The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently issued a “Trademark Alert” and corresponding news brief warning attorneys to monitor trademark filings to ensure that their names, signatures, and contact information are not being used fraudulently or without the attorney’s consent.
On November 13th, the USPTO sent out a “Trademark Alert” and published a news brief (accessible here) advising attorneys to monitor trademark filings to ensure that their information is not being used to file applications fraudulently or without their consent. The USPTO stated that monitoring fraudulent uses of an attorney’s name in filings is important to help “maintain the integrity of the trademark filing process.”
The Trademark Alert and corresponding news brief appear to come following an active issue “involv[ing] a relatively small number of filings.” However, the USPTO did not provide any further details.
The USPTO recommends that attorney’s use the Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”) to search for applications listing their name as the attorney-of-record. In the event that you discover an application was filed using your name, which was not authorized, you should contact TMPolicy@uspto.gov, and provide 1) your name; 2) information concerning the applications involved; 3) the type of submission and the date of the submission; and 4) a brief description of what happened.
The USPTO noted that while “phase one” of the mandatory TEAS login has been completed in October, there are two more forthcoming phases that “allow for more control and delegation of access to trademark filing forms.”