Trademark Registration Scam – October 2010

October 22, 2010

Marshall, Gerstein & Borun recently became aware that clients who own federally registered trademarks are receiving solicitations to register trademarks from two separate “International Registries,” one calling itself “Register of International Patents and Trademarks” located in the Czech Republic, and the other calling itself “Register of International Patents” located in Austria. Both solicitors have Web sites (www.ript.eu and www.patentonline.org), and both include disclaimers pointing out that these are solicitations for a “private database” and that these private registrations are “not a registration by a government organization.”

However, these solicitations have the look of official trademark registration invoices, describe the trademark to be registered accurately, and could be mistakenly perceived to be registration requirements. Please note: registration with any non-governmental endeavor will have no effect on your ability to establish or claim rights in the trademark, and will not give notice to or expand your rights internationally. The registration fee also far exceeds value. There is also a danger that providing any information or payment whatsoever to these enterprises could result in identity theft or damage.

Please route any inquiries concerning your company’s trademarks to your general counsel or intellectual property counsel. Gregory J. Chinlund and Richard M. LaBarge are partners in the intellectual property law firm of Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP in Chicago. Mr. Chinlund can be reached via email or at 312.474.6650, and Mr. LaBarge can be reached via email or at 312.474.6646.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and are not to be attributed to his firm or any past, present, or future client of his firm. This alert is intended to be informative and should not be construed as legal advice for any specific fact situation. Readers should not act upon the information presented without consulting professional legal counsel. ©2010 Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP. All rights reserved.