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New Trademark Scam

Over the years many clients have forwarded to us scam trademark mailings. These mailings come from various official-sounding sources, all of which seek money to allegedly take action regarding the client’s trademarks. However, we have learned of a new, bolder scam.  We have multiple reports of clients receiving telephone calls claiming to be from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The caller claims an immediate payment is needed to maintain a trademark filing, when no such payment is in fact needed. The caller is armed with specific data about the filing (which is all public record) and often calls within a day or two of when an application is filed. One caller even spoofed the USPTO telephone number, and pointed their potential victim to that number on the USPTO website in an effort to legitimize their claims.

Should you receive such calls, we recommend asking for the person’s name and number, which we found they typically decline to give. Regardless, do not provide payment or other information to the caller. The USPTO will not call a trademark owner directly, especially if there is a counsel of record. Moreover, the USPTO will not demand payment over the phone (and in fact refuses to receive payment over the phone).

For more information or assistance, contact Jennifer A. Van Kirk or another member of Lewis Roca's Intellectual Property group.

Tags: Intellectual Property, Trademark

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