Toss It in the Trash: Uptick in Scams Relating to Trademark Rights
Holland & Knight's Intellectual Property Group has seen an escalation in emails to clients in which the sender applies the scare tactic of "react quickly or lose your rights to your trademark." These are very often scams. These senders are phishing for information or money. They emanate from private entities, not from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
These emails use similar language, which is legally false and misleading. They are originating from various domain names, including smartvisiontrademark.com, trademarkcrown.com, trademarkecho.com, trademarksapling.com, trademarkroyalty.com, zoomtrademark.com, trademarkprecision.com, trademarkswift.com, trademarktroop.com, trademarkzenesa.com, trademarkdynamite.com and trademarksmartfiling.com, with more continuously being added. Below is one such example.
Subject: Trademark Conflict On The Business Name "Consent Required."
Dear [Client Name],
I trust this communication finds you in good health. This correspondence is issued on behalf of the Legal Department of Trademark Smart Filing, and its purpose is to apprise you of a prospective trademark registration concerning the business name "Trademark" originating from a startup business. Our extensive search has revealed that your details are associated with this brand name.
Time sensitivity is imperative, as an additional party is currently indicating an interest in registering the same business name. Failure to progress with your registration may result in their acquisition of federal rights, thereby potentially exposing you to legal consequences for the continued use of the aforementioned name. This scenario may escalate to the point where legal proceedings are initiated against you, with the aim of asserting ownership rights over your profits.
In the course of our due diligence, it has come to our attention that your brand is presently unregistered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In light of this, we are reaching out to ascertain your intentions regarding the trademark registration of "Trademark" Please be advised that, pursuant to the USPTO's first-come, first-served policy, another party may proceed with registration in the absence of objections from your end.
It is crucial to underscore that, as per the Lanham Act of 1946 (§§ 1051 et seq), federal registration is a prerequisite for establishing ownership rights.
Your immediate attention to this matter is imperative to safeguard your rights and forestall potential legal complexities. We eagerly anticipate your expeditious response.
Do not respond to these types of emails.
All correspondence relating to a trademark application handled by Holland & Knight will be sent to you by Holland & Knight. You will not receive any direct communications from the USPTO or any other government agency. If you receive this type of email and are unsure as to its legitimacy, please contact the author or another member of Holland & Knight's Intellectual Property Group. See the USPTO's website for more information relating to trademark scams.
Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your Holland & Knight representative or other competent legal counsel.