Tuesday, 08 March 2011

Is Trademarkia (Now LegalForce) a Scam? | Legal Tips from a Trademark Lawyer

Trademarkia (trademarkia.com(now known as LegalForce))  has quickly become one of the largest trademark form services on the internet, perhaps even larger than LegalZoom.com.  Trademarkia primarily provides a number of ancillary services to the trademark process the most powerful one of which is perhaps the most powerful trademark database search tool anywhere.  If you want to register your trademark, and you are looking for a low-cost alternative to a full service trademark law firm such as Traverse Legal, you can also register your mark through the Trademarkia interface.  As part of the Terms of Service (TOS), you agree to request that the law firm Raj Abhyanker P.C. to become the trademark attorney of record. Mr. Abhyanker is the founder of Trademarkia. 

Trademarkia, in our opinion, is not a scam, but a high powered tool for consumers and trademark lawyers who want a powerful trademark search tool, and for consumers who can't afford traditional trademark registration services.  Trademarkia has a great search engine for trademark registrations, solid notice services and a number of helpful 'up-sells' for things like logo creation, social network mark searches, etc. 

Update June 1, 2011 - Bloomerberg article on Trademarkia and Raj Abhyanker:  Trademarkia Upends Trademark Filing Process, Angers IP Lawyers

COMMENTS

I gave Trademarkia 4 trademarks to register in 2 countries, more time has been spent following up their stuff ups than you can imagine. At the end of the day it wasn't that cheap and it would have been easier to go to a traditional trademark attorney or do it ourselves!
And then I find out they haven't paid a foreign law firm for work I paid for over 12 months ago. Never again!

Tradmarkia has changed its name to Legal Force. I love the new brand. I'm not sure how they secured www.legalforce.com but it is a great domain name. I look forward to seeing what new products and services legal force will be bringing us in 2012. Congratulations.

Trademarkia is at its base a self-help service for filing a trademark registration for your name or brand. The bigger question is how to register a name as a trademark? A qualified trademark attorney can offer you the best possible advice about a variety of issues that come well before the registration process. Each remark registration attorney can also make sure that you fill out the trademark registration form correctly and be prepared to respond to any office actions from the USPTO examining Atty.

Ewart trademark is potentially a valuable asset. You should treat it with respect and give it the attention it deserves. Don't skimp on money when it comes to identifying your trademarks and getting them protected through registration, monitoring and threat letters where appropriate.

Here are some interesting facts about Trademarkia CEO Raj Abhyanker that anyone doing business with him should know:

He has a history of breaking the law. Indeed, he pled to several counts of dishonest election-fraud type acts and was fined by California for $15,000!

Just google "raj abhyanker fppc"

Second: He has a history of being just straight up crazypants!

He has actually sued Facebook claiming that they copied him! Yes, he is that much of a megalomaniac with no connection to reality. Of course, the case was dismissed and Abhyanker lost. What a fool!

Just google "Raj Abhyanker Facebook lawsuit Liz Gannes" for the article.

Trademarkia may nor may not be a scam, but I wouldn't trust Raj Abhyanker for a second given his record.

I WOULD RATE NEGATIVE 10 STARS....-BEYOND BEWARE!!!!! My personal experience with the owner of this company Raj Abhyankar as well as his companies Raj Abhyankar P.C. , Raj Abhyankar LLP, and Trademarkia HAVE ALLOWED ME TO SEE, FIRST HAND, SOME EXTREMELY QUESTIONABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES!!!!!

RAJ ABHYANKAR, TRADEMARKIA, Raj Abhyankar P.C. , Raj Abhyankar LLP, excersized at the very least some incredibly NEGLIGENT practices. Raj Anbhyankar filed false representation claims to the USPTO on my behalf stating that he was not only my attorney of record, but that any and all future correspondence should come to his companies email addresses going forward.

Yes, you are reading this correctly. Raj Anhyankar and his related companies filed documentation under penalty of perjury to the USPTO on my behalf, without my consent and or knowledge. It was not until 2 days before my mark was to be abandoned that I learned of their deeds. I had my REAL attorney contact them and they immediately responded by stating it was simply a clerical error. The problem with that was that they were representing a competing trademark claim the entire time they were responding and filing false "Change of Address" forms by and between their related companies on three separate occasions to the USPTO on my behalf.

These attorneys do not scare me and I am going to tell the entire world how absolutely terrible, costly and damaging their practices have been to me personally. When they were informed of their acts, their response was not only dismissive but incredibly insulting and condesending to say the least.

I am simply someone who was absolutely WRONGED by this attorney who prides himself in being the CEO OF TRADEMARKIA. All this from a group of people and professionals that I had never met, known or communicated with until they were caught making "clerical errors" while representing a competing mark.

Absolutely DESPICABLE AND UNPROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOR!!!

Joe: You might run a test to see if you can replicate the experience you describe. If Tradmarkia is mining search data and then registering domain names, that would be a potential privacy policy issue. But the internet is a big place and sometimes these things are coincidence. let me know...

trademarkia has posted my personal address and trademarks that I filed stating that it is public records.... google cannot search uspto records, yet when you search my name, my personal address and information that I supplied the uspto when submitting my trademark application comes up. I contacted customer service at trademarkia and asked them to remove my information from their database... they said they would do it as a personal favor.... it HAS NOT been done. My information still comes up in google in relation to tradmarkia.... anyone with a certain amount of smarts can navigate the uspto and do a trademark search and file their own trademark... I wouldn't trust trademarkia as my experience with them has been negative. If you can't figure out how to file a trademark, get a REAL attorney to help you...

