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Verify Trademark Ownership And Credentials
Perpetrators of fraud count on victims trusting them without verifying if trust is warranted

Many of us tend to trust before trust is earned and only later question when unexpected events occur. Unquestioning, “trusting” behavior is exactly what fraudsters, scam artists and con artists count on; they count on their victims failing to perform any due diligence process. Unfortunately, some people may spend more time conducting due diligence such as supplier price comparisons on a new television set purchase they are planning than they do on a studio or  instructor to whom they plan to entrust their own safety or that of their child.

For example, if you are searching for a child day care facility to care for your child while you are at work each day, there are probably some important facts you might want to know such as:

  1. is the day care facility a legitimate business?
  2. is it registered with the state?
  3. is the facility certified as safe by the state or some regulatory agency?
  4. are employee background checks performed to screen out undesirable employees?
  5. do the staff have any special training for dealing with children the age of your child?
  6. can they provide referrals from other parents whose children they care for?
  7. etc., etc.

When you are considering a martial art school for yourself or your child, there are also some key facts that you can verify and which may help you gain some insight into the character of the business and or the instructor.

Verifying trademark ownership may reveal if you are being deceived by a trademark infringer or trademark counterfeiter. 

Martial art trademark infringers often benefit from consumer confusion that results from the fact that many martial art school names often include foreign language words as may the martial art system names that they advertise as teaching.

These factors coupled with willful deception by trademark infringers and trademark counterfeiters can create very favorable circumstances for consumers to be deceived.

One proactive measure that you can take to protect yourself from fraud before doing business with a martial art school or instructor is to begin your due diligence  by verifying a few key facts that can be confirmed by independent 3rd parties and if positive findings result, then you can proceed with higher confidence that you will receive what you pay for and be treated fairly.

However, if the findings on any of these key facts is negative, then additional, very careful consideration may be in order.

  1. make note of the exact spelling of the martial art school name displayed on signage, promotional literature, web sites, patches, flags, banners, certificates, etc.
    • look for any uses of the federal registered trademark symbol ®
  2. make note of the exact spelling of the martial art system name displayed on signage, promotional literature, web sites, patches, flags, banners, certificates, etc.
    • look for any uses of the federal registered trademark symbol ®
  3. make note of each logo that you see used on signage, promotional literature, web sites, patches, flags, banners, certificates, etc.
    • look for any uses of the federal registered trademark symbol ®
  4. ask the school owner, instructor or staff member if their business name is a registered trademark
    • you can confirm this later with the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office via a simple web search
    • if they are willing to provide you with the registration number, then your search will be very easy
    • if they do not
  5. ask the martial art school owner for the exact spelling of the legal name of the business and write it down for reference
    • some martial art studios may have a legal business name and one or more other names they use on signage, promotional literature, web sites, etc., but you need to know the legal business name.

So take a moment before agreeing to enroll and verify:

  1. verify some key facts by asking your due diligence questions
  2. verify ownership of any trademarks you see displayed
  3. verify ownership of the martial art school name you see displayed
  4. verify ownership of the martial art system name you see displayed
  5. verify if the instructor or studio is licensed to display the trademarks see displayed
    1. Example: U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation search

Taking these three (3) simple steps may help you discover potentially fraudulent circumstances BEFORE you become an unquestioning and willing victim of them.

  1. Identify
  2. Verify
  3. Testify

The Martial Art Fraud website provides information intended to help you proactively 1) recognize and identify circumstances with a high potential for you to become a victim of fraud, 2) verify factual evidence of fraud and 3) report evidence of fraud to appropriate agencies and authorities. Disclaimer

 

Martial Art Fraud

Martial Arts Fraud is a public service initiative sponsored by the non-profit U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation. This website provides educational information about specific circumstances with a high potential for consumers to be defrauded when searching for and selecting a martial art school as well as for students who are already enrolled at a martial art school and discover that any of the discussed illegal acts are present.

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