Worldwide 31 Mar 2020

Beware of fake invoices – especially in corona times!

Questionable operators continue to send invoices/offers where you are prompted to register or renew your trademark internationally. Offers concerning renewal of patents are also appearing. The letters give the appearance of being official and you are often asked to pay large sums of money. These records are not official and have no legal effect. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in the number of invoices and letters from these fake operators during the ongoing corona crisis, so there is good reason to pay extra attention.

Among other things, we have seen invoices about payment of a registration fee, which seem to have been issued by the European Intellectual Property Office EUIPO (with its office in Spain), however they have not. We advise to check the IBAN number on the invoice for instance, which contains a country’s abbreviation, and in case it is fake, it usually contains any other country code than Spain. Also be informed that the EUIPO never sends invoices or letters requesting direct payment for services to users. If you receive an invoice from a company that appears to come from an official authority – don’t pay. Always check first!

On our site we have listed the names of unreliable operators. This list is continuously updated as we become aware of fake invoices. In addition, examples of such fake invoices are also published on the EUIPO and the WIPO websites. The Swedish Trade Federation (in Swedish) also publishes a warning list of Swedish operators.

Pay close attention when examining invoices/offers and always contact your IP law firm if you are in doubt, or if you have any questions.

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