Trade marks are one of the most valuable assets of any business. For this reason, there exist many scams relating to trade mark registrations and renewals. Being aware of known scams and taking a cautious approach is vital to ensuring that your business doesn’t fall prey.
How can Trade Mark Owners Avoid being Scammed?
Scammers use the information in your publicly accessible trade mark application to contact you. When you lodge an application with IP Australia, your details are published on the trade marks register and in the Trade Marks Journal. The following are some popular scams:
- An offer to record your trade mark in a private register or to hide your details on the Trade Marks Journal. The Australian Trade Marks Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization (for international trade marks) do not make such offers.
- An offer to provide legal services, such as to register or renew your trade mark. If you have a trade mark agent representing you, all correspondence will go to them and they will contact you. You should not receive correspondence from any other party concerning your trade mark.
- A notice to pay fees for trade mark registration or renewal. In essence, if you are a trade mark owner and receive an invoice which does not come from your trade mark agent, you should not pay the invoice or respond.
- An offer for associated services, such as to register your domain name or advertise your trade mark. Reputable companies seldom solicit these services without you first making contact.
- An offer to manage your trade mark in another country. Unless you have made contact, ignore this correspondence. Sometimes your trade mark agent will approach an overseas trade mark attorney on your behalf in order to register or renew your trade mark in that country. But this correspondence will not go to you directly.
Due to the trade marks register being publicly available, many trade mark owners are contacted by scammers hoping to make a quick buck. Do not let your business be the next victim. Have your wits about you and if you have any doubts, contact a trusted trade mark agent.
If you have any questions concerning your trade mark, call Trade Mark Direct today on 1300 002 210 or email us at email@example.com.
Key words: trade mark, brand protection, scams, trade mark registration and trade mark renewal.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. This blog should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.