October 9, 2020
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has issued an alert about an ongoing email scam involving messages that appear to originate from the USPTO domain (@uspto.gov), but are, in fact, sent by third parties for fraudulent purposes. The USPTO advises trademark owners to be aware that scam messages may:
- Spoof the USPTO email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Falsely claim that the USPTO has a new policy requiring separate registration of “clients” and that there is a “penalty” for not complying.
- Provide incorrect USPTO trademark filing information (e.g., incorrect fee information)
The USPTO has a solicitations webpage that provides a list of examples of solicitations from entities unaffiliated with the USPTO, including known scams, potentially misleading offers and notices, and other non-USPTO solicitations about which the USPTO has received inquiries or complaints.
In light of the increase in fraudulent emails, the USPTO urges all trademark owners and proceedings participants to carefully review any email correspondence that appears to be sent from the USPTO “@uspto.gov” domain and to double-check the information contained in that message by contacting their attorney or independently verifying the information as contained on the USPTO Trademark Status & Document Retrieval database.
We strongly encourage any client receiving email correspondence that appears to be from the USPTO or any third party to not respond directly to such emails. Instead, contact our office to investigate the correspondence and advise on the appropriate course of action. If we filed your application or are representing you in any trademark proceeding, all official correspondence from the USPTO will come to us directly and not to you.
If you have any questions, please contact us.