July 21, 2019

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Trademark and Domain Name Scams: Scammers Still Be Scamming

Based on the volume of scam letters and email sent to us by our clients, trademark and domain name scams continue unabated in 2014. In fact, if anything, these scams have increased in volume and creativity. Remember to look with a critical eye at any official-looking notices that claim to originate from governmental trademark offices or "registries," claiming that you must pay fees in order to obtain or maintain trademark rights in various jurisdictions. These notices from third parties are almost always scams seeking payment for unnecessary services.

Another common scam involves an email communication or notice from an Asian-based consulting company that purports to notify a trademark holder that another entity is seeking to register the client's trademark or business name as a domain name in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or Asia (e.g.,clientbrand.cn, clientbrand.hk, clientbrand.tw, etc.). The email gives the brand owner a short period of time in which to secure the domain name for their own. These notifications are virtually all scams or, at best, solicitations to purchase unnecessary domain names.

Because the trademark records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Community’s OHIM are available online, and easily accessed by the public, owners of trademark registrations and applications seem to be most often targeted in these scams. Clients should keep in mind that rarely will any patent or trademark office communicate directly with a client if there is counsel of record in the particular patent or trademark matter. If you receive any correspondence relating to your trademarks or domain names, please send it to us for review – particularly before paying any requested fees! 

© 2019 Sterne Kessler

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About this Author

Monica Riva Talley, Trademark Attorney, Sterne Kessler, Law Firm
Director

Monica Talley brings more than 17 years of experience protecting some of the world's most recognizable brands to her role as a Director in the firm’s Trademark practice.  Ms. Talley specializes in strategic trademark counseling and portfolio management, developing anti-counterfeiting solutions and strategies, and trademark enforcement. 

Ranked as one of the leading trademark prosecution and strategy attorneys in Washington, DC, Ms. Talley is particularly noted for her global brand protection and commercialization strategies, and is lauded by clients for utilizing “her broad IP savvy...

202-772-8688
Tracy-Gene Durkin, Mechanical Patent Trademark Attorney, Sterne Kessler law firm
Director

Ms. Durkin leads the Mechanical Patent and Trademark Group.  With over twenty years of experience obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights, she melds her expertise with utility and design patents, trademarks, and copyrights to create a unique IP protection strategy to meet her clients' individual needs.  Ms. Durkin’s experience includes helping clear new products and trademarks for use in the marketplace, selecting appropriate IP protection, and enforcing such protection through mediation, litigation and licensing.  She is sought out for her knowledge of design patents, brand development strategies and eliminating copycat consumer products from the marketplace to prevent the devaluation of IP rights

202-772-8660