28 April 2020
The European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) recently issued a statement regarding the increasing number of misleading payment requests. In these unsolicited emails, companies feign official status and ask for money in return for trademark and design services such as publication, registration or entry in business directories. The companies sending out these emails are not connected in any way with the public bodies designated to handle trademark and design services within the European Union and as such, the services they offer are next to worthless.
Have you ever registered a trademark or a design at the EUIPO? Chances are you might be targeted by these fraudulent companies. When you apply for a trademark or a design via EUIPO, the applicant's mail and email addresses will be published in the online registry which is freely accessible to all - including the fraudsters.
So, how then, can you avoid falling into their payment trap? We have listed a few useful pointers below:
- If our firm handles your trademark portfolio, you should not be receiving invoices from parties or institutions other than De Clercq & Partners in this regard. If you have any questions or are in doubt about a strange invoice appearing in your mailbox, please do not hesitate to get in touch via email@example.com. We would be happy to help!
- Before going ahead and paying any invoice, take care to verify that its source is official. The easiest and fastest way is by entering the biller's name into Google.
- Still not sure? You can find an extensive and searchable list of known fraudulent senders via this link.
- The EUIPO has confirmed that it never sends invoices or letters requesting payment to its users directly.