WARNING: Non-USPTO Solicitations That May Resemble Official USPTO Communications
Enhanced Accessibility Version of the "Solicitation Alert" Video
Please be aware that private companies not associated with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) often use trademark application and registration information from the USPTO's databases to mail or e-mail trademark-related solicitations. Trademark applicants and registrants continue to submit a significant number of inquiries and complaints to the USPTO about such solicitations, which may include offers: (1) for legal services; (2) for trademark monitoring services; (3) to record trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and (4) to "register" trademarks in the company's own private registry.
These companies may use names that resemble the USPTO name, including, for example, one or more of the terms "United States," "U.S.," "Trademark," "Patent," "Registration," "Office," or "Agency." Increasingly, some companies attempt to make their solicitations mimic the look of official government documents rather than the look of a typical commercial or legal solicitation by emphasizing official government data like the USPTO application serial number, the registration number, the International Class(es), filing dates, and other information that is publicly available from USPTO records. Many refer to other government agencies and sections of the U.S. Code. Most require "fees" to be paid.
Some applicants and registrants have reported paying fees to these private companies, mistakenly thinking that they were paying required fees to the USPTO. So, be sure to read trademark-related communications carefully before making a decision about whether to respond. All official correspondence will be from the "United States Patent and Trademark Office" in Alexandria, VA, and if by e-mail, specifically from the domain "@uspto.gov."
The USPTO cannot help you obtain a refund from these private entities if you have been misled into paying money or signing up for their services based on a misleading communication. But if this happens to you, the USPTO encourages you to file with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) an on-line consumer complaint. Although the FTC does not resolve individual consumer complaints, it may institute, as the nation's consumer protection agency, investigations and prosecutions based on widespread complaints about particular companies or business practices. In 2015, the operators of the Trademark Compliance Center were prosecuted for their trademark renewal scam. A bank branch manager was also charged for his role in laundering the profits of the scam. In addition, the USPTO encourages recipients of deceptive trademark-related solicitations to contact their states' consumer protection authorities. Many, if not all, states have the authority to issue investigative subpoenas and file complaints against companies engaged in deceptive practices directed toward state residents.
More news broadcast-style videos about the federal trademark application process are available on the Trademark Information Network (TMIN) series webpage.
In our effort to educate the public and help trademark owners identify these non-USPTO solicitations, the USPTO posts below several examples of just some of the non-USPTO solicitations about which we have received complaints within the past several months. None of these are official U.S. government or international governmental notices. Please click on the name below if you wish to see an image of that entity's solicitation. If you have been misled into paying money to any companies not appearing on this list, we encourage you to email us at TMFeedback@uspto.gov and include copies of the notice and the envelope it came in, so that we may assess whether to add the sender(s) to the list.
PLEASE NOTE ALSO that some of non-USPTO solicitations may refer to upcoming deadlines concerning your registration or application. The USPTO cannot vouch for the accuracy of what these solicitations say about such deadlines. Although not required, most applicants and registrants use private trademark attorneys for legal advice regarding filing an application and maintaining any registration issued to you. If you are unfamiliar with deadlines concerning your application or registration, you may want to consult your local telephone listings or contact the attorney referral service of a state bar or local bar association to assist in identifying a qualified attorney who can help you. For more information about the importance of checking the status of your application or registration, please visit the USPTO webpage entitled “Checking the Status of an Application or Registration.”
Patent & Trademark Resource Center (Seattle & Woodinville, WA)
Patent and Trademark Organization (New York, NY)
Trademark Office Ltd. (New York, NY)
U.S. Trademark Compliance Office (Wilmington, DE)
Patent & Trademark Bureau (Philadelphia, PA)
Patent & Trademark Office (555 Madison Ave., New York, NY)
Patent & Trademark Office (299 Park Ave., New York, NY)
Patent & Trademark Agency (New York, NY)
Trademark and Patent Office (Los Angeles, CA)
P.T.M.A. Patent and Trademark Association (New York, NY)
Trademark Compliance Center (version 1) (Alexandria, VA)
Trademark Compliance Center (version 2) (Alexandria, VA)
Trademark Compliance Center (Washington, DC)
Trademark Compliance Office (Arlington, VA)
Trademark Registration and Monitoring Office (Past Due Notice) (Los Angeles, CA)
United States Trademark Registration Office (Los Angeles, CA)
Trademark Renewal Service (Washington, DC)
Trademark Renewal Service (New York, NY)
Intellectual Property Services USA Incorporated (Alexandria, VA)
Intellectual Property Agency Ltd. (London, U.K.)
Registration of International Trademark WDTP (Praha, Czech Republic)
WIPT World Patents Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic)
WPAT World Patents Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic) (version 1)
WPAT World Patents Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic) (version 2)
GLOPAT Global Patents & Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic)
U.S. Trademark Compliance Service (Phoenix, AZ)
IPTO International Patent & Trademark Organization (Brno, Czech Republic)
TM Collection (Szombathely, Hungary)
Register of International Patents and Trademarks (Bratislava, Slovak Republic)
Trademark Safeguard - Trademark Monitoring Service (New York, NY)
USTM Information Services (Idaho Falls, ID)
Brand Registration Office (Trademark Selection Edition) (Washington, DC)
TM Edition (2012 version) (Szentendre, Hungary)
TM Edition (2015 version) (Szentendre, Hungary)
TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Minneapolis, MN)
TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Washington, DC)
TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Wilmington, DE)
TM-DB Register of Protected Trademarks (Pearland, TX)
IOPR - Intellectual Office Property Register (Beaverton, OR)
GBO, Inc., Trademark and Patent Dep. (Miami, FL)
IPTI - International Patent & Trademark Index (Czech Republic)
IP Direct - Registration of the International Trademark (Czech Republic)
RPT Servis - Registration of the International Trademark (Czech Republic)
For additional examples of private solicitations concerning international applications and registrations, please see the official World Intellectual Property Organization "Warning" webpage.