For the past decade, business owners have increasingly been seeking legal counsel to file trademarks with the USPTO to obtain Amazon Brand Registry. Unfortunately copycats, product listing hijackers, and fraudulent trademark filing companies have capitalized on this market trend to file thousands of fraudulent trademarks for unsuspecting entrepreneurs to make high profits. Individual and small business owners have been the most adversely impacted by these fraudulent actors.
In response, the USPTO has launched major anti-fraud offensives as “low-cost” brand development and trademark filing companies and individual practitioners. USPTO confirmed that they had schemed to defraud both the USPTO and business owners in thousands of trademark applications, including the unauthorized practice of law and providing false and fraudulent information in violation of the USPTO’s rules of practice.
The disregard of professional ethics by these practitioners have resulted in a myriad of negative consequences for many business owners. They have caused unnecessary delay in the examination process of trademarks in general with the thousands of fraudulent applications that they filed, which have been refused by the USPTO, and business owners who retained their service must now seek out new attorneys to re-file their trademark applications. The business owners must now have to spend more money to file secure applications, because the USPTO has ruled that while it will now issue refunds of filing fees to these them.
Recently, many business owners have received notices from Amazon, clearly stating that if the company hires of lawyers have been sanctioned by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is likely to affect their business trademark application processing and delay the Brand Registry process with Amazon. Therefore, business owners should maintain constant communication with their attorneys and understand the nature of these sanctions and how they may affect the business and trademark application and Brand Registration in the industry.
Steps Going Forward for Business Owners
If your attorney has been sanctioned or disciplined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for ethical violations, you should consider finding a new attorney to handle your case if your current attorney is unable to resolve the issue or provide satisfactory explanations. To do so, you should take the following steps:
1. Terminate the relationship with your current trademark attorney: If you believe that your current trademark attorney has committed ethical violations, you should terminate the relationship immediately. You can do this by sending a written notice to your attorney and informing them that you no longer wish to work with them.
2. Find a new trademark attorney: Look for a new trademark attorney who has experience with Amazon’s trademark policies and procedures. You can search for attorneys on the internet or ask for referrals from colleagues or other professionals.
3. Notify Amazon: Once you have found a new trademark attorney, you should notify Amazon of the change. This can be done by updating your account information and notifying Amazon’s Brand Registry team.
4. File a complaint: If your current trademark attorney has committed ethical violations, you may consider filing a complaint with the State Bar Association. This can help prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
It is important to work with a reputable and ethical trademark attorney when it comes to protecting your intellectual property on Amazon. In the meantime, you should try to work with Amazon to see if there are any alternative options available to expedite the Brand Registry process and consult with your new trademark attorneys for advice and guidance on how to navigate this situation.
By following these steps, you can make sure that your legal representation is in good standing and that you are fully protected under the law.
Wang IP Law Group, P.C. is a Los Angeles based full service legal firm that specializes in intellectual property law (patent, trademark, copyright, and licensing agreement), business and commercial litigation, and a wide range of other legal matters including immigration, real estate, and landlord/tenant cases. Our multilingual attorneys represent clients from all over California and internationally from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, and Israel.
If you have questions or would like a consultation in regards to the content of this publication, please contact us by calling (888) 827-8880 or email us at [email protected]. For more information about the firm and the services please visit www.TheWangIPLaw.com.