Watch out for Trademark Scams
Don’t be fooled by the TPP trademark scam. If you have received a notice from TPP (Trademark and Patent Publications) odds are you have recently filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). When you file a U.S. trademark application your information, including the owner’s mailing address, becomes public on a U.S. database. TPP takes this information and mails you a notice that you should send them money. Please don’t. We’ll explain why.
Trademark Scams Red Flagged by USPTO
There are many scams trying to confuse U.S. trademark applicants into thinking that they owe the USPTO money to continue processing their application. When in reality none of these companies are part of the USPTO. Unfortunately, some people get confused and send these scamming companies thousands of dollars.
The USPTO has set up a page dedicated to these scamming companies. The following companies have been red-flagged by the USPTO as potential scams (in alphabetical order):
- Brand Registration Office (Trademark Selection Edition) (Washington, DC)
- GBO, Inc., Trademark and Patent Dep. (Miami, FL)
- GLOPAT Global Patents & Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic)
- GLOTRADE (New York, NY)
- Intellectual Property Agency Ltd. (London, U.K.)
- Intellectual Property Services USA Incorporated (Alexandria, VA)
- IOPR – Intellectual Office Property Register (Beaverton, OR)
- IPTI – International Patent & Trademark Index (Czech Republic)
- IPTO International Patent & Trademark Organization (Brno, Czech Republic)
- P.T.M.A. Patent and Trademark Association (New York, NY)
- Patent & Trademark Agency (New York, NY)
- Patent & Trademark Bureau (Philadelphia, PA) NEW
- Patent & Trademark Office (299 Park Ave., New York, NY)
- Patent & Trademark Office (555 Madison Ave., New York, NY)
- Patent and Trademark Office (2200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., 4th Floor East, Wash., D.C.)
- Patent & Trademark Resource Center (Seattle & Woodinville, WA)
- Patent and Trademark Organization (New York, NY)
- Patent Trademark Register Register of International Patents and Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic)
- PTMI – Register of Protected Patents and Trademarks (Staten Island, NY)
- Registration of International Trademark WDTP (Praha, Czech Republic)
- RPT Servis – Registration of the International Trademark (Czech Republic)
- TM Collection (Szombathely, Hungary) TM Edition (2012 version) (Szentendre, Hungary)
- TM Edition (2015 version) (Szentendre, Hungary)
- TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Minneapolis, MN)
- TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Pearland, TX)
- TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Washington, DC)
- TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Wilmington, DE)
- TPP – Trademark & Patent Publications (Poland)
- Trademark and Patent Office (Los Angeles, CA)
- Trademark Compliance Center (version 1) (Alexandria, VA)
- Trademark Compliance Center (version 2) (Alexandria, VA)
- Trademark Compliance Center (Washington, DC)
- Trademark Compliance Office (Arlington, VA)
- Trademark Office Ltd. (New York, NY)
- Trademark Registration and Monitoring Office (Intellectual Property Rights Recordation Alert) (Los Angeles, CA)
- Trademark Registration and Monitoring Office (Past Due Notice) (Los Angeles, CA)
- Trademark Renewal Service (New York, NY)
- Trademark Renewal Service (Washington, DC)
- Trademark Safeguard – Trademark Monitoring Service (New York, NY)
- U.S. Trademark Compliance Office (Wilmington, DE)
- U.S. Trademark Compliance Service (Phoenix, AZ)
- United States Trademark Maintenance Service (version 1) (Arizona)
- United States Trademark Maintenance Service (version 2) (Arizona)
- United States Trademark Registration Office (Los Angeles, CA)
- USTM Information Services (Idaho Falls, ID)
- WDTP Registration of International Trademark (Praha, Czech Rep.) (v.1)
- WDTP Registration of International Trademark (Praha, Czech Rep.) (v.2)
- WIPT World Patents Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic)
- World Organization for Trademarks (WOTRA) (Hungary) (NEW)
- WPAT World Patents Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic) (version 1)
- WPAT World Patents Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic) (version 2)
- WPTR (Czech Republic)
- WTMR World Trademark Register (Washington, D.C.) (version 1)
- WTMR World Trademark Register (Washington, D.C.) (version 2)
- WTP Trademark Publication (Miami, FL)
- WTR World Trademark Register (Poland)
If you receive a bill from the above companies, please do not pay it.
Your U.S. Trademark Information is Public
Whenever you file a U.S. trademark, even when you use an attorney, the information becomes public. The USPTO warns of this publication on their website. Specifically, the USPTO warns:
You may receive unsolicited communications from companies requesting fees for trademark-related services, such as monitoring and document filing. Although solicitations from these companies frequently display customer-specific information, including USPTO serial number or registration number and owner name, companies that offer these services are not affiliated or associated with the USPTO or any other federal agency.
In addition, the USPTO provides information stating that your personal information will become public. The information that becomes public will include the following:
- Your name;
- Any addresses on file;
- The phone numbers you provide;
- The email addresses that you provide to the USPTO.
Be considerate of this when filing, but most importantly don’t be confused by the documentation you will receive.
Hiring a Trademark Attorney to Hide my Information
Even if you hire a trademark attorney, your personal information still becomes public. The attorney will need to submit your information to the USPTO database as the “owner” information. Even though your attorney will become the official correspondent of record, these companies will still send notifications to the listed owner.
- Even when hiring an attorney your information will still become public.
- Using an attorney as correspondent will not prevent these trademark scams from being mailed to you directly.
While the USPTO cannot prevent these trademark scams from happening, if you have an attorney, they can advise you whether the information you received was official USPTO documentation or is in fact a scam. Please see the recommendation from the USPTO to seek the advice of counsel before, during, and after filing a U.S. trademark application.