Q: How do I protect my business name/trademark if I was involved with a trademark scam?
I recently contracted Trademark Pioneer to file a trademark for my business name. They claimed I need 5 different classes and I stupidly agreed and paid them for the 5 classes. After I paid them and filled out the paperwork I didn't hear back from them for over a week. I did some research on them and saw that other people had fallen for this scam too. I immediately disputed the charges with my bank. As soon as I did that I received an email with the serial number for my trademark. There are 2 problems, they only filed it in 1 class when I paid for 5 and the correspndant email was some random gmail, not my email or any Trademark Pioneer email. Since I have disputed the charges they have been contacting me, even a supposed trademark lawyer, saying that they now own the trademark and I can't use my business name. I contacted the USPTO and they said it's a scam and I need to terminate the application. I'm just worried Trademark Pioneer will steal my trademark. Not sure what to do.
A: You definitely should terminate the pending application and re-file with a reputable trademark attorney. Trademark Pioneer is/was a notorious scam, you were an unfortunate victim. But they cannot "steal" your trademark, as ownership depends on usage and you have priority of use if challenged.
A: I recommend taking immediate action to protect your business name. You should hire a reputable trademark attorney to help you file a legitimate trademark application with the USPTO in the correct classes. Be sure to maintain clear documentation of your dispute with Trademark Pioneer as evidence if needed in the future. Additionally, consider reporting the fraudulent activity to relevant authorities to prevent others from falling victim to the same scam.
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