To combat misleading solicitations and trademark filing scams, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently applied for federal registration of the USPTO trademark and logo design. Third party scams have become a growing problem over the years for the USPTO, as well as for our clients and consumers. It not uncommon for trademark owners to receive unsolicited notices by mail or email from an agency claiming to be the USPTO and attempting to get the owner to pay a fee for services not needed or to pay inflated fees to maintain their trademark registration.
In an ongoing effort to address the problem, the USPTO, through the Department of Commerce, recently filed four applications for the marks “USPTO” and “United States Patent and Trademark Office” with the USPTO. The USPTO acknowledged the irony of filing for trademark protection with itself and clarified in a statement that “the USPTO trademark examining attorney will examine the application as he or she does any application, and make his or her own determination.”
In response to the obvious question of why the USPTO didn’t federally register the marks years ago, the USPTO’s response was simply, “we realized we require the additional legal protections afforded the owner of a federally registered trademark in light of the rapid increase in sophistication of those unlawfully passing themselves off as the USPTO. We firmly believe that it’s never too late to do the right thing, and doing everything within our power to protect our trademark customers is the right thing.”
To see the full statement by the USPTO click here.
To read the USPTO’s Scam Alert webpage, including what to do if you receive a suspicious notice, click here.
If you are a trademark client of Lutzker & Lutzker, rest assured that all official and legitimate correspondence with the USPTO concerning your marks comes directly to us. If you receive a letter or email from a third party concerning your trademarks, it is likely a scam solicitation. However, please forward to it us at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm. We are always available to review and confirm any questionable correspondence.