BEWARE-BEWARE-BEWARE Has anyone else had the following problem or coincidence with Trademarkia.Com ??? I went to the site and used their search feature but did not buy anything, I only searched for the name I wanted to register with the USPTO. I know they kept a record of my search as I received an email the following day asking if I needed help with the process. Within the email they included the name I did a search on.

About 5 days later I went to register the name as a .com domain, only to find that the domain had been purchased just TWO DAYS after I visited trademarkia.com. Of course the domain in question is currently For Sale! What are the odds that just two days after I did a search for the name, someone anonymously buys the domain up and places it for sale? has this happened to anyone else?

BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE! Trademarkia is a complete scam! They post sensitive information about your trademark before it is even registered. They are NOT attorneys. What they are doing just shows that the owner Raj Abhyanker has not one creative bone in his body mooching off the ideas of other people before they can even come to fruition. This should be illegal! You try to create something on your own privately, only to have it posted all over the Internet without your permission! Shame on you and your company, Trademarkia. Hire a real trademark/patent attorney or you will pay dearly later. What is that saying? The cheap comes out expensive! Beware....

I am running a trademark through them. I prepared the entire applicaiton myself. Not sure what he attorney reviewed except to make sure that they had not sent me a threat letter and thus had no conflict of interest. So trademarkia does not appear to help prepare the applicaiton, but just submits it on your behalf becoming attorney of record in the process. The reason the price is as cheap as it is is because they do not do the things a trademark registration attorney would do for a client such as a trademark availability search, availability opinion letter and trademark application preparation. As long as trademarkia customers know what they are NOT GETTING, and the risks they are taking by not doing the things most trademark customers should have done if they can afford it (and it is not really much more expensive), then trademarkia is a slightly cheaper option.

Trademarkia DOES tell clients that an attorney handles their submission. It is all over their website and here is one email message directly from Trademarkia customer service:

Dear Client,

Thank you for your email. Please be advised that when you submit an application through Trademarkia a Licensed Trademark Attorney will handle your trademark application. The Standard Preparation Fee of $159 is the fee for the attorney to conduct a review of your application and submit the application on your behalf.

I recently had a Trademarkia employee (or at least she has an official looking email address) ask for my credit card information via email instead of sending me to an online area to pay for a service. When I asked if I could pay online or use PayPal, she said she would have someone send me a PayPal money request. I'm concerned this sounds like a contracted employee going around the system to make a buck, thoughts?

@Craig: a conflicts check means they run a check of their client list to make sure you are not an opposing party (typically) to one of their clients. Sometimes certain competitors raise conflicts. If such a conflict arises, they may decline to handle your trademark or get written approval from both clients that representation is okay.

Yes a conflict check is what Craig describes: it is to make sure that there is no conflict between the mark applied for and one of the clients the firm currently respresents.

Trademarkia: Thanks for the comment. What is the "conflict check?" Is it to make sure that prior to accepting representation, there are no similar marks to prior marks field on behalf of Abhyanker's present or former clients? If so, anything else? If not, what does the conflict check involve?

I could not find information about what exactly is involved in this on the web site or on Raj Abhyanker web site.

Trademarkia's trademark services page clearly indicates that all customers of Trademarkia will be represented by the law firm of Raj Abhyanker PC. This is true even of the standard package orders: http://www.trademarkia.com/trademark/trademark-services.aspx. Trademarkia customers also are never tricked into having the firm represent them, but agree to the representation before they submit their application. If they do happen to get an office action, they are advised of their options of how to respond with or without the help of the law firm.

Trademarkia Terms of Use (TOU).

http://www.trademarkia.com/about-trademarkia/terms-and-conditions.aspx

Trademarkia, Inc. is a Delaware C corporation in the United States that develops Internet and software technology to aid the public in search of government records and to provide unique, non-legal services to customers. Trademarkia, Inc. is NOT a law firm and cannot provide any legal advice. Qualified attorneys are invited to advertise on Trademarkia.com, and all requests for trademark filings are handled by these qualified law firms directly (hereinafter "Advertisers").

Any legal services (including but limited not, pricing and service descriptions) displayed on Company websites or online properties are provided by attorney and law firm advertisers, who hire the Company for paid search, SEO, SEM, and pay per click advertising and consulting on Trademarkia, Inc. websites and on content networks such as Google Adwords, Bing and Yahoo. The Company is not a law firm, nor does it provide legal services. Therefore, any legal services offered or advertised on Company websites are solely controlled and operated by the offering attorney or law firm advertiser (hereafter "Advertisers"). The Company is not privy to legal services performed by Advertisers, and users are asked to directly contact and communicate with Advertisers to get confidential docket information.

Currently, all applications for the registration of a trademark in the United States are managed by licensed U.S. trademark attorneys at the firm of Raj Abhyanker P.C. (www.rajpatent.com) in Mountain View, California based on a successful conflict check performed to best protect your interests. Raj Abhyanker P.C. represents over 2,500 individuals, small businesses, and multinational corporations.

So far,the trademark registration and search web site Trademarkia.com seems to be doing pretty well in terms of consumer reviews. They appear to have only one complaint at the Better Business Bureau, which was resolved with a refund. http://www.trustlink.org/Reviews/Trademarkiacom-206079963

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Is Trademarkia (Now LegalForce) a Scam? | Legal Tips from a Trademark Lawyer:

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Trademark Blog Homepage: Trademark Attorney, Lawyer: Trademark Registration & Trademark Infringement

Trademark Infringement: Cease & Desist Letter Help

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How to Trademark A Name?

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