When filing a trademark application, you will need to provide contact information for the Trademark Office. The information that you provide (in most cases) will be public. This gives scammers the opportunity to reach out and see if they can trick people into giving them money. WTMR (World Trademark Register) is one such company. They recently mailed my client the urgent-looking letter you see above. Make sure you ignore these letters, and DO NOT send them a check.
WTMR Has Nothing To Do With the USPTO
One thing that these scammers have in common is that they love to use acronyms. And who can blame them? There are a plethora of government agencies that go by their acronyms. For example, you have the FBI, CIA, EPA, DHS, USDA, SEC, and FHA. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is commonly referred to as the USPTO. Using the acronym WTMR makes this company sound like it is a government agency. It also sounds more official. But in reality, it is a private company hoping to confuse people, which is ironic because it is posing as a trademark-related agency.
WTMR takes your publicly-available application information from the USPTO records, and puts it into a letter. That way, when you get the letter it looks “official.” Since it lists the same information under the header “Your Account Information,” you are meant to conclude that it is related to the USPTO. After all, how can you already have “account information” if you have never dealt with WTMR? Well, this company has absolutely nothing to do with the USPTO.
What Does the World Trademark Register Do?
If you look at the box on the right side of the letter, it lists a $980 “Registration Fee.” That is meant to trick you into thinking that you have to pay this fee before your application can become a registration. My client’s letter also contained a “due date” for payment. All of this is designed to make you think that your application will only be successful if you cut a check. That is not true.
What the World Trademark Register actually does is take the information from your application, and put it into a list that they publish. That means that, unfortunately, their list just documents all of the people and businesses that they have managed to trick out of nearly $1,000. That is a distinction that you want to avoid, I’m sure. And to add insult to injury, all of the information that they publish is already freely available on the USPTO website.
Want a Professional to Help You Avoid Wasting Money?
Scammers have gotten very good at making junk mail and scams look like important documents. It helps to have someone with experience on your side to help you, and to keep you from making costly mistakes such as paying companies like WTMR. If you want assistance with your trademark matter, please call me at (314) 479-3668, 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.