In 2018, we analyzed how to spot a fake USPTO trademark renewal notice. Far from being merely an inconvenience or coming with inflated costs, the senders of these notices often misstate the actual trademark renewal date and are unable to even make the necessary filings with the USPTO as they are either not licensed U.S. attorneys or even worse, do not have an attorney-client relationship with the owner of the trademark. A sender of a style of these fake renewal notices was recently sentenced to more than four years in a U.S. federal prison and ordered to pay more than $4.5M in restitution. But will this mean the end of such notices?
Unfortunately not. Although Latvian national Viktors Suhorukovs will be “out of the game” for a while, other bad actors are likely to fill the void. Many of our trademark clients have continued to reach out to us with questions about whether mail they recently received was legitimate. We encourage anyone with such questions to review examples of fake mailings and to reach out to us whenever they receive one. Mr. Suhorukovs’ companies were branded as “Patent and Trademark Office, LLC” and “Patent and Trademark Bureau, LLC,” very similar to the “Patent and Trademark Office” as shown in our 2018 blog post.
We are happy to answer any questions that you may have with existing trademarks, or assist with filing new ones. Please reach out to the author of this post or any member of the Rich May team that you are currently working with.
Disclaimer: This summary is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not legal advice. Any specific questions about these topics should be directed to attorney Arvid von Taube.