Trademark and Domain Name "Service" Offerings: Beware and Ignore

June 21, 2012, 8:21 AM

It has been some time since we have reminded everyone of the problem of unsolicited offers to provide trademark and domain name "services" that are designed to look like official notices from governmental agencies and/or invoices that need to be paid. The most pervasive of these are ones whose notices go out under the name United States Trademark Maintenance Service or the name United States Trademark Renewal Service. They look so much like official notices from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that trademark owners often respond by filling out their forms and sending along the requested payments. For some reason there has been a mini-surge in these and similar solicitations over the past year or so, so let this serve as yet another warning that (1) none of these are coming from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or any other governmental agency; (2) while some of them may actually offer services you might want or need at some point (renewal of your trademark registrations, monitoring for competing ones, etc.), you are well advised to rely on your trademark counsel or other professional advisor to get those things done; and (3) you can safely ignore all unsolicited notices of this sort. For more detail, see our previous post on this same concern. --Robert E. Smartschan