17 Jul, 2012

Unscrupulous individuals are sending our unsolicited “invoices” offering to help them protect their intellectual property rights for a fee, a leading IP specialist has warned.


Diana Wardley (pictured), a partner and patent attorney at Forresters’ Birmingham office, says the “invoices” being sent out can look official but are, in fact, a scam.


“And the fees these people are seeking through unsolicited invoicing are often way in excess of what official fees might be, but unfortunately they look genuine so people do fall for them on occasion,” she said.


The intellectual property profession was “fighting a continued battle” to combat the issue of unsolicited invoicing, Diana added.


“Most intellectual property offices have databases open for public inspection,” she said.  “Therefore it’s easy enough for these individuals to get the information they want and post out what look like incredibly official invoices.  The fees sought by these people are significantly in excess of what people should be paying – and, of course, they may end up paying twice as they still need to sort out their IP affairs.”


The invoices can typically offer the renewal of IP rights, trade mark filing or entries in publications or registers – all for a fee. 


“Our message is simple – tread carefully, said Diana.  “This is a burgeoning problem which has existed for some time.  If people are in any doubt, they should check with their patent or trademark attorney, who will be able to advise them.”


Forresters is one of the UK’s leading intellectual property firms, working with companies to protect their innovation from a commercial perspective.

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