Cantor Colburn Client Alert: USPTO Cautions Trademark Owners about Recent Spoofed Calls
Spoofed Calls Target Trademark Owners
On February 1, 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a warning for users and staff about scammers targeting trademark applicants and registrants by calling and falsely claiming to be employees of the USPTO. The scammers’ tactic of “spoofing” calls employs fake caller ID information in order to steal money and/or personal information.
The USPTO stated that it can be difficult to tell if a call is fraudulent, since the scammers often use technology to display name, number, and location that matches that of legitimate USPTO employee information. Please note that USPTO employees will never ask you for your personal or payment information, such as your social security number or credit card details, over the phone.
If you receive a spoofed USPTO call, the USPTO recommends you take the following actions:
- Contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) to verify the call was from the USPTO employee and for assistance on what to do next.
- If you made a note of the incoming number, give it to the TAC.
- Check the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system to review your official correspondence from the USPTO. You can view documents that the USPTO sent by entering your application or registration number in TSDR and selecting the “Documents” tab.
What This Means to You
If you paid money or gave a caller personal information, see the USPTO guidance: What to do if you’ve been scammed. You can take further action by filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.
For Further Information & Assistance
If you have questions about what this means to you or any questions in general about your trademark matters, please do not hesitate to contact us: Michelle Ciotola or Sara T. Colburn. Mumina Egal, Legal Extern, contributed to this alert.