The importance of warning clients about unscrupulous fee requests

We all need to redouble our efforts to warn clients about unscrupulous fee requests.  Four recent examples reminded me how insidious these fee requests can be.  The first one asks me to wire $2322.30 to a bank in Slovakia.  The second one asks me to wire $2738 to a bank in Czech Republic.  The third one asks me to wire $2548.25 (where do they get these amounts?) to a bank in Slovakia.  And the fourth asks me to wire $2327 to a bank in Czech Republic.

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New USPTO “series code” for Hague Agreement cases

Those whose practice includes “inbound” Madrid Protocol trademark applications are accustomed to the series code “79”.  When you see a USPTO application number that starts with “79” you know that it is a trademark application number and that it came to the USPTO from the International Bureau of WIPO.  Someone who filed a Madrid Protocol trademark application (in a place other than the USPTO) must have designated the US.

Now the USPTO has picked the series code that it will use for Hague Agreement applications.

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Canada takes a step toward Hague and PLT

The Canadian parliament has taken up a bill which, if enacted, would permit Canada to join the Hague Agreement (one-stop filing of applications for protection of industrial designs) and the Patent Law Treaty.

There has also been some progress in Canada toward eventually joining the Madrid Protocol (one-stop filing of applications for protection of trademarks).

Monitoring the international trademark filings of your competitors

Many companies, and many trademark practitioners, are unaware of an extremely helpful service which the World Intellectual Property Organization makes available free of charge.  The Madrid Electronic Alert (“MEA”) system is a free-of-charge “watch service” designed to inform anyone interested in monitoring the status of particular Madrid Protocol (international) trademark applications. This is particularly helpful for monitoring Madrid Protocol trademark filings of competitors and adversaries.

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