Trademark Alert – Telephone Scam
At the close of 2023, we learned of a new scam targeting individuals/companies who have filed a U.S. Application for Federal Trademark Registration.
The scam involves a phone call from a person who claims to be a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) official. The displayed CallerID information appears to be a legitimate USPTO phone number (one reported phone number is 1.571.272.4000). The individual on the line may recite some details of your filed trademark application, and then indicate that you must pay a fee to use the “TM” symbol (in some instances, the individual may indicate that the payment will cover a specified time period, after which you will need to pay a second fee). The individual then asks for credit card and other sensitive financial information.
· If an attorney filed your trademark application for you, the USPTO will not call you directly. Any official communication will be conducted with the law firm of record.
· There is no fee to use the “TM” symbol. Ever.
· There is no fee for the USPTO to publish your trademark. Ever.
· USPTO fees are paid through a secure web portal by your attorney of record. If any fees are due, your attorney would advise you, and the fees would not be paid over the phone.
What should you do?
If you receive any communication from a third party regarding your trademark application, do not provide them with your personal information or credit card/bank information. Rather, contact your trademark attorney right away so that they can verify the authenticity of the communication. Resolute Legal routinely provides this service to our clients as a client courtesy (no charge). Unfortunately, unscrupulous actors are everywhere, and we do not believe that our clients should pay to have us protect their trademark rights and privacy against this nefarious activity.
Resolute Legal has an interest in tracking this fraudulent activity, so if you receive a phone call or email from a third party, please provide that information to us. We are in the process of reporting this to the USPTO, so that we can work to protect private information for all trademark owners.
Please contact us if you have questions or would like to discuss this topic in more detail.
Legal Disclaimer- the information provided herein is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney / client relationship. Although effort has been made to ensure that the answers are correct, Resolute Legal PLLC and the associated author(s) cannot and do not offer any warranty, whether express or implied, that the answers contained are accurate statements of law. This document is provided for informational purposes only. You should not not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney outside the context of this article.