WNA Blog

Sun 30 Apr 2017

Avoid Being a Victim of Trademark Scams


Business Planning & Strategies
2 women in meeting

My clients have been calling me recently and emailing me FAKE trademark registration invoices from Africa, Budapest and Eastern Europe. They have also been emailed by Chinese trademark companies demanding payment for infringement or registration of their business name or services brand, the letter warning if they don’t pay they will lose their rights to the brand.

Let me tell you what I tell my clients, THROW the printed invoices in the garbage bin, DELETE the emails and block them as SPAM and if you are lucky to receive a phone call, HANG UP on them

My response is a bit harsh, however, it makes me mad that there are companies out there playing on people’s insecurities about their brand name. There must be companies and individuals out there that pay these scam invoices, as the scheme has been around since I’ve been in the IP industry, it’s concerning that the number of companies sending these invoices are growing.

If you are working with a Trademark agent, then you should only deal with them and ignore everything else. You should only pay if you can verify the source. Also, people/companies should be suspicious if they are paying into an overseas account if they are ONLY applying for an Australian trademark, just think for one minute… why would you pay a foreign bank account for an Australian trademark ?

Please I encourage everyone to be ALERT to trademark invoice scam in the marketplace.

The invoices visually look legitimate, however when you check the fine print, you are wiring money into a Hungarian bank account, Russian bank account or African bank account.

The four consistent scam invoices come from:

(i) TTP- Trademark & Patent Publications (as shown)

(ii) TM-Edition International Catalogue of Trademarks (as shown)

(iii) GAIA almanach International Register of Trademarks and

(iv) WOTRA (World Organization for Trademarks)

Two of the letterheads are shown below, if you receive them in the post, just ignore them, they are trademark scams.

 

As the years go by, new dodgy invoices pop up, so be vigilant and if you are unsure engaged a Trademark Agent to check on your behalf.

I am here to assist women business owners with their trademark queries, so please do not fall victim to a scam.

Just call me (my number is on my website) or leave me a comment below.


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