We have been warning clients for some time about a number of fraudulent organisations in existence which purport to be legitimate Intellectual Property organisations (see previous Article Feb 2013). The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has successfully commenced passing off proceedings in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) against two of the most prominent offenders, “Patent and Trademark Office” and “Patent and Trade Mark Organisation”’. The claims were admitted and settled and the perpetrators have agreed to be bound by an order of the IPEC prohibiting them from further acts of passing off. A substantial payment has been made to the UK IPO in respect of their legal costs. Further proceedings are pending against another organisation engaged in similar practices.
Although progress is being made against such unsolicited approaches, you still need to remain vigilant. If you receive an unsolicited invitation or invoice from an organisation you are not familiar with, do not pay it until you have checked to see what services are being offered and whether it is from an official source.