Trademark holders should be wary of official-looking communications urging them to take immediate steps to register their trademark or to renew their registration. Such messages are typically scams by for-profit companies intending to create a false sense of urgency and induce recipients to use those companies’ services – often at a considerable cost.
One approach used by these companies is a warning that a third party is eager to register the recipient’s trademark and possibly snatch it away from them unless they move forward with the registration first. The cost for the scam victim, aside from the standard U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registration or renewal fee, are the hefty professional fees charged by the companies that send such solicitations.
Another approach involves early maintenance reminders. Because trademark registrations require infrequent maintenance filings, some trademark holders may not clearly remember the relevant deadlines. This is troubling because the unsolicited communications from the companies are often sent a year or more before the actual maintenance deadline to preempt communications from any law firm that handled the trademark previously.
These types of scams are frequent and can appear quite convincing. Please contact your trademark attorney with any questions concerning your trademark before responding to any such communications.
Additional information about common scams can be found on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website at https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/protect/caution-misleading-notices.