USPTO suspends accounts engaged in foreign sponsorship scam

USPTO suspends accounts engaged in foreign sponsorship scam

On September 16, 2022 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued two orders suspending several attorney-sponsored support staff accounts that violated the Trademark Verified Account Agreement and the USPTO Website Terms of Use. Only U.S.-licensed attorneys can sponsor accounts for support staff who are directly employed by the attorney, their law firm, or their company. 

Our review of filing data found sponsoring attorneys that abused the USPTO.gov sponsorship tool by sponsoring non-U.S. licensed foreign attorneys and non-attorneys. Their suspension orders are listed on the orders issued by the Commissioner for Trademarks webpage

Solicitations and sponsorship scams 

We’ve learned that numerous foreign filing firms are soliciting U.S.-licensed attorneys to try to scam the USPTO by: 

  • Using the attorney’s name and bar credentials in trademark submissions, so that an applicant or registrant appears to be represented by a U.S.-licensed attorney, when they’re not
  • Having the attorneys sponsor USPTO.gov legal support staff accounts for people who are not the attorney’s support staff

Beware of this solicitation scheme and its consequences. 

What to do 

We’d like to know about these solicitations. Please report them to TMScams@uspto.gov. If anyone knows of an attorney who is allowing others to use their information or signature, or is sponsoring a USPTO.gov account for someone who is not the attorney’s support staff, contact the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) by emailing OED@uspto.gov. 

harryray