Don't Fall for the Latest Trademark Registration Scam

07 October 2011 Publication
Authors: Lisa Hemphill

Periodically, the owners of trademark registrations will be bombarded with solicitations to register their rights or have their registrations listed in a journal. Typically these solicitations look like official communications from a legitimate patent and trademark office and require a fee for the listing. These listings have no other value than to provide the owner with information that is usually public record and may easily be obtained from the official patent and trademark office.

Recently, another fraudulent solicitation hit the mailboxes. A client recently received an invitation to update a listing in a European Trade Register. While the invitation states that the update will be free of charge, the small print at the bottom of the form states that by signing, the registration owner agrees to a subscription with the "service provider" for three years at 990 EUR (or 1,300 USD) a year. The jurisdiction of the service provider is in the Netherlands.

A communication such as the one described above is a scam, but some of these documents look very official. If you should receive such correspondence, please do not respond, and do not send any money. Please keep in mind that a trademark office would never contact you directly to list your registrations in a registry, nor would they solicit you to sign up for a subscription to anything.

If you have any questions or doubts regarding any communications you receive pertaining to your trademark registrations, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa R. Hemphill (lhemphill@gardere.com or 214.999.4682) or anyone in Gardere's Intellectual Property Practice Group to review such notices.

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