There has been a recent surge in trademark scams out there. Over the past few months I have been seeing several new scam trademark companies that seem to originate from the same source. Trademark Swift is one of these new scammers. They appear to be contacting a large number of business owners. These solicitations are for fake companies advertising “too good to be true” pricing for trademark services. They use fear as a tactic to try and get business owners to pay them for services they will never receive.
What Is the Trademark Swift Scam?
You probably found this post on Google after receiving a suspicious email from Trademark Swift. Here is one such email that my client received:
Why Was I Contacted?
If you were contacted, it is probably because you have a business website and a viable email address that can be found online. Business owners are often targeted for trademark-related scams because most people know very little about this area of the law. In addition, every business has a trademark and they are very easy to find on your website.
This particular scam has become very common. These emails are meant to scare business owners into hiring the company to file a federal trademark application. In fact, the language the emails use is nearly identical across a number of similar scam companies.
This email is intended to scare the reader. First, it states that you are being contacted by the “legal department” for Trademark Swift. The sender’s title is “Intellectual Property Attorney.” No one wants to receive unsolicited emails from an attorney. For most people, that is downright scary. Next, the email goes on to say that someone is trying to file a trademark application for your company’s brand name. This implies that without action on your part, they will be granted a trademark registration.
How Is This Solicitation Misleading?
This email is misleading for several reasons. First, it is sent from someone with the title “Intellectual Property Attorney.” However, Trademark Swift’s own website states that it is “not a law firm.”
Next, they claim that someone else intends to file an application for your trademark with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). This is a completely made up situation. If Trademark Swift represented this other applicant, they certainly would not contact you to let you know they are filing an application. That is the only conceivable way they would know what someone else intends to file.
Finally, these emails all include a similar bolded line stating that you have to register your trademark. What this line really says is just circular. Put another way, it means that in order to have federal trademark rights, you must federally register your trademark. That’s common sense, right? They use the word mandatory to make it sound like you have to register your trademark. However, that is simply not the case.
What Should I Do?
Receiving one of these emails does not mean that you have to do anything at all. You certainly should not contact Trademark Swift.
If you have not registered your trademark with the USPTO, you might consider doing so. Trademark registration has many benefits to your business. Of course, I believe your trademark is an asset that is valuable enough to justify working with an experienced attorney.
The day after writing this blog post I was contacted by the real Steven Gebelin. While Steven is an actual intellectual property attorney, his name has been used by the scammers in an attempt to legitimize Trademark Swift. He is not associated in any way with Trademark Swift.
Today I received anonymous death threats through my website, accusing me of trying to be a “hero.” I can only assume these threats are related to this blog post, which has accounted for most of the traffic to my website since I posted it. I get the feeling that these scammers have probably made a good deal of money so far. Hopefully this post has put a dent in the money they are taking in.
Did You Receive One of Trademark Swift’s Scam Emails?
There are countless trademark scammers out there. Sometimes they do such a good job that it is hard to tell what is real and what is a scam. If you would like help, I am happy to assist you. Please feel free to call me at (480) 360-3499, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.