Examples of Unofficial Payment Requests from 'Scam' Official Intellectual Property Organisations

December 2014

We have become increasingly aware that unofficial firms and individuals are sending out invoices requesting payment for the publication and/or registration of patents, trade marks and designs. 

These misleading payment requests pose as official correspondence and often contain names and logos very similar to those of official IP organisations.  They can be very misleading (which is putting it kindly, at best) and are often sent directly to clients.

Official communications in respect of your cases should always come via HGF.  If you receive any official-looking correspondence that you are unsure about please do not make any payment.  Instead, please contact HGF as soon as possible so we can check it for you.  For some examples and further information, please see below. 

Most recently, fraudulent European Patent Office (EPO) and Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) invoices are being sent to UK based companies and individuals.  These invoices are almost identical to the real thing; it is only the bank account details that are different.  If you have received an invoice identical to the examples provided in this link, the UKIPO is asking recipients to report it to Action Fraud, separately, using this online reporting tool.

EPO - Warning - Beware of approaches and requests for payment from firms purporting to publish and/or register European or international patent applications and European patents

OHIM – Warning – Misleading Invoices

WIPO - WARNING: Requests for Payment of Fees

UKIPO - Warning: misleading invoices - don’t be fooled

This update was prepared by Mark Lunt , Partner in our Sheffield office. 

If you would like further advice on this or any other matter, please contact Mark at mlunt@hgf.com  (Tel: +44(0) 114 274 3700), or your usual HGF representative or visit our Contact Page to get in touch with your nearest HGF office.