Chinese Firm Banned from USPTO and 15,000 TM cases Terminated

Over the past several years, the USPTO has been battling trademark applications that use fake specimens to establish a claim. Often these are low-quality photoshopped images, but can be more sophisticated.

This week, the UPSTO announced a final order for sanctions against the China-based law firm Shenzhen Huanyee Intellectual Property Co., Ltd. and the firm’s director Ms. Yusha Zhang associated with about 15,000 trademark applications many of which included “false and fraudulent submissions.”

Respondents have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, provided false domicile information for applicants, impermissibly entered the signature of the named signatory on declarations and verifications, and violated other USPTO Rules and the USPTO’s website terms of use.

The sanctions are quite firm:

  1. Proceedings involving submissions filed by Respondents are terminated (this is about 15,000 TM registration cases, many are already registered others are pending).
  2. Respondents are precluded from further correspondence or submissions.

[Read the order here]

One part of the sanction that folks need to consider has to do with violation of TEAS terms of service and sharing USPTO.GOV accounts.

Respondents registered and shared access to at least three separate accounts including the name of Yusha Zhang. Respondents used these accounts to make submissions on behalf of others through TEAS in thousands of trademark matters. Given that many of the submissions were often filed through TEAS in rapid succession from the various accounts, it is clear that the accounts were used by multiple people, not just Ms. Zhang.

Final order.

7 thoughts on “Chinese Firm Banned from USPTO and 15,000 TM cases Terminated

    1. 4.1

      Thanks koto. With the denial, the horrendous decision below now puts at risk all country domains not already owned by the respective foreign governments. Foreign courts can — apparently — now take away high-value geo domains from others . . . without compensation for doing so.

  1. 1

    Has the PTO referred TM applications like this to other Federal agencies for consideration of other statutes, such as those for mail or wire fraud?

    1. 1.1

      I second that – and would suggest that our Justice Department look into any State-action ties (as opposed to their typical “R” v “D” focus).

    2. 1.2

      Well this outfit is China-based, so aside from sternly-worded letters and cutting them off from filing access, I’m not sure what else could be done as a practical matter.

      The company was acting through local U.S. counsel (in LA and NY) though, so presumably additional measures could be taken against them. For example, in passing, the sanctions order cited 18 U.S.C. § 1001, the statute criminalizing false statements. Realistically, I’m not sure whether it’d be meaningful or worthwhile to further pursue U.S. counsel.

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