The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) says it has noticed an increasing amount of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotion or advertising services being offered to IP holders.
It warns any communication about an IP case from anyone other than IPONZ, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), or the firm’s appointed IP professional should be treated with caution, particularly if they are preparing to charge a fee for the service.
The Commerce Commission has investigated previous misleading invoice incidents, resulting in determinations against their originators. A formal notice regarding these solicitations is now available on its website.
IPONZ says anyone who has applied in New Zealand for - or own - a registered trade mark, patent, design or PVR, may receive letters inviting them to pay fees to publish the IP registration in publications which look official nature.
“You may also find yourself the target of offers to protect your rights overseas,” IPONZ says.
- 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.
Examples are available at the IPONZ website
Trade mark registrations lasts 10 years and costs $350 per class (excluding GST) to renew.