Is your trademark invoice fake or real?
As soon as your trademark application has been received by the authority, your filed trademark became public in international trademark databases.
The issue with fake trademark invoices is increasing and the people behind them are creative. Some are designed to look like the sender is an actual trademark office like EUIPO or WIPO, others are from companies requesting payment for pure scam services like publication, registration and renewal of your trademark. With names such as Word Trademark Register, WOTRA (World Organization for Trademarks) and ETR (European Trademark Register), they are not easy to spot. Some of them looks like real invoices, but when you read the fine print you can see that it is different offers you did not order or that does not even exist, for you to decide if you want to take part of.
Here is an example of how this kind of fine printed offer can look like:
“Dear madam and Sir, the publishing of the registration of your trademark is the basis of our offer. We offer the registration of your Trademark dates in our private database… …Please notice that this private registration has’t any connection with the publication of official registration, and is not a registration by a government organization, and we havn’t any business relations yet. This offer of registration is not an invoice but a solicitation without obligation to pay, unless “our offer is accepted…”
So how can you protect yourself from fake invoices?
- Read the fine print. If it says that no purchase has been made and/or that payment is voluntary, or other indications that you do not have a business relationship with the invoice provider – do not pay.
- Both EUIPO and WIPO have searchable lists with samples of misleading invoices sent to trademark owners. If it is listed there – do not pay.
- We at InstanTM by Markdeft AB will never send invoices in any other name than our own. If you are still unsure about the origin, contact us for further assistance.