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Intellectual Property Invoice Scams

There is an explosion of bogus invoices for "International Trademark Registration" that are sent to entities that have recently registered trademarks. Close inspection of the invoices will reveal that the invoices are actually for inclusion of the registered trademark in a database maintained by the entity issuing the invoice. Inclusion of a trademark in such databases establishes no international rights, and inclusion provides no value to the trademark owner.

The bogus invoices are not limited to international registers for trademarks but are also directed to international registers for patents. Copies of several bogus redacted invoices can be viewed can be found on the web site of the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO")

Generally, your company should not directly receive an invoice from an entity other than your law firm for international registration of your company's intellectual property. If your company receives such an invoice or communication, do not pay it. The Office for Harmonization in the International Market ("OHIM") has warned about the above practices : ”If you receive a letter or an invoice please check carefully what is being offered to you, and its source. Please note that the OHIM never sends invoices to users or letters requesting direct payment for services”.

If you have questions about an invoice received by your company or about any matter related to intellectual property, contact the Patent Cell of Centexbel.