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An update on scam invoices

by | Mar 20, 2014

Scam

After filing your trademark application, have you received unsolicited requests for money and scam invoices? If you have filed a UK or European trademark application, then the chances are that you have received an unwelcome approach. Do not make payment!

As has been reported previously (here and here), the rogue organisations which send out these invoices are able to extract your personal information and contact details from the trademark register, this is public and easily accessible.
If you have received these demands for payment, we would recommend exerting caution. They are generally a frivolous attempt to extort money, and no matter how genuine they appear, they should not be paid.
Whilst these demands for payment are becoming fairly commonplace, there is increased hope for the trademark owner. As recently reported by the UK IPO, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has now teamed up with Trading Standards, adding much needed legal weight that can be enforced against these third parties, who are breaking the  rules on ‘misleading advertising’.
This means that any advertiser who sends out unsolicited demands for payment, or otherwise advertises misleading IP related services; could face referral from the ASA to Trading Standards.

Implications for IP owners

This is a positive step for any IP rights holder who receives misleading invoices about renewals and other services.  With Trading Standards now acting as the ASA’s legal backstop, we would expect the offenders sending out misleading invoices to be further deterred by the threat of legal action being brought against them.

How we can help you?

The trademark team at Albright IP will be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding “unexpected” invoices. Even if you have filed your own UK and European trademark application, we will be happy to advise whether these requests are legitimate, so that you know how to deal with them.
The experienced team at Albright IP will be able to offer advice in all areas of trademark law and practice, and are also able to step in to takeover representation of a trademark application or registration at any time.

Author

  • Katie Oliver

    Katie graduated from the University of Leicester with an Honours Degree in Law in 1999 and trained as a Trademark Attorney at a Midlands based Firm. She was awarded the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law from Queen Mary & Westfield College, London and qualified as a UK and European Trademark Attorney in 2002.

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