authoritatively call trademark customers and falsely claim to be from the USPTO calling about an issue with an...

Protecting Your Investment: The Basics of Trademark Enforcement

Protecting Your Investment: The Basics of Trademark Enforcement You’ve invested in your trademarks. You’ve got the registrations. You’re using the ®. You’re continuing to put the time, energy, and money into building your brand. What else should you be doing?...

U.S. Patent Office Considering Track III Pilot Program

The U.S. Patent office is considering conducting a "Track III" pilot program, which would allow "micro entity" applicants to delay the payment of search and examination fees under certain conditions. This would allow these small entities with limited patent filings to...

Stay Ahead of the Game: Why Trademark Watch Services Are Crucial

As a business owner, you understand the significance of protecting your trademarks by registering them. But monitoring your trademarks is just as important as registering them. A crucial aspect of that is using a trademark watch or monitoring service. What is a...

Should We Patent Our Technology?

A common question that is encountered by many companies is whether to seek a patent on their technology. This is especially true of young (e.g., startup) and midsize companies that are essentially building a business around a particular technology that they have...

Recommended Procedures for Setting Up a Corporate Patent Program

Below are some recommended procedures to help corporate entities identify and protect new, potentially patentable inventions.

1. Make sure that your employees are under an obligation to assign, to your company, their rights in any inventions that they develop in the course of their work. Otherwise, it may be difficult for your company to obtain ownership rights in those inventions…

Strategies for Seeking Expedited Handling of Patent Applications

Many of our clients – especially early stage startup companies – have a need to protect their new technology very quickly. Fortunately, the U.S. Patent Office and many other patent offices have implemented relatively new, very effective mechanisms for the speedy examination of patent applications.

In the U.S., for example, for an additional patent office…