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Trademark renewal scam : California man indicted for mass mailing campaign

TM dilution is not the business of a UDRP

TM holders are often targeted in mass mail scams.

A persistent mailing scam operator, was indicted for his role in a mass mailing scam targeting holders of U.S. trademarks.

According to Justice.gov, Artashes Darbinyan, 35, of Glendale, California, was charged in the Central District of California with 12 counts of mail fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.  His arraignment was scheduled for Oct. 19, 2015.

Trademark renewal scams involve the mass mailing of notifications to trademark holders, seeking fees for unnecessary services related to the marks.

According to the indictment:

“From September 2013 through September 2015, Darbinyan operated and controlled the Trademark Compliance Center (TCC) (aka Trademark Compliance Office (TCO)), which purported to offer trademark registration and monitoring services. 

The indictment alleges that, through TCC and TCO, Darbinyan sent mass solicitations to holders of trademarks recently registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offering, for a fee, to register the holders’ trademarks with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which uses an Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) recordation database to screen and block imports of infringing products, and to send users of its service regular reports of potentially confusing or infringing marks. 

According to the indictment, Darbinyan did not intend to, and did not, provide the promised services.”

Domain owners and professionals should seek legal advise from qualified IP attorneys only, for matters related to their trademarks.

The indictment can be viewed here. Many thanks to IP attorney, Karen J. Bernstein for providing the link to the story.

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