What is a Post-Trademark Registration Junk Mail Barrage?
In part, the post-Trademark Registration junk mail barrage is a type of direct mail marketing. (In the US, the estimated response rate for direct mail campaigns is 3.5% to 4.24%. Thus, direct mail can be an inexpensive way to obtain a customer and/or make a sale.) Direct mail campaigns continue to creep into postal boxes, some of which are honest and aboveboard and others that are not.
Following your Trademark Registration, your company may receive legitimate-looking “bills” or “invoices” by mail that appear to be related to your trademark registration. Those may be a scam. Here’s what you need to know:
A Trademark Registration Scenario
Trademark Registrations are part of the Public Record.
Our marketing department initially filed three US Trademark Applications. About a year after filing the US Trademark Applications for the “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” Marks, our Louisville Company received three Trademark Registrations from the United States Trademark Office. Marketing and sales quickly added the ® to our labels and continued marketing and selling our products.
Our company’s protocol has been that the mailroom sorts the incoming mail and sends anything appearing to be an invoice to accounting for payment. Accounting was trained to look for suspicious invoices.
Within weeks of receiving our US Trademark Applications, unbeknownst to management, accounting paid several invoices that appeared to be related to United States Trademark Office business.
Those invoices appeared to be associated the US Trademark Office, but were not.
Types of Post Trademark Registration Solicitations
As a general rule, the US Trademark Office will not utilize the postal service to solicit payments from the Trademark Owner.
Under Title 15 of the United States Code, USPTO post Registration fees become due at five years, nine years, nineteen years, twenty nine years, etc. Any USPTO fee requested by a third party not associated with these dates is suspicious.
Solicitations attempting to induce the Trademark owner to pay fees may come in many ways. (Some third parties solicit the transfer of funds outside the United States, others solicit funds to roaming US postal box locations and some have apparent legitimate street addresses.)
- Some solicitations are for actual services, albeit not those likely needed by the Trademark owner. (These are like the old yellow page ads for a regional rather than a local telephone book.)
- Other direct mail campaigns induce the Trademark owner to actually pay for something in a country outside the United States while making the payment appear to be for something in the United States.
- Still others encourage payment for some service in the United States, where the service is not actually needed to maintain the Trademark Registration in full force and effect.
If you have a question about the post-Trademark Registration barrage of mailed materials and junk mail, please contact Business Patent Law, PLLC., for guidance.
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