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  • Writer's pictureTodd

Scams and SAD Litigation

Please be aware that callers are calling trademark applicants asking for a $25 fee congratulating applicants and stating they can use the mark. The callers are spoofing USPTO phone numbers to make it look like the call is coming from the USPTO. This is a scam. Do not give them your credit card information as they may steal your financial information.

 

Although this next example doesn’t quite rise to the level of scam, it is shady and trolling at best. It is called SAD litigation – or litigation utilizing Schedule A Defendants.

 

In this scheme, trademark and/or copyright holders will file a lawsuit against multiple defendants, maybe even 100 defendants. The majority of cases are in two courts, the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of Florida.

 

They’ll then circumvent the typical due process service rules and attempt service via email. They can get away with this because the people they sue may be sellers on third-party platforms and they use a screenname instead of their real name.

 

The problem with allowing email service is it leaves potential defendants confused about whether it’s a real court action or it may go to their spam folder. If the defendants don’t file a response, a default judgment may be issued against them.

 

This happened recently when country musician Luke Combs received a default judgment against a fan for the tune of around $250,000. Both Luke Combs and the defendant said they weren’t aware of the suit. Allegedly the defendant had sold $380 worth of product that was allegedly infringing.

 

If you receive such a lawsuit, don’t ignore it. Contact your attorney ASAP to discuss responding to the suit and negotiating a way for you to get out of the suit.  

 

Please note that the information contained in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. The facts of your situation may differ from this general information. It is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.


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