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November 9 2018

Beware of Trademark Invoice Scams

By: Jennifer A. Puplava

Many trademark owners are increasingly receiving misleading correspondence claiming that action needs to be taken on their trademark application or registration.  The correspondence implies that the trademark owner must complete and return a form to the sender or make a payment to the sender, and it is from an official-sounding sender.

Legitimate notices to trademark owners from the government regarding a trademark application or registration will be from the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” (the “USPTO”).  The phony letters and invoices can look authentic.  Many scammers use company names that sound official because they include terms like “United States,” “Trademark,” “Office,” or “Registration.”  Some correspondence may include data publicly available from USPTO records regarding your trademark, which can cause further confusion.  The USPTO has recognized that this is an increasing problem, and has provided further information regarding this issue, and examples of misleading notices, at www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/caution-misleading-notices.

The USPTO will not mail an invoice to a trademark owner – filing fees are paid at the time of filing.  Moreover, the USPTO does not charge an additional fee for publication of a trademark, and publication of a mark by a third-party is not required for registration or trademark protection. So, any invoice you receive claiming that you need to pay to have your trademark published is likely a scam.

If Mika Meyers has helped you with your trademark application or registration, all official correspondence from the USPTO regarding your trademark will come to Mika Meyers and we will forward it to you with further instructions.  

When receiving any official looking document, please review carefully.  If you have questions regarding whether correspondence is legitimate or is instead a scam, please contact Jennifer Puplava at (616) 632-8050 or .