Sunday, February 14, 2016

Trademark Scams

Have you trademarked any title, or expression, or unique term? Some science fiction romance or paranormal authors have done so.  For instance, some in the publishing world are watching with interest a lawsuit concerning the similarity or otherwise of the terms "Dark Hunter" and "Shadow Hunter."

This isn't about that. It's about numerous scams that try to trick authors who own trademarks into paying entitites other than the USPTO for services that some would say are worthless, and that are not renewals of those trademark registrations.

Here's a sample that was mailed to me for a trademark of mine. I apologize for the wrinkles. I did not treat the scam with great respect.

Trademarks only last for five years, and have to be renewed. Usually, the renewal notice will be sent to the trademark owner's lawyer.

The entity you should be paying is the USPTO, and no other acronym.  If the USPTO sends you an email, it will come from (but, of course, you should make sure that this addy wasn't just written in.)  If you receive a letter, it will come from Alexandria, VA.

However, there seem to be several scams that also call Alexandria, VA their home.

The $750 fee is in the ball park, but a bit more than a legitimate renewal fee.  I've received solicitations trying to trick me into paying double that.

If you have been tricked, the USPTO will not help you get your money back, but if you report them, you might help the Feds to prosecute them.

For more information, check out the USPTO site:

Happy Valentines Day.

Rowena Cherry

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