What should you do if you get an invoice to publish your trademark in an international catalog of trademarks?
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Today I'm going to talk about the scam that a lot of trademark owners go through.
Because trademark applications are all public record, the names of the companies, the addresses of the companies are all public information. So as soon as you file your trademark application, that information goes online and anybody can see that. And a lot of companies somehow, most of them are in Eastern Europe, take advantage of that and send fraudulent invoices making you think that you are getting a letter from the Trademarks Office that you're required to pay something.
So I get these letters all the time because we file a lot of our own trademarks. And a lot of our clients get these letters as well. So we warn them all the time, don't look at this, you know, just ignore that, but a lot of them still wonder what it is.
Interestingly, I just recently got another one of those, so in all honestly, I have no idea for what trademark it is, so we're gonna do the unboxing of a scam letter. So I have this thing here and let's see what's out there.
So first of all, this is how it looks like. Patents-Trademark Service. WPAT whatever So it goes to me, to Trademark Factory. It came from Budapest, Hungary. Interesting Let's see what that is.
So that's a wonderful letter for one of our newer trademarks. IF IT'S WORTH PROMOTING, IT'S WORTH PROTECTING®. So what they want from me is for me to send them 735 USD and they are mentioning my U.S. trademark application and hear what they say.
The trademark publication provides the name of trademark owners and product names on the Internet. It contains only paid, registered tradenames and designs with their USPTO registration numbers and classes. Your data will be published for a term of one year upon receipt of payment. You will be notified in sufficient time to extend your registration. Publication on the Trademark Database Register ensures the registered party a worldwide publication on the Internet. The publication is an elective service that neither substitutes the registration nor prolongs the validity of the trademarks with USPTO. The corporation doesn't assume any liability either for the accuracy or completeness of the registered information or for trademark protection. Changes will be made free of charge upon receipt of a written request. If the trademark is partially or entirely assigned to another owner, the corporation must be informed in writing. Premature cancellation of publishing must be requested in writing.
So, what they are saying essentially is that for 735 USD they will put information about my trademark on a website. Does nothing for my trademark This is not about trademarks. But here it says, "Registration of International Trademarks". So, what this is is basically a misleading piece of garbage that you should ignore. But before you ignore it, carefully crumple it and toss it into the bin.
So really, the value of these letters is nothing. It's a scam, but it's a pretty sophisticated scam in that they're not lying to you in the sense that they're telling you that they're going to register your trademark. They are telling you exactly what you are going to get. What they expect is that nobody is going to read that nonsense and somebody is going to pay.
So, don't fall for this. That's the money you'd much better spend doing something useful for your brand, such as trademarking it, maybe, in other jurisdictions, maybe you want to look at some other sides of your brand that you haven't trademarked, such as the logo, the tagline, the name.
But this, stay away from it and make sure that you never send anybody any money.
And interestingly, because we have an all-inclusive flat fee and All-Inclusive package, often we hear from our clients, "We thought it was an all-inclusive flat fee, why you are sending us more invoices?" We are not sending you more invoices. "All-inclusive" means all-inclusive. Whatever you are getting from those 3rd parties, we have nothing to do with it, it is public information.
By the way, we made a cartoon I typically don't refer to our cartoons in this FAQ series, but that one I really like, it's really funny, so you may want the watch that, it's called "Unofficial Trademark Catalogue Scam."
Hope you will like it.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.