PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.
Beware of IP scams!
If you seek to protect your intellectual property by the use of a trade mark or other means, you may well find that there are a number of organisations which will (ostensibly) seek to help you achieve greater levels of protection. Aided by grand-sounding names, they offer – for a fee – to place your trade mark(s) in a register.
It may sound terribly official, but be careful before you part with your cash. Organisations that have official status do not operate by sending invoices for registration as soon as your trade mark is granted.
An example is the ‘European Institute for Economy and Commerce (EIEC)’, which currently sends a demand for £479.75 (including VAT) for each UK trade mark for registration in the ‘EIEC Register of Protected Trademarks’. It appears that the invoices are sent on the day the opposition period for a trademark ends. The register has no official status.
There are a number of organisations seeking to make money in a similar way. If you receive an invoice, especially one from abroad, offering entry into a register or directory of any kind, take care.