Is the International Patent & Trademark Index (IPTI) A Scam?

Posted by Randy Michels on Apr 29, 2016 8:29:45 AM

Criminal Silhouette

One of the many benefits of a federal trademark registration is that it can serve as a basis for obtaining registrations in foreign countries. Unfortunately, a federal trademark registration can also make you a target for foreign scammers. Foreign scammers use information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO's) database to send trademark solicitations.

Within a matter of days of receiving a federal trademark registration, one of our clients received this official-looking invoice from the International Patent & Trademark Index (IPTI) for $2,356:

International Patent & Trademark Index (IPTI) Scam Invoice

What is the IPTI? It is not a government agency. The U.S. trademark system is administered by the USPTO, which is located in Alexandria, Virginia. The international trademark system is administered by the Word Intellectual Property Organization, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The IPTI is located in the Slovak Republic.

What do you get for your money? A "registration" in a private registry that has absolutely no legal significance. This assumes, of course, that the IPTI actually does anything other than take your money.

Sign up here for a free consultation to learn if you are being scammed.

So how do you avoid getting duped? You should check the USPTO’s list of known scammers before paying any suspicious looking invoices. Please also review our warnings about the following scammers:

Unfortunately, the scammers stay one step ahead of the USPTO by changing names frequently. Notably, the IPTI does not appear on this list. That's one of the reasons why it helps to have a trademark lawyer who can help you avoid these scams by reviewing any solicitations that you receive.

Have a question about an invoice that you received for trademark services? Sign up for a free attorney consultation on our home page.

Topics: Scams

About This Blog

From their office in a meat packing plant turned creative community, the lawyers at Trust Tree craft articles on the importance of trademarks and the power of branding. When you visit our blog, you can expect lots of content related to those topics. Unfortunately, you can also expect lots of memes, lame jokes, bad puns, and shoutouts to Nashville. The goal of our blog is to help you learn a few things about trademarks in the least painful way possible.

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