Another scam to be aware of

It has recently come to our attention that clients have been receiving invoices which appear to be from the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office, but they are NOT. The following warning was posted on the NZIPO website in November.

“We have noticed an increasing amount of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotion or advertising services being offered to IP holders.

If you receive any communication about your IP case from anyone other than:

  1. Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ),
  2. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
  3. your appointed IP professional,

you should treat them with caution. Particularly if they are preparing to charge you a fee for the service.

The Commerce Commission has investigated a recent misleading invoice incident from March 2016, resulting in an interim agreement with the originator of the invoices. If you have paid this invoice, please contact the Commerce Commission for further assistance. More details are available via their media release.

Types of requests

If you have applied in New Zealand for – or own –  a registered trade mark, patent, design, or PVR, you may receive letters inviting you to pay fees to publish your IP registration in publications which appear to be of an official nature. You may also find yourself the target of offers to protect your rights overseas.

Letters from unfamiliar organisations, especially letters requesting payment for unsolicited services, should be treated with caution.

These companies may try to create the false impression that they represent an official organisation.

Examples include:

  • offers and invoices to renew your patent or trade mark
  • offers to register patents or trade marks in international registers or catalogues
  • invoices for registration of patents or trade marks in registers
  • offers of patent or trade mark monitoring services”

 

You can find the original post here.

If you have received any of these and are concerned about their integrity please contact our office on 04 910 3340.

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