As the registered owner of a trademark, you may have already received an official-looking letter from an organization you don’t recognize but who presents themselves as a government agency. This letter discusses your registered trademarks and suggests that additional steps are needed to protect the mark or complete registration. These letters typically include an invoice that ranges from $500-$2,500, and which requires urgent or immediate action in order to continue trademark protection. Clients frequently present these letters to attorneys’ offices with genuine concern about the protection of their mark and business assets.
We are always happy to know that a client is concerned and attentive to the protection of their marks, but we want to belay any fears about these invoices or threats to properly registered mark. Despite their deceptive presentation, these third party companies are not part of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO). In fact, they are simply third parties looking to generate business.
If you are a trademark owner who is working with a licensed attorney, you have already paid the required filing fees for the PTO. Once an application has been filed, the PTO will only communicate with the designated attorney. If additional fees or actions required, your attorney will be notified. You will not receive direct communications from the PTO, and any invoices related to your filing should be presented by your attorney.
Unfortunately, many trademark applicants who receive these invoices believe they are from an official source and pay for services they don’t need. Before you pay any invoice related to your trademark, you should consult with your trademark attorney. If you receive any communications about your trademark applications or registrations, and have concerns, feel free to contact us.