How to avoid unnecessary payments to scam artists.
You receive an official-looking trademark notice requiring you to pay a "fee." It may look like it is from a government agency or from a company with an official-looking name. It probably has information about a trademark application or registration you own. It may look like it is a numbered communication that is being tracked.
The solicitation may indicate that the payment is for trademark monitoring services, "registration" with a private registry, recordation with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or renewal of the trademark registration.
However, the notice most likely is a scam unless it is from your own attorney, or the United States Patent and Trademark Office from its domain "@uspto.gov," or an official agency in another country such as the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland from its domain "@wipo.int."
If you are not sure whether or not such a notice is bona fide, you should check with your attorney before making any payment.
If you receive a notice from China that someone is going to register a domain name incorporating your trademark, this is likely another form of scam We wrote about this in our Blog post of December 16, 2014.
You may report a deceptive solicitation to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, The FTC may consider taking action if a particular company is committing widespread unfair business practices.
For further information about trademark maintenance, please contact William M. Borchard.
This ON MY MIND™ Blog post © 2015 by Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C., New York, NY.
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