Friday, April 22, 2011

Beware of the so-called "Worldwide Database of Trademarks and Patents"

Recently, I received an invoice in the mail from the Czech Republic (see below) that states that it is for the "Registration of the International Trademark". Even more remarkably, the invoice is in the amount of (U.S.) $2,392.46.

And just how was I so lucky as to receive this invoice from a private trademark database which is creating the impression of being an Official International Trademark Registrar? In this particular case, my business address is the correspondence address for one of my client's U.S. trademark registrations. This particular client does not have anything other than a U.S. trademark registration for this specific trademark which is referenced in this solicitation.

You have to wonder if this Czech Republic company gets even a one percent return on these ridiculous invoices and solicitations from unsuspecting U.S. trademark registrants. Again, the only reason I got this one was because my office address is listed as the U.S. Registrant's correspondence address. Two Thousand Three Hundred Ninety-Two Dollars and Forty-Six Cents. The forty-six cents is probably to cover the bulk postage, eh?!...

This is neither the first or the last suspect solicitation to target trademark owners. The audacity of the dollar amount is especially brazen, however.

Our obvious suggestion is to carefully scrutinize any invoices with respect to trademark renewals or registrations, and if you are represented by counsel be sure to ask them about it. I have spoken to numerous clients over the years when they receive invoices such as these with one client exclaiming, "How can they do something like that?!" All I could say is, "Yes, there are people who lie, cheat and steal." It's an unfortunate fact of life.

On the bright side, a U.S. trademark registration certificate is worth the paper it is printed on and does provide the registrant with real world advantages. For more information on the advantages of a U.S. trademark registration, please have a look at our website and its articles at:

Be careful out there.


William E. Maguire, Esq.
Los Angeles, California

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