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Letter to Virginia Attorney General re: Trademark Scams

Letter to Virginia Attorney General re: Trademark Scams

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Published by Erik Pelton
Letter from Erik M. Pelton to the Virginia Attorney General regarding trademark scams
Letter from Erik M. Pelton to the Virginia Attorney General regarding trademark scams

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Erik Pelton on Feb 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/29/2012

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Attorneysat
Law
ErikMPelton"Mark
L.
Donahey"BenjaminDPelton'··
ofcounsel
PO
Box
100637
Arlington,VA
22210
T:703.525.8009F:703.525.8089
*NJDCBar"VA
Bar
"·VADC&NY
Bar
erikpelton.com
ErikMPelton
&
Associates,
PLLC
February29,2012TheHonorableKennethCuccinelli,IIOfficeoftheAttorneyGeneral900EastMainStreetRichmond,VA23219Cc:OfficeofConsumerAffairsPOBox1163Richmond,VA
23218
FairfaxCountyDivisionofConsumerProtection12000GovernmentCenterParkwaySuite433Fairfax,VA22035Re:TrademarkScamsDearAttorneyGeneralCuccinelli:Iwritetoyoutoexpressmyconcernsregardingthegrowingproblemoftrademark-relatedscamstargetingtheownersofFederaltrademarkapplicationsandregistrations,manyofwhomresideinVirginia.Iamatrademarkattorneyandfounderofthe
finn
ErikM.Pelton
&
Associates,PLLC,ofFallsChurch,Virginia.IalsoowntrademarkregistrationsissuedbytheUnitedStatesPatentandTrademarkOffice("USPTO"),includingTM4SMALLBIZ®andERIKM.PELTON
&
ASSOCIATES,PLLC@_Inrecentmonths,myclientsandcolleagues-manyofthemlocatedinVirginiaaswell-havereportedasharpincreaseinthenumberofconfusingsolicitationsmailedtothembyentitiesseekingpaymentforservicespurportedlyrelatedtotherecipients'trademarkapplicationsandregistrations.ManyofthesesolicitationsaredesignedtolooklikeofficialcorrespondencefromtheUSPTOandotherlegitimateentities,andsomeidentifythemselveswithhighlydeceptivenameslikethe"UnitedStatesTrademarkRegistrationOffice"andthe"WorldIntellectualPropertyDatabase."Oftenthesesolicitationsarepresentedasinvoicesforservicesthathavenovalueorlegalsignificance,suchaspublicationofthetrademarkinthesender'sownprivate"registry,"forwhichtherecipientischargedhundredsorthousandsofdollars.Itoohavebeentherecipientofmanyofthesesolicitations,whichweretargetedatmyowntrademarkregistrations.Ihavecopiesofattachedseveralexamplesforyourreview.Thesesolicitationsarenothingshortofscamsintendedtodefraudunsuspectingbusinessesandindividuals.Throughtheiruseofnamesandformsthatareconfusinglysimilartothoseofgovernmentagencieswhileattemptingtocollectpaymentforserviceswithlittleornosubstantivevalue,thesendersofthesesolicitationsdemonstrateaclearintenttoprofitfromtheconfusionofrecipients.
Experienceisourtrademark.TrademarkisourexperfenceP"
 
It
hascometomyattentionthatyourofficemayhavethemeanstocombatthesescams.Forexample,in2009theAttorneyGeneralofFloridasuccessfullybroughtacaseagainstthe"FederalInstituteforPatentandTrademarkRegistry"forviolationofthestate'sDeceptiveandUnfairTradePracticesAct.
It
ismyunderstandingthatthesepracticesmayalsoviolateVirginiaCriminalCode§18.2·216,whichmakesitaClass1misdemeanortopublishadvertisementswithcommercialintentthatareuntrue,deceptiveormisleading.Virginiabusinessesandindividualswhohavewiselytakenstepstoprotecttheirintellectualpropertyrightsdeservetobeprotectedfromthesedeceptiveandfraudulentpractices.VirginiahasastrongbusinessclimateanditsreputationasoneofthebeststatesinAmericainwhichtostartandconductbusinessmeritsprotectiontoo.
I
urgeyourofficetoinvestigatetheextenttowhichthesesolicitationsviolateVirginialawandwhetherthoseresponsiblemaybeprosecuted.IfyouhaveanyquestionsorifImaybeofassistanceinanyway,pleasedonothesitatetocontactmeat703·525-8009orerik@erikpelton.com.Thank:youinadvanceforyourattentiontothismatter.Erik
M.
Pelton
ERIK
M.
PELTON
&
ASSOCIATES,
PLLC®
Enclosures
erlkpelton.com
 
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