I recently received word from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO” or “Office”) that one of my firm’s celebrity clients had submitted paperwork to make changes to their official trademark registration records. That struck me as odd. My firm has represented this particular client for many years. If any changes were to be made, it would have been our office making the change. Or, at very least, the client and I would have discussed it beforehand.
This caused me to do some checking. And, sure enough, not even the USPTO is immune to fraud attempts. The USPTO is reporting that there has been a wave of unauthorized attempts by unknown parties to amend trademark registration records. In a recent statement, the USPTO has confirmed:
“Unauthorized changes have been made to a number of active trademark applications and registrations. These changes may be part of a scheme to register the marks of others on third-party ‘brand registries.’ Unauthorized parties have filed forms through our Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) to make these changes.”
The USPTO’s TEAS system allows applicants, registrants and their representatives to conduct official business with the Office electronically. Fraudsters are attempting to take advantage of this functionality.
If you are a trademark owner and you have applied for federal registration, or have received federal registration, of your mark(s), you should remain vigilant in responding to any notices from the USPTO. If you suspect fraud, visit www.uspto.gov, search for “Unauthorized Changes to Your File” and follow the instructions. Give us a call if you need our help.
©2018 Albert F. Davis, Esq.
This law update is intended for general information purposes only. One should not consider the update legal advice or legal opinions relating to any specific facts or circumstances. An attorney-client relationship is not created by reading this update. Please feel free to contact A.F. DAVIS LAW for further information.