There are a growing number of bogus operators who send misleading communications to patent and trademark owners. These operators often pose as a government agency, or an ostensibly legitimate-looking company. They may use company names that resemble official patent and trademark offices and agencies, like U.S. Trademark Compliance Office, International Register of Patents & Trademarks, and World Intelligent Property Office (WIPO).

One of their primary tactics is to send an official looking communication or “notice” informing you that you must take action (oftentimes pay money) to preserve your rights. The solicitations may refer to upcoming deadlines concerning your registration or application.

The operators use information from public databases to contact legitimate intellectual property owners with “urgent” solicitations for legal services, monitoring services, U.S. Customs trademark recordation services, and registration in the operator’s own private registry. Oftentimes, these services are unnecessary or do not have an immediate deadline. Both the USPTO and WIPO (the legitimate WIPO) have lengthy lists of these fraudulent operators on their websites. A sample solicitation is attached.

Don’t be fooled.