An alarming incident has been reported involving websites engaged in fraudulent and low cost trademark filings. It has been reported that the incident is one of the biggest money laundering case of Pakistan. Investigation revealed that an entity, namely, Diagnostics Labs operated almost 200 fraudulent websites and also issued fake USPTO trademark registration certificates while luring customers with low cost trademark filings.
Thereafter, the Federal Investigation Agency of Pakistan also published a Report, revealing the details of the money laundering case and also arrested the perpetrators involved in the crime. It has also been reported that these websites were providing brand creation services like logo designing, website creation and trademark filing services.
One of the most startling revelation as reported by the WTR is that the alleged Lab was operating a website for low cost trademark filings with the name USPTO Trademarks and the website allegedly had colour scheme and appearance similar to that of USPTO’s website.
Beware of Fraudulent Trademark filings!!!
This whole incident reveals that how perpetrators have been defrauding trademark applicants in the name of low trademark filing fees and also sending them fake USPTO registration certificates. Trademark filings through such fraudulent routes eventually serve no purpose and cripple the brand owners not only financially but mentally as well.
A simple search on Google for Trademark filing will enlist number of websites shouting out low cost filings, however brand owners should be cautious enough of not falling in the traps of such websites. In such circumstances it is always advisable to consult a law firm or a Lawyer, who are learned and aware about the whole process of filing and prosecution of trademarks in India and abroad.
As a brand owner it is very important to understand that trademark filing and obtaining of registration is not just a procedural compliance involving submission of application and receipt of registration certificate. The whole process is a complex one, which at several stages require legal assistance and such websites lack that qualification and judgment to aid brand owners in securing their IP rights.
The incident as reported aforesaid coupled with the fact that brand owners shall rely on trusted sources only brings us to the conclusion that IP filings shall be done by qualified trademark and Patent professionals only.