Commerce Office of Inspector General Says USPTO is Failing to Prevent Fraudulent Trademark Registrations
On August 11, the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a final report on the audit of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademark registration process. Since 2015, the USPTO has seen a rapid uptick in potentially fraudulent trademark applications, and a previous audit in 2012 found that more than 50% of audited trademark maintenance filings contained goods/services not in use in commerce. The current audit determined whether inaccurate trademark applications are prevented by the USPTO from being entered and maintained on the trademark register, and further assessed the USPTO’s management of fraud on the register. The report ultimately found that the trademark registration process was ineffective in this respect.