January 6, 2021

Scam invoices - be wary!

WIPO, EPO and EUIPO frequently update their websites warning applicants about unsolicited misleading invoices which request payment for 'registration' or inclusion in an unofficial publication/business directory for their recently published patent, trade mark or design application..

These misleading invoices are typically triggered when a patent, trade mark or design application is published by a Patent Office.

The invoices themselves are designed to look 'official'. They will often identify full applicant details together with patent, trade mark or design application numbers (this is the information that will be publicly available on publication of an application by a Patent Office). The 'small-print' often highlights the unsolicited services on offer i.e. inclusion in an unofficial business directory etc.

Warnings are found on the EPO website here, EUIPO website here and the UKIPO here.

Samples of misleading invoices can be found here. One of our clients received an invoice from this entity (OIP) similar to this invoice https://bit.ly/3bgzq1Q

If HMC-IP is recorded as representative on any patent, trade mark or design applications, typically all invoices for any Patent Office fees will be issued by HMC-IP directly.

So, if you receive an invoice which you are concerned may be a scam invoice, please do not pay and contact your HMC-IP attorney for further advice. If in doubt, please ask!

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Hanna Moore + Curley

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