16 Mar Just applied for a Trade Mark? Watch out for scam artists
There are an increasing number of trade mark scam artists operating who will target you asking for money. Be aware of them before making a mistake!
If you’ve just applied for your Trademark, expect to get a few phishing Trade Mark scam artists. Often from Hungary or Czech Republic, they write to you with their international bank details asking you to deposit AUD $1,850 to their account to complete the transaction! Don’t pay a cent – it’s a scam!
Because it is a matter of public record, somehow these scam artists get a hold of your trademark details and address on the record and send correspondence to you by mail.
These days there are a lot of scams doing the rounds. It’s highly probable that once your trade mark application has been filed with IP Australia, you’ll receive invoices from overseas companies claiming that you owe, sometimes thousands of dollars, to keep your trade mark alive.
The only fees you need to pay to IP Australia are the application fees when you file the application and renewal fees every 10 years (unless fees are required to overcome objections raised against your application).
If a payment request does not come direct from IP Australia or your lawyer, DO NOT pay it. If you are in doubt as to whether or not you have received a scam, feel free to forward it through to us and we’ll let you know.
Luckily for our clients, we handle all the correspondence and receive hundreds of these letters.
The letter will be from something that looks semi-legitimate with “TM – Edition International Catalogue of TradeMarks” as a header.
Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to stop these trade mark scam artists and IP Australia is aware of the issue.
Chinese Trade Mark Scams
Recently trade mark owners have been contacted by Chinese trade mark agents claiming that someone has tried to register their trade mark in China and would they like to file an opposition against the trade mark.
If you’ve received a letter or email like this, it would appear you’ve been targeted by a scammer seeking to defraud businesses through payment of fake fees.
If you have any concerns or queries at all, please get in touch.
Contact us today if you require any assistance with your trade marks.
(c) Progressive Legal Pty Ltd – All legal rights reserved (2020)
Ian Aldridge is the Founder and Principal Lawyer Director at Progressive Legal. He has over 15 years experience in advising businesses in Australia and the UK. After practising in commercial litigation for 12 years in major Australian and International Law Firms, he decided to set up a NewLaw law firm in Australia and assist growing Australian businesses. Since then, he has advised over 2,500 small businesses over the past 6 years alone in relation to Intellectual Property Law, Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Workplace and Privacy Law. He has strived to build a law firm that takes a different approach to providing legal services. A truly client-focused law firm, Ian has built Progressive Legal that strives to deliver on predictable costs, excellent communication and care for his clients. As a legal pioneer, Ian has truly changed the way legal services are being provided in Australia, by building Legal Shield™, a legal subscription to obtain tailored legal documents and advice in a front-loaded retainer package, a world-first. He has a double degree in Law (Hons) and Economics (with a marketing major). He was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW in 2005.