Somehow, somewhere, applying for a trademark became an invitation for junk mail and spam. It’s annoying, but some are worse than others. Some of the worst are notices that look like they are from the United States Patent and Trademark Office or foreign offices telling applicants they need to spend more money in order to protect the mark. Here is an example of one that I just received on a client’s behalf:
What?! Wire transfer $1560.00 to Poland for what exactly? If you look at the bottom in teeny-tiny, light grey print (That is not a scanning malfunction. It really is that light.), you will see that it is “an offer for the annual registration” for the mark in their own “internet database”! Puh-lease! But they make it look so official, so real. And many clients aren’t laser-focused on their trademark applications, especially a month after applying. And then this or one of their ilk pop up.
It doesn’t stop there either. Applicants will get more throughout the process and after registration. I guarantee you, any owner of a federal trademark will get at least one such “solicitation,” to use the nice word, at about 2-3 months prior to the first day they can renew their registration.
Ugh, it makes me so angry. Like Hulk Smash mad. I’m not the only one. These are so ubiquitous and annoying, the United States Patent and Trademark Office devotes a page on their website and created a video about it.
If you receive something that looks sketchy and you are unsure, please send it to your attorney to double-check. The odds are that you have yourself a nice recycle bin filler.