Jul 152008
 

Somebody in Malta tried to scam me. Here’s how it works: After you register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, your name and address get put on a list. Several lists, actually, and at least one is publicly published in the official USPTO Gazette. Scammers will then put you on a list and try to get you to send them money. This one was postmarked “Luqa, Malta,” and was from something called the IBIP: “International Bureau for Intellectual Property.” For only $1,537.10, I can register my trademark with them. It is of course a bullshit scam— you don’t need to register anything, it’s already registered with the USPTO—and I’m sure they get some sucker to send them fifteen hundred bucks and ten cents. You’ll also get a few quasi-legit offers from lawyers to represent you in further dealings with the USPTO. The lawyers get your names from the same lists the scammers do. I didn’t need a lawyer, but if you do, go to a local one you trust, not some patent peddling shyster.

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