6 August 2021TrademarksAlex Baldwin

USPTO seeks TM protection to fend off scammers

The US Department of Commerce has filed an application to officially register US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademarks in order to protect rights owners from scams.

In a blog post published yesterday, the USPTO acknowledged the growing trend in scammers impersonating the office in order to solicit payments from rights holders.

To combat the “rapid increase” in these scams, commissioner for trademarks David Gooder, has revealed that the USPTO has sought federal registration of its own branding.

On Wednesday, the Department of Commerce filed for federal registration of the USPTO marks, with the USPTO.

David Gooder, commissioner for trademarks said: “Like any other brand owner facing infringement by third parties, if we have federal trademark registrations, they will help us take appropriate legal action as needed.

Protect yourself

The USPTO examining attorney will examine the application like any other and make a determination based on the validity of the filing.

Gooder notes the unique issue of examining your own trademarks, saying: “We recognize the intrigue and irony of filing for federal registration of the USPTO marks...with the USPTO. It’s a big reason why the Department of Commerce is filing the application on our behalf, just as it has for its other bureaus.”

Other federal agencies including the Internal Revenue System, the  Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration all own federal trademark registrations.

“And while some could ask why we didn’t federally register these marks years ago, we realized we require the additional legal protections afforded the owner of a federally registered trademark in light of the rapid increase in sophistication of those unlawfully passing themselves off as the USPTO.

“We firmly believe that it’s never too late to do the right thing, and doing everything within our power to protect our trademark customers is the right thing.”

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