WHO SHOULD READ THIS

  • Anyone in the process of having a trade mark registered or maintained or maintaining their applications.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Scammers are targeting trade mark registrants by stealing their details off publicly available websites such as the trade mark database and attempting to scam them by issuing fraudulent invoices.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  • Confirm the authenticity of any correspondence and resulting invoices from unknown or suspicious email addresses and keep up to date with known scams on IP Australia and the ScamWatch website.

Are you in the process of having a trade mark registered? Do you have any registered trade marks or domain names? If yes, you should carefully check any mail or email you receive regarding your trade marks and domain names to avoid being scammed.

A common scam involves unsolicited correspondence by companies offering to assist you with a range of services to support your intellectual property rights. The services offered may include advertising, registration, protection or maintenance services for your trade marks or domain names.

If you receive correspondence asking you to pay registration fees, application fees or any other fee associated with your trade mark or domain name, then do not pay anything unless you speak to us first so that we can confirm the authenticity of the invoice (at no cost to you).

You may receive unsolicited mail because people can use information available on the public trade mark database to draft fake invoices. Similarly, any person can perform a domain name owner search and use the registrant contact details to send dubious invoices. Any correspondence you receive about your intellectual property that is not from your trade mark service provider or your domain name registrar should be treated as suspicious and reviewed for verification.

To avoid falling victim to scams involving your trade marks, domain names or other registered intellectual property rights:

  • contact us to confirm the authenticity of any unsolicited or suspect invoice
  • instruct all relevant people in your organisation, including your accounts department and IP officer, not to pay any fees invoiced on correspondence other than that from your IP service provider (such as McCullough Robertson)
  • understand how trade marks and domain names are registered and maintained and what to expect when they are due for renewal, and
  • keep abreast of the latest scams by regularly reviewing the IP Australia and ScamWatch websites.