Beware of Private Trademark Registers

by James Juo.

After your trademark application is filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), you may receive a notice in the mail (which may look like an invoice) asking for a hefty “publication fee” or “private listing” for your trademark. The notice may have official sounding names such as “World Trademark Register” or “Trademark Compliance Center,” but such unsolicited notices usually are part of a scam or swindle. They often target recently filed trademark applications because the mailing address for trademark applicants is part of the public record.

One organization called WTP sends out invoices offering to register or publish your trademark “in our private database.” WTP fine print

The fine print, however, admits that “this private publication is not linked to the publication of official notifications and is not a registration of government organizations.” Their service has no real value and adds nothing meaningful to your trademark, but can lighten your pocketbook. This is an offer that should be declined.

The USPTO has published a public advisory about such firms. See Caution: Scam alert | USPTO.

Any notice not originating from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or your trademark attorney, should be treated with skepticism and wariness.

The trademark attorneys at Thomas P. Howard, LLC are highly experienced in properly prosecuting trademark applications with the USPTO to obtain meaningful trademark protection for your business.