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Sham Filing firms (from the USPTO) - Beware of trademark fraud!

There are businesses, many of which operate online, that advertise low-cost trademark application and registration-related filing services. Many claim to help applicants file new applications, submit responses to official office actions, or help file other documents with the United States Patent and Trademark frauds from USPTO Trademark Office (USPTO).

Make sure that any filing firm you hire has a U.S.-licensed attorney on staff. USPTO rules require that any person or company offering to provide filing and registration services on behalf of others must be a U.S.-licensed attorney. U.S.-licensed attorneys must comply with their state’s and the USPTO’s ethics laws. Ask for the attorney’s bar license number and check it with their state bar online to ensure they’re properly licensed. Among other requirements, the attorney must:

  • Conduct a conflicts check. This makes sure that the attorney has no other clients whose interests may conflict with yours.

  • Work directly with you on your trademark filing. You’re talking to the attorney on the phone and by email. The attorney personally helps you complete your filing.

  • Either personally signs your filing for you as your legal representative or has you sign it. No one else can sign your trademark filing. No one else can be your legal representative, not even the filing firm.

  • Explain what services are provided to you, the fees associated with those services, and any fees charged by the USPTO. Confirm USPTO fee amounts yourself.

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