The UK Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office have both issued fresh warnings that fraudulent invoices, purporting to be from the EPO, OHIM, or WIPO, are being sent to companies and individuals.

The fake invoices use names, abbreviations and/or logos which are very similar to those used by the official organisations and invite payment e.g. for the publication and/or registration of applications and patents. However, despite the misleading ‘official’ appearance of such invoices, the services offered by these firms are completely unrelated to the normal processing of patent, trade mark and design applications.

More information, including examples of fraudulent invoices can be found on the EPO (http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/ official-journal/2014/10/a100.html), WIPO (www.wipo.int/pct/ en/warning/pct_warning.html), and UKIPO (https://www.gov.uk/ government/news/warning-fraudulent-invoices) websites.

If you are in any doubt about a communication apparently received from an intellectual property office, feel free to ask your usual Mewburn contact for advice. UK-based companies can report receipt of fraudulent invoices directly to Action Fraud (operated by the City of London Police) using their online portal