Owners of U.S. trademark applications and registrations will often receive unsolicited requests, by mail or email, to pay fees. Some of these requests look quite official and refer to specific trademarks and trademark application or registration numbers. Such requests should be ignored. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office includes, with every new registration certificate, a notice warning trademark owners to beware of such solicitations and ignore them. This notice includes a good summary, as follows:
These [solicitations or notices] may include offers: (1) for legal services [such as renewals]; (2) for trademark monitoring services; (3) to record trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and (4) to “register” trademarks in a private registry.
These companies may use names that resemble the USPTO name, including, for example, one or more of the terms “United States,” “U.S.,” “Trademark,” “Patent,” “Registration,” “Office,” or “Agency.” Some companies attempt to make their solicitations mimic the look of official records. Many refer to other government agencies and sections of the U.S. Code. Most require “fees” to be paid. All official correspondence will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” in Alexandria, VA, and if by e-mail, specifically from the domain “@uspto.gov.”
If you have any doubt as to whether a solicitation is a scam, we urge you to contact your Fross Zelnick attorney before making any payments. Please note also that we provide trademark renewal and maintenance services, we can recommend reputable trademark monitoring or watch services, and we provide the service of recording trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (in order to help that agency seize incoming infringements and counterfeits). Also, the service offered by some scammers to “register” or record trademarks in a private registry is completely useless.