USPTO Efforts to Combat Fraud

Takeaway: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is taking fraud more seriously after making a major discovery about a Chinese company abusing the system.

The USPTO made a recent announcement that it had discovered fraudulent activity from China-based company Shenzhen Haiyi Enterprise Management Co. Ltd. The company allegedly used the name of an attorney of record for more than 8,000 trademark applications and registrations without his permission, including some filings occurring a year after his death.

Recently, the USPTO enacted mandatory identification measures, where attorneys must verify their identity with the agency to use the trademark system, which should mitigate against some fraudulent filings. Nevertheless, trademark lawyers largely say that even with extra precautions taken by the USPTO, there will still always be some fraud that will fall through the cracks.