Warning! Misleading invoices in connection with non-official registers and service providers
We would like to warn you about misleading offers, payment requests and invoices in connection with IP-related applications and renewals.
Using official-sounding titles, offers are being made for publishing or entering protective rights in non-official registers, or for a renewal of the protective right. Invoices and remittance slips have the appearance of official forms. Such a payment request as such does not have any legal effect, it does not constitute any grounds for an obligation to pay the issuer.
Obtaining or maintaining protective rights, e.g. a trademark, patent or design model, only necessitates actions before
the respective national patent offices, e.g.
- GPTO (German Patent and Trademark Office),
- USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office),
- Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property
or authorities, e.g.
- OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market),
- EPO (European Patent Office),
- WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).
Our clients generally do not receive any notifications from patent offices and authorities.
There are service providers that send out specially designed letters offering a VOLUNTARY registration in private, i.e. non-official registers. These registers, however, are not connected in any way with the patent offices and authorities. We have become aware of cases in which clients, prompted by the letters shown here, made payments because the letters were thought to appear "somewhat official". You may find examples of particularly impressive letters here:
There are companies that send out specially designed letters offering the payment of fees for the extension of protection that are actually due. The forms used in these cases are designed to resemble the application form of the German Patent and Trademark Office. We have thus become aware of cases in which trademark proprietors mistakenly assumed that it was absolutely necessary to commission the company that sent the letter, in order to extend the period of protection.