Whether the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) possessed trademark registrations for its own trademarks was honestly not something I had ever thought about before. But then I received a link to the Director’s Forum blog earlier this month telling me that the Department of Commerce had recently filed for federal registration of the USPTO’s marks with the USPTO. It appears the reason for doing so after so many years is based on the increase in misleading solicitations and trademark filing scams. Simply put, the USPTO wants to be able to take legal action against scammers who impersonate it.
Ingesting humor into the blog, the USPTO said, “We recognize the intrigue and irony of filing for federal registration of the USPTO marks…with the USPTO. It’s a big reason why the Department of Commerce is filing the application on our behalf, just as it has for its other bureaus.” Federal agencies that own federal trademark registrations apparently include the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Park Service, and branches of the U.S. military.
As the blog summarizes, “We firmly believe that it’s never too late to do the right thing, and doing everything within our power to protect our trademark customers is the right thing.”