Connecticut residents who have trademarks might want to watch their inboxes for emails from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO sent an email out on Oct. 19 to warn about a fraud scheme in which thieves have been trying to hijack trademark files.

According to the USPTO, the thieves have made unauthorized changes on the files of active registrations and applications so that third parties can use the trademarks on their own products. When changes are made to an application or registration, the USPTO automatically sends an email notifying the registrant or applicant of the change.

People who receive a notification should first determine whether the change might have been authorized. For example, if they recently hired new attorneys, the USPTO will normally send an email because of the change in correspondence. If the people determine that the change was not authorized, they should notify the USPTO by sending a copy of the email together with the registration or application number, when they received the alert and some other required information.

Businesses that discover that a third party is using its trademark or has made unauthorized changes to their registrations or applications might want to talk to experienced intellectual property lawyers. The attorneys may litigate on behalf of their clients to secure damages from the violating parties and to get injunctions against the defendants. This may help to protect their clients’ intellectual property rights. By filing a lawsuit against third parties who have violated their trademarks, businesses may be able to recover damages for the losses that the violations have caused to them. The third parties may also be banned from using the trademark in the future.