ALERT: Don’t be Fooled by Bogus Operators Claiming You Need to Take Action on Your Trademarks or Patents

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April 25, 2017

There are a growing number of bogus operators who send misleading communications to patent and trademark owners. These operators often pose as a government agency, or an ostensibly legitimate-looking company. They may use company names that resemble official patent and trademark offices and agencies, like U.S. Trademark Compliance Office, International Register of Patents & Trademarks, and World Intelligent Property Office (WIPO).

One of their primary tactics is to send an official looking communication or “notice” informing you that you must take action (oftentimes pay money) to preserve your rights. The solicitations may refer to upcoming deadlines concerning your registration or application.

The operators use information from public databases to contact legitimate intellectual property owners with “urgent” solicitations for legal services, monitoring services, U.S. Customs trademark recordation services, and registration in the operator’s own private registry. Oftentimes, these services are unnecessary or do not have an immediate deadline. Both the USPTO and WIPO (the legitimate WIPO) have lengthy lists of these fraudulent operators on their websites. A sample solicitation is attached.

Don’t be fooled.

We are your intellectual property attorneys. In general, if you receive an official government notice, you will receive it through us. If you are receiving such types of communications from companies other than Briggs, chances are they are not legitimate. Or, if they are legitimate, we can confirm it for you after a brief review.

If you have received such a notice and have a concern about its legitimacy, please bring it to our attention. Above all, don’t send money without first understanding what the notice is and whether it is legitimate.