Once you file documents like a trademark application, it’s important to know and remember that your contact information from the application is added to a public database — and that makes you and/or your business the potential target of scam artists. This is true whether you file in the United States, Europe, China, or elsewhere.
The scams vary: Some of them use the same tactics as other junk mailers, like using the phrase “time sensitive.” Others send invoices from companies you never did business with, with the fine print disclosing that the fee is for appearing in a registry that nobody has ever heard of, let alone cared about. Still others attempt to put on the airs of government agencies, claiming to be the “American Department of Inventions” (and no such agency exists). Typically they use intimidating language to pressure people into complying first and asking questions later.
NOTE: Any important communications from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) other intellectual property offices are going to come to you through your lawyer. If you’ve done the filings yourself, those communications are going to be coming from the USPTO, or the appropriate filing agency where you submitted for protections.
If you receive any mail from the “Federal Service of Copyrights” or something similarly deceptive, be wary, and contact your lawyer — and don’t make any payments until you do.
Contact me for more information.
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