Trademark Phishing Scam

We recently filed a trademark application for our company, PageFair. This morning I received (by snail mail) this official-looking invoice from the "European Patent and Trademark Register" for extra filing fees. It turns out it’s a complete scam. A Polish company appears to be monitoring for new trademark applications and attempting to phish a thousand Euro from each applicant.

[UPDATE: See below for a second similar scam letter we received]

The small print says it all:

“Please notice, that this form is not an invoice. This is an offer for the annual registration of your Trademark in our Internet database.”

Better luck next time, losers.

This scam letter is apparently from Poland, attempting to trick €1000 out of companies. The actual promise is only that the trademark will be listed on their special database.

This scam letter is apparently from Poland, attempting to trick €1000 out of companies. The actual promise is only that the trademark will be listed on their special database.

This one is apparently based in the US. A simple attempt to trick €2000 out of unwary companies.

This one is apparently based in the US. A simple attempt to trick €2000 out of unwary companies.

Posted in Enterprise
2 comments on “Trademark Phishing Scam
  1. Ben McCahill says:

    Ouch! We are also preparing to file, I find the process a little opaque to be honest and am wondering if its best to DIY or go with a specialist firm. If any of your audience have experiences to relate in this area I’d love to hear

  2. Adrian says:

    Hi
    Having applied for approx a dozen trade marks DIY both in the UK and the EU I am wholly familiar with this kind of scam. We receive several of these letters from different countries everytime we apply and everytime renewal is due. As Sean says they are trying to extract large sums of money from unsuspecting and inexperienced companies for effectively nothing, even if they do place you on the mentioned database so what, who has access to this database? and of what possible gain is it to you for the exhorbitant fees requested? The one thing to bear in mind if you do DIY applications is do them online at the IPO or OHIM official sites. During the application process you pay for the application online either in full (OHIM/IPO) or part (IPO option) and therefore should not be asked by either for payment via postal requests such as these. These letters are made to look like they are invoices for the applications in question in the hope that you will simply assume they are genuine. As with all invoices take your time and read the small print, the dear customer/dear client bit at the bottom is pretty self explanatory, it even tells you it isn’t an invoice, despite it being laid out exactly like an invoice, and that it is a solicitation this is so they can’t be sued if you sign up for their “services”. The only snail mail correspondance you should pay heed to is the actual certificate and renewal notices, these will not request payment by this method but ask you to log in to the relevant site and renew, make sure you log in to the correct site not a link stated in a letter, we’ve had letters which were made to look very convincing and realistic. There are a lot of people out there trying to separate you from your hard earned cash but a little vigilance goes a long way.

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