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Legal Alert: USPTO Warns Trademark Applicants to Beware of Spoofed Calls

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office is reminding trademark applicants to beware of “spoofed” calls that impersonate the Office. Spoofing occurs when phone scammers attempt to fool recipients into providing personal identifying or payment information by falsely claiming to be an employee of the USPTO. The scammers use technology that tricks phone networks into displaying a name, number, and location — in this case, the USPTO’s — that are different from the caller’s actual name, number, and location.

If you receive a call from someone you suspect is a scammer, do not provide any personal identifying or payment information.

The USPTO is directing applicants who believe they may have received a spoofed call to take one or more of the following actions:

  • Contact the Trademark Assistance Center to verify whether the call was from a USPTO employee.
  • If you have the number that called you, provide it to the assistance center representative who answers your call.
  • Check the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval system to see official communications sent from the USPTO about trademark submissions.
  • You can view the documents the USPTO has sent by entering your application or registration number into TSDR and selecting the “Documents” tab.

If you paid money or gave personal information to a caller, the USPTO is directing applicants to follow these steps. Applicants may take further action by filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

For further questions, applicants are directed to email TMscams@uspto.gov.

For more information, please contact your Fish & Richardson attorney or contact us here.