Scam Alert: Trademark Trickery

by Kristen Duffeler

We all know that scams are unfortunately rampant in our online lives, and we have recently been made aware of a new example.  If you have recently made a trademark filing, whether through Way Law or otherwise, you may receive a call purporting to be from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

The scammer will represent him or herself as an official representative of the USPTO before asking to verify certain information.  This information will likely be correct, adding to the seeming authenticity of the caller. But the information is entirely publicly available and included in your public filing –phone numbers, business addresses, etc.  The caller will then state that there was an issue with the filing fee, and that your filing cannot proceed until an additional payment is received. Of course, they will then encourage you to make by credit card.

All USPTO actions are available on the USPTO website, including any “office actions” – that is, letters regarding issues with your filings.  We strongly encourage you to not provide any type of information to such a caller until the issue can be verified through the USPTO filing system!

If you have been contacted by someone claiming to represent the USPTO, or have other trademark questions, feel free to give the Way Law team a shout.