Unfortunately, the field of intellectual property is also subject to deceptions, frauds and scams. Consequently, we have lately, similarly as national offices in the EU, dealt with many questions from our clients regarding different offers and invoices sent by various companies, which offer expensive services regarding patents, trademarks and designs. These companies offer filing, publishing, registration and entering of patents, trademarks or designs, but in their own, private databases. This information is given in the small text in the lower part of their offer or invoice, but this is often overlooked by the recipients and they therefore settle such invoices. Names of companies performing such scams often resemble names of international IP offices, therefore the latter are trying to prosecute them, but mostly with no major success.
Therefore, we would like to inform everyone that such offers and invoices are scams and have nothing to do with the state of your applications, patents, trademarks and/or designs. We would also like to point out that EPO, WIPO, OHIM or national offices do not send their invoices or letters, with which they would request direct payments.
If you receive such offer or invoice, please check thoroughly who is the sender and what they are offering. In case you find yourselves in doubt you can contact any patent/trademark attorney or any of the IP Offices. In any case, do not settle any of the invoices unless you are well aware of the reason why they are for. Because the scam companies never return the money and the amounts for payment are always high.
If you would like to know more about this, you are welcome to contact us. You can also read more online. Below are some of the warnings published by IP Offices and some examples of misleading offers and invoices: