Recently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) suspended all Trademark Terminal filings pending administrative review. In a Show Cause Order, the USPTO alleges that Trademark Terminal is fraudulently filing trademarks from Pakistan. In addition, the USPTO alleges Trademark Terminal “engaged in the unauthorized practice of law,” provided “fraudulent information,”, and overcharged victims.
Unfortunately, this is bad news for consumers who believed Trademark Terminal’s services are legitimate. In nearly all cases, the USPTO marked the applications “suspended pending administrative review.” In addition, it seems unlikely they will survive. If you filed with Trademark Terminal, you may need to file it again. Below, I explain what happened and what you can do.
USPTO Suspends Trademark Terminal for Potential Ethics Violations Arising From Pakistan
After the USPTO reviewed the IP addresses associated with Trademark Terminal filings, it became apparent that it is located in Pakistan. There are other issues as well:
- (1) a shadowy operator;
- (2) hiding time-sensitive USPTO correspondence from consumers; and
- (3) engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
Shadowy Operation From Pakistan
Specifically, Abtach, Ltd. a foreign company, controls Trademark Terminal. As of writing, Abtach, Ltd. is under investigation by the Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency for attempting to bribe an official within the same agency investing it for money laundering. In fact, the connection with Abtach, Ltd., which is not a U.S. law firm, suggests that the filings are unlawful under USPTO rules.
Hiding USPTO Correspondence Meant for Consumers
Trademark Terminal made a number of claims that led small-business owners to buy its cheap services. They offered trademark registration within minutes with a starting price of only $99. As of writing, Trademark Terminal did not provided proof that its actions are lawful. However, it is unlikely that their actions ever were, since Trademark Terminal repeatedly put their email in the correspondence section reserved for the client, a violation of a February 2020 USPTO requirement. Basically, the company tried to hide correspondence from the USPTO to their clients away from their clients eyes, by mailing it to themselves.
Allegations of Fraudulent Statements to the USPTO
There are other glaring issues, one attorney, Michael P. Eddy, explained that one prospective client came to him complaining of fraudulent statements on his application. As Mr. Eddy reviewed the filing, he noticed it a listing from Yandex, a free Russian email service, a clear attempt at (1) impersonating a U.S. attorney; (2) circumventing the USPTO licensing rules; and (3) making false statements under penalty of perjury to the USPTO. Only U.S. attorneys are allowed to represent applicants before the USPTO on trademark matters. See 37 C.F.R. § 11.14. In essence, what Trademark Terminal did is similar to the unlawful practices of “notarios” in immigration matters.
What Does the USPTO Order About Trademark Terminal Mean?
The USPTO Order is all-encompassing, demanding that Trademark Terminal provide evidence to counter why the USPTO should not:
- Cancel all trademarks they filed;
- Remove their correspondence information from the database;
- Strike other documents filed (e.g., a Statement of Use/Amendment to Allege Use); and,
- Terminate all alive proceedings.
Because Trademark Terminal engaged in the “unauthorized practice of law,” the USPTO Order is no laughing matter. In these situations, the USPTO Order will freeze all affected trademark applications as “suspended pending administrative review.” However, the outcome is unknown.
If the USPTO’s allegations are true, then the USPTO will cancel any trademark filed by Trademark Terminal. Again, this is terrible news for consumers. This is because Trademark Terminal and Abtach, Ltd. prejudiced their interests, resulting in a waste of client time and money. If the Show Cause Order is true, then, unfortunately, your trademark application will likely read “dead” and “cancelled” once the administrative review is complete.
Suspended Pending Administrative Review
If you filed a trademark with the following list of “companies,” you will see the status as “suspended pending administrative review.” You can find out your trademark’s status if you search for your trademark Serial Number at the USPTO’s Trademark Status & Document Retrieval (“TSDR”) website.
Below is a full list of the entities the USPTO suspended with the Show Cause Order:
- Trademark 999
- Trademark Axis
- Trademark Eminent
- Trademark Excel
- Trademark Falcon
- Trademark Fusion
- Trademark Kingdom
- Trademark Nation
- Trademark Regal
- Trademark Profs
- Trademark Target
- Trademark Terminal
- US Trademark Pros
- US Trademark Solutions
Nearly all of these websites have stopped accepting new clients or payment. Funnily enough, the USPTO was able to link the companies because they displayed nearly identical webpages, services, prices, and information. Please note however, that the USPTO will update this list as time goes on.
What Should I Do If My Trademark Terminal Filing is Suspended Pending Review?
In plain English, “suspended pending administrative review” means that the USPTO has paused your application’s processing based upon the outcome of their Show Cause Order against Trademark Terminal. Until the administrative review is complete, your application will be put on hold. If your trademark is affected, you should contact a qualified U.S. trademark attorney immediately. It is likely that the USPTO will cancel your trademark as fraudulently filed by Trademark Terminal.
Trademark Terminal: Conclusion and Recommendation
I have had at least a handful of clients come to me since the Show Cause Order. Given the circumstances, I empathize with those affected. If you file a trademark with any of the companies listed above, please go to TSDR, type in your Serial Number, and see if it shows the status as “suspended pending administrative review.” Then, go to “Documents” and see if there is an “Order” listed. Read the Order because your application may be in jeopardy of cancellation.
If you filed a trademark with Trademark Terminal, you should contact a U.S.-licensed attorney immediately, and Syed Law can help.