BizStarz Alleges that EMI Defrauded the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
April 27, 2008 -- SACRAMENTO, CA. Scott Smith, president of BizStarz, a public relations firm for entrepreneurs, has filed a second trademark fraud case against Entrepreneur Media Inc. (EMI), publisher of Entrepreneur magazine. Smith's latest case alleges that EMI defrauded the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) by making "willful false statements" in an elaborate scheme to acquire "Entrepreneur Expo" trademarks (Smith's other fraud case is against EMI's attempt to trademark "Entrepreneur" for all radio and TV programming).
Filed at the PTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in Arlington, Va., Smith's case alleges that EMI made false claims regarding its use of the phrase "Entrepreneur Expo." One of Smith's more striking allegations involves EMI's application for this trademark in April 1999, at which time EMI claimed that it was using "Entrepreneur Expo" as the name of its trade shows, despite knowing that EMI ceased doing so in the mid-1990s (and eventually quit producing trade shows). Smith alleges that EMI has not produced any "Entrepreneur Expo" events this century.
"EMI's fraudulent efforts to hi-jack the phrase 'entrepreneur expo' are harmful to all entrepreneurs, and threaten all organizations that produce entrepreneur expos since EMI will likely sue them unless this trademark is cancelled," said Smith. "However, making willful false statements to the PTO violates the federal False Statements Act and are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both. So I am notifying the federal authorities about EMI's false statements to the PTO."
EMI could also be liable for tens of millions of dollars in damages if found guilty of defrauding the PTO. Under U.S. Trademark Act 15 U.S.C. §1120, "Any person who shall procure registration in the Patent and Trademark Office of a mark by a false or fraudulent declaration or representation, oral or in writing, or by any false means, shall be liable in a civil action by any person injured thereby for any damages sustained in consequence thereof."
Smith believes EMI owes him $10 million or more for using fraudulently obtained trademarks to attack and decimate his former PR firm, EntrepreneurPR, and for maliciously smearing his professional reputation. Smith also believes that most of EMI's entrepreneur trademarks were fraudulently acquired, including their Entrepreneur magazine trademark.
BizStarz provides cost-effective public relations services to innovative small business entrepreneurs. BizStarz' clients and services have been featured by a variety of leading media organizations including CNN, Business Week and The Wall Street Journal.