Trademark lawyers and their clients are routinely bombarded with solicitations for legal services from businesses that have no authority to practice law before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Some may see the notices as merely annoying and throw them in the trash as soon as they arrive. However, the toll in time lost dealing with all the paperwork, client inquiries and confusion adds up. This analysis, first published in Westlaw Journal: Intellectual Property, Volume 21, Issue 21, February 4, 2015, posits that as the federal agency entrusted with safeguarding registration of our nation’s trademarks, the PTO owes it to itself, to the attorneys who practice before it and, most importantly, to trademark owners, to do everything it can to prevent such trademark scammers from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and to make known its efforts in doing so.
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