Patent & Trade Mark

Unsolicited correspondence resembling invoices or offering services

Date: 01 August 2011
Author: Joanne Martin
The spate of offerings for trade mark publication, renewal, monitoring or registration is increasing.  These documents may be invoices or letters and appear legitimate in that they generally reproduce the advertisement of acceptance of a trade mark from the IP Australia or an overseas Trade Marks Office database and include details of the trade mark owners' attorney or address for service.  These notices are either a scam or, at best, unsolicited requests for payment by organisations with no connection to you or your IP advisers. 
Correspondence is frequently received from:
  • Patent and Trade Mark Organisation - Level 28, 303 Collins Street, Melbourne
  • Globus Edition SL
  • TM - Collection
  • Commercial Centre for Industry and Trade
  • Company of Economic Publications Limited
  • Company for Publications and Information Anstalt
  • Edition THE MARKS KFT
  • TM Worldwide
IP Australia has issued the following advice:
"...Letters from unfamiliar organisations, especially letters requesting for payment for unsolicited services, should be treated with caution...  Where the credibility of correspondence is questionable, it would be prudent to consult a professional adviser, such as a Patent or Trade Mark Attorney". 
If you receive unsolicited notices or any requests for payment from organisations you do not know, do not pay the requested fees and feel free to contact to your IP adviser for assistance. 

Domain names

There is also a scam commonly received from Asia: an email is sent to a trade mark owner which claims that a third party is seeking to register a domain name which is similar to the company's domain name or trade mark.  It is an inducement to the company to register domain names.  If you receive any such emails please contact your IP adviser to determine if any protection is needed. 
Please do not hesitate to contact your trade mark adviser or if you have any questions. 

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