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Trademark Monitoring Services
 
Copyright © 2010 Zegarelli Law Group. All rights reserved.
Written by Gregg R. Zegarelli, Esq.

 


QUESTION:

I own a Federal trademark registration, or I have applied for a registration.  I received a letter from a company that I have never heard of regarding "trademark monitoring."  In fact, I thought that the company was a government agency because it had a name similar to "Official Patent and Trademark Office Monitoring Service."  It really looked like a government document.  What should I do?

ANSWER:

1.  If you are a client of our law firm per a written engagement letter, and our firm is handling your trademark registration or application, then we have undertaken professional responsibility to ensure any necessary compliance to maintain your filing.  We have multiple deadline docketing systems to ensure we meet any deadlines.  That is why you hired us, we are licensed, and we stand behind our work.

2.  Particularly with the advent of the Internet and focus on intellectual property, there are companies that have a look and feel of an "official" government agency, either by name or appearance or both, so that you will pay the money requested and hire them for services.  To say it another way, they "scare" you into hiring them by leading you to believe it is a governmental notice.  If our firm is attorney of record for your trademark matters, then our collective experience is that the correspondence is not an official document from a governmental unit.  Even so, if you receive a letter such as the question describes and you are our client, please send the communication to us, just to make sure we confirm its nature.  We will merely direct you to this webpage for the explanation, if the document is merely advertisement from a private enterprise.

3.  Notwithstanding the advertising "tactic," the issue still remains whether you should hire the service.  It depends.  Often the nature of the service is that the advertiser will monitor certain databases to see if a trademark similar to yours is filed.  The history, quality, etc., of the advertiser are for you to decide.  As to the service generally, it is not required.  In fact, for the United States, you look on www.uspto.gov yourself to see if there have been similar filings.  Our firm also has a CheckMark<sm> service to perform a similar function at regular intervals; let us know if you are interested.

4.  If our staff directed you here with regard to a particular advertisement, then you do not need to purchase the service to obtain or to maintain a Federal trademark registration in the United States.  We cannot tell you not to purchase the service because there may be value in it for you.  However, since no company with which we have experience has a license to perform the service, before buying such a service, you should ensure that the company is credible and that you can find them if something goes wrong.  

We commonly assist our clients with their mark registration and maintenance strategy.  See also MarkAssure Service. For more information, contact us at info@zegarelli.com

 
 

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