Fraudulent Filings at the USPTO
In 2022, the USPTO imposed sanctions on three companies who collectively filed thousands of fraudulent trademark applications. Since then, the USPTO has imposed stricter review criteria to catch fraudulent filings.
One of the USPTO’s criteria requires that all non-US trademark applicants be represented by US counsel. Because of this requirement, however, the USPTO received an influx of fraudulent applications filed by non-US applicants, who used a US attorney’s credentials without their knowledge or permission. These fraudulent foreign filers surreptitiously used attorneys’ names, contact information, and bar numbers to skate through the application process undetected. Some foreign applicants even listed a deceased attorney as the attorney of record!
The USPTO has taken steps to eliminate fraud in the application process and advises attorneys to carefully monitor their trademark dockets. It also continues to increase verification requirements for new US trademark applications. Additionally, it has created a designated email address for reporting potential fraud, TMScams@uspto.gov. This email address is monitored by the register protection team who will investigate fraudulent filings.
The Sladkus Law Group is committed to vigilantly protecting our clients against fraud. If you are concerned about a possible trademark fraud, please contact us to discuss further.