Recognizing common scams

Recognizing common signs of a scam can help you avoid costly mistakes. Scammers can be very convincing because they exploit publicly available information. They often pretend to be from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), state there’s some sort of problem with your application or registration, pressure you to act immediately, and tell you to pay some sort of fee or provide personal information.

Some will even call you and use names, numbers, and locations of real USPTO employees to try to steal your money or personal information.

Signs to watch out for

  • USPTO employees will NEVER ask you for your personal or payment information over the phone, in an email, or text, and we don’t require payment via check or money order to third-party addresses.
  • There is often a demand for immediate action or payment that’s not due, and this is usually accompanied by a threat of losing your trademark rights if you don’t pay.
  • USPTO website addresses end in .gov, and emails directly from the USPTO end in
  • USPTO stands for “The United States Patent and Trademark Office.” Any variation is not part of the USPTO, such as “Patent and Trademark Bureau” or “Trademark Renewal Service.”
  • Some companies will claim they’re allowed to do trademark work or practice before the USPTO, even though they aren’t law firms or attorneys. Some will even say they’re recommended by the USPTO. We DO NOT recommend specific companies or attorneys, and only trademark owners or their U.S.-licensed attorneys can file documents or conduct proceedings before the USPTO.

Common scams

Keep an eye out for the common scams described below.