We have been alerted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) of unauthorized attempts by unknown parties to amend our clients’ trademark registration records. Filing Correspondents and Attorneys of Record must remain vigilant for notices from the USPTO and respond to them swiftly to verify whether the requested change was authorized. We have been in contact with the USPTO and it assures us this situation is getting its highest attention.
As the USPTO reports:
You may receive an email message from the USPTO notifying you of a requested change to your application or registration. For example, when we receive a request to change the primary email correspondence address of record, we may send this email alert to the prior primary email correspondence address to alert the applicant, registrant, or attorney of the change.
The fraudsters appear to be attempting to register the affected trademarks on Amazon’s brand registry, which requires proof of ownership of a registration.
The USPTO sends its notice automatically upon receipt of the change request, but it may take up to 72 hours before the request is uploaded to the file. In the meantime, here are the steps the USPTO directs you to take:
If you received an email alert message and were not expecting it, you should take the following steps:
1. Confirm the change was not authorized. Review the new primary email address in the message to determine if you recognize it. If the address belongs to somebody else within your organization or belongs to a law firm with which you have a current or past relationship, it is possible the change was unexpected but still authorized.
- If you have recently hired an attorney, revoked an attorney, or changed attorneys, a change of correspondence alert will usually result when we are notified of the change.
- If the change was unexpected, but you recognize the party who requested the change, please consider whether communication with the other party will resolve the issue before reporting it to us.
2. If the change still appears to be unauthorized, report it to us by forwarding the original “alert” email message to TEAS@uspto.gov with the following information:
- Your name and your direct telephone number
- The application serial number(s) and/or registration number(s) affected by the allegedly unauthorized change
- The date and time of the alert message
- A brief explanation of your relationship to the named applicant or registrant of record
- Any other information you believe may be pertinent to your particular situation.
3. Once you contact us, we will likely advise you to file one or more of the following:
The USPTO also advises trademark filers to create a MyUSPTO docket:
For an additional level of notification, the MyUSPTO trademark dockets may be configured to send additional alerts to a designated email address any time the status of an application or registration changes or there is a change to certain prosecution history entries, such as change of owner, correspondence, attorney, or domestic representative. This alert system is separate from, and in addition to, the automated alert messages sent from after a change of correspondence is requested.
Find more information here.