The IPO's battle against fraudsters continues.
Over a year after the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) was successful in its claim for passing off against offending companies Patent and Trade Mark Office and Trade Mark Organisation, it seems the IPO's battle against fraudsters continues.
The IPO are currently notifying Trade Mark owners of the most recent scam they may face. A company calling itself 'Intellectual Property Office' are writing directly to Trade Mark owners. They are sending out a document that resembles an official renewal reminder and inviting the recipient to pay renewal fees. The IPO have infored Trade Mark owners that they are not required to make any payments to this private company as it has absolutely no connection with the governments Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
Trade Mark owners should be aware of this threat, and the threat posed by other similar companies using trading names that appear to be associated with the IPO to gain business. Often these companies will charge much higher fees than the official fees required by the IPO at the time of renewal. As an example, the IPO warned of communications sent by Patent and Trademark Agency and Trademark Renewal Service. The Advertising Standards Authority has recently ruled that the communications sent by these companies were misleading.
To avoid being a victim to these scams, owners should ensure that any correspondence they receive relating to their trade mark is in fact from the IPO. Owners can do this by checking that the letter bears the official Intellectual Property Office logo.
If you have received an official renewal reminder from the IPO and require assistance from a registered trade mark attorney, or if you would like further information on this issue, please contact the Blake Morgan intellectual property team.