In recent months, an increasing number of our clients have received what appear to be legitimate invoices or payment forms.

Those invoices or forms usually request payment for fees associated with applying for, registering, renewing or publishing trade marks in Australia or overseas. The notices are typically issued by organisations claiming to be trade mark bodies such as the ‘United States Trademark Center’.

Sometimes, it is relatively easy to identify the notice as a scam—obvious spelling errors or questionable turns of phrase (‘it is our duty to notice you’, ‘please be forwarding payment’) are dead giveaways. But often, the notices are surprisingly realistic in their language and formatting. They may contain accurate details about your business and/or contacts.

If you have any doubts about the authenticity of a request for payment, please forward the correspondence to us for review before making payment.

  • For a list of organisations known to have sent unsolicited invoices to clients, view the IP Australia fact sheet, ‘Unsolicited IP Services’.1
  • To report a scam, or to check for scams known to the Australian Government, visit the SCAMwatch website.2