CSG Law Alert: Trademark Scam Alert – Applicants Should Never Provide Personal or Payment Information Over the Phone

Trademark and Service Mark owners should be aware of a new type of spoofing scam targeting the owners of applications and registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). Because all USPTO trademark filings are a matter of public record, bad actors can access applicants’ and registrants’ contact information and trick phone networks into displaying the USPTO’s name, phone number and location so the person they call believes they are talking to the USPTO. The spoofers impersonate USPTO employees and ask for personal information or payment information.

In order to protect yourself against this scam, we strongly recommend you do not provide personal or payment information over the phone if you receive a call from someone claiming to work for the USPTO. The USPTO will never directly reach out to an applicant who has an attorney of record listed in their application. Even if you are not represented by an attorney, while the USPTO might call you to ask questions about your application, it will never ask for personal identifying or payment information over the phone.

Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and savvy in how they target trademark applicants and registrants. For more information on these scams, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you believe you have been scammed, please contact your CSG Law attorney or one of the authors of this alert.