Those who come with up with new or unique ideas in New Jersey or elsewhere may be able to trademark them. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is warning those with active trademark applications about a scam designed to alter them without permission. If a trademark application or registration has been changed, the USPTO will send an email to whoever submitted it. It is important to take such an email seriously.
If the change was not authorized, impacted parties are advised to forward the email to the USPTO. They are also advised to provide their name, telephone number and information about the case that could be relevant. This will generally include the application or registration serial number as well as the time and date of the initial alert. It is important to note that those who have hired or changed attorneys may receive an alert as well.
When a trademark application is approved, it generally provides a person or business with exclusive rights to use a piece of intellectual property. This may be a jingle, a slogan or a logo that a person created for his or her small business. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to talk with an attorney prior to submitting an application. It may also be a good idea to contact legal counsel if an application is tampered with for any reason.
If a trademark holder fails to defend his or her intellectual property rights, other parties may be allowed to use it. Therefore, it may be in a person or company's best interest to protect the trademark against even minor infractions. This might take the form of sending a cease-and-desist letter or taking an infringing party to court in an effort to put an end to infringing behavior.