Beware of Non-Government Affiliated Trademark Solicitations!

 

blog4Please be aware that private companies that are not associated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) are using trademark applications and registration information from the USPTO’s databases to issue trademark-related solicitations. These solicitations may include offers for legal services, for trademark monitoring services, record trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and even to “register” trademarks in the company’s own private registry.

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Some applicants have reported paying fees to these companies, mistakenly under the assumption that they were paying mandatory fees to the USPTO.  If you receive documents that appear to be from an official government agency, please be sure to read the fine print. If an address is provided, always perform a search to verify that the location is legitimate. Sometimes these companies will provide an address for a vacant building or office space. Usually, an 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.”

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Unfortunately, if you have already submitted any payment to these companies for services offered, the USPTO is unable to provide a refund. The USPTO encourages you to file an on-line consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), at www.FTC.gov. If you receive one of these solicitations and you’re unsure of its legitimacy, or if you are interested in filing for a new trademark, we can help! Contact us today so that our legal professionals can discuss your options.

The Difference Between a Trademark and Registered Mark

Intellectual property is defined as creative work that comes to life. A registered trademark and trademark both protect intellectual property; however they protect the mark in different ways.

If you are trademarking you are most likely trademarking a logo, symbol, or name. Anything that is associated with your product or services can be trademarked.  Some things however cannot be trademarked, like common names.

Essentially, the difference between a registered trademark, designated by the symbol ®, and a trademark, designated by ™, is the word “registered.” The main difference is that a registered trademark has been officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or its foreign equivalent. A trademark (™) may be in the process of becoming registered with the USPTO, or it may never be officially registered at all. The main advantage to registered trademarks is that it is a nationwide recognition that the symbol, or name that you’re using is yours.

If you are interested in protecting your logo, symbol, name or trade name, contact a Florida Trademark & Copyright Attorney who can help protect your intellectual property rights. Gulati Law has successfully obtained numerous positive approvals for clients, including responding to any office actions that came along in the process.

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Gulati Law