Private companies not affiliated with the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) use publicly available trademark application and registration information to send letters or emails to solicit payment for various services. These letters, like the one we received, use the words "Trademark," "Patent," "Registration," "Agency," and "Filling Fee," to mimic to look of official USPTO documents. Make no mistake, you are under no obligation to pay these "filing fees". As per the USPTO website, "All official correspondence will be from the 'United States Patent and Trademark Office' in Alexandria, VA, and if by e-mail, specifically from the domain '@uspto.gov.'"
A careful examination of the letter we received revealed small, light grey text at the bottom. The text, light enough that it does not appear in the scanned copy, reads:
Dear Customer, Please notice, that this form is not an invoice. This is an offer for the annual registration of your Trademark in our internet database www.tpp-publications.com. Please also notice that this offer will become a binding contract with the payment of the amount. The registration on our database has not any connection with an official government organization. There is no obligation for you to pay the amount and we have not any business relation yet. We point on our general terms and conditions on our website. If there are any mistakes or modifications relating to your dates, please inform us to correct or update them.
As with all documents you receive, read everything fully and carefully. For more information, go to https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/non-uspto-solicitations. If you receive any document like the one above and are unsure who its from, call us before taking any action!
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