Unsolicited invoices

If you own a registered intellectual property (IP) right you may find yourself the target of letters about registration. These are letters which are not from us and are often about overseas registration.

Once you apply for an IP right your details become publicly available and other organisations may attempt to contact you. Our privacy policy provides information about how we handle your personal information.

Letters from unfamiliar organisations should be treated with caution, especially letters requesting payment for unsolicited services. Whatever services might be offered, they bear no connection to us or any of our official publications. You are not obliged to pay their fees.

Identifying unsolicited invoices

Unsolicited invoices may offer to:

  • register or renew your IP right for a fee

  • publish your patent or trade mark in an international publication or register

  • provide a monitoring service for your patent or trade mark.

If you are in any doubt about an invoice you have received, don’t pay the fee until you have checked with us. You may also consider checking with your attorney. You can email us a copy of your unwanted or misleading invoice or letter to fraud.control@ipaustralia.gov.au.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) provides information to consumers and small businesses on their website SCAMwatch to help you recognise, avoid and report scams. You can also contact the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) which has the power to act on scams, and the Department of Fair Trading in your state.

Examples of unsolicited invoices

The following example offers to renew the registration of a trade mark on your behalf. The fee for allowing this organisation to act on your behalf ($1485 for the first class and $650 for each additional class) is a significant mark-up on what you would pay if you renewed the registration yourself ($300 per class): 


In the next example this organisation requests a fee to include your trade mark on their database. As stated in their terms and conditions, this is an elective service that is no substitute for actual registration of your trade mark with us: 


Other examples:

Sources of unsolicited invoices

Some of the companies known to send unsolicited invoices are:

  • Commercial Centre for Industry and Trade (Switzerland) 

  • Company for Economic Publications Ltd (Austria) 

  • Company for Publications and Information Anstalt (Liechtenstein) 

  • Edition The Marks KFT (Hungary)

  • European Institute for Economy and Commerce (Belgium) 

  • Federated Institute for Patent and Trademark Registry (USA) 

  • Globus Edition SL (Spain) 

  • INFOCOM (Switzerland) 

  • Institute of Commerce, Trade and Commerce (Switzerland)

  • International Patent and Trademark Register (Germany)

  • IP Data s.r.o (Czech Republic)

  • IT & TAG (Switzerland) 

  • Objective Concept (France)

  • Patent & Trademark Organisation LLC (based in the USA with a street address in Melbourne) 

  • Register of International Patents and Trademarks TM Collection (Hungary)

  • TM-Edition Ltd. (Hungary)

  • TM Worldwide (Hungary)

  • Trade Mark Publishers (based in Austria with a street address in Sydney)

  • Trademark & Patent Publications (based in Poland with a street address in Sydney)

  • UPTS s.r.o (Czech Republic)

  • World Patents Trademarks WIPT s.r.o (Czech Republic)

  • ZDR-Datenregister GmbH (Germany)

Please note this list is not exhaustive. Unsolicited invoices may come from organisations not this list.

The World Intellectual Property Organization also provides a list of companies requesting payment from applicants and agents applying under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The services these companies demand payment for are not mandatory and are unrelated to the official processing of PCT applications.

Unnecessary services

You may receive correspondence from an overseas lawyer or attorney firm informing you that someone has applied to register your trade mark in another country. In this correspondence, they may offer their services if you decide to oppose the 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 don’t want to use your trade mark in that country, then you don’t need to take any action.

Last updated: 
4 March 2016