Unsolicited IP services
Inventors, designers and businesses should be wary of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotional or advertising services.
Most Australian companies providing support in registration, maintenance, promotion or advertising of IP are reputable.
However, you should exercise caution when receiving correspondence or responding to invoices regarding your IP.
The ACCC provides information to consumers and small businesses on their website SCAMwatch to help you recognise, avoid and report scams.
Patent and trade mark registers
If you own a registered patent or trade mark, you may find yourself the target of letters regarding overseas registration of your application. Letters from unfamiliar organisations, especially letters requesting payment for unsolicited services, should be treated with caution.
Examples of unsolicited service requests include:
- offers to register patents or trade marks in international registers
- invoices for registration of patents or trade marks in registers
- offers of patent or trade mark monitoring services
Companies known to send unsolicited requests:
- Commercial Centre for Industry and Trade (based in Switzerland)
- Company for Economic Publications Ltd (based in Austria)
- Company for Publications and Information Anstalt (based in Liechtenstein)
- Edition The Marks KFT
- European Institute for Economy and Commerce - EIEC (based in Belgium)
- Federated Institute for Patent and Trademark Registry, based in Florida, USA
- Gaia Almanach LTD
- Globus Edition SL (based in Spain)
- I.B.F.T.P.R - International Bureau for Federated Trademark & Patent Register
- INFOCOM (based in Switzerland)
- Institute of Commerce, Trade and Commerce (based in Switzerland)
- International Patent and Trademark Register based in Nurnberg, Germany.
- IT & TAG (based in Switzerland)
- Patent & Trademark Organisation LLC (based in USA with a street address in Melbourne)
- RIPT - Register of International Patents and Trademarks
- TM Collection (based in Hungary)
- TM Worldwide (based in Hungary)
- TMP, Trade Mark Publishers, Austria but with a street address in Sydney
- ZDR-Datenregister GmbH (based in Germany)
WIPO also provides a list of companies requesting payment from PCT applicants and agents which are unrelated to the processing of international applications under the PCT.
You may also receive correspondence from an overseas lawyer or attorney firm informing you that someone has applied to register your trade mark in another country and offering their services if you decide to oppose registration.
This is a legitimate service but may only be relevant if you intend to use your trade mark in that particular country. If you have no such intention you do not need to take any action.
Get professional advice
Before paying a fee for any IP-related service, we recommend that you carefully consider what, if any, protection, promotion or other value the service will provide.
For specific assistance and advice you could contact an IP professional.
Last Updated: 22/1/2013