IPONZ warns of intellectual property scams
The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) says it has noticed an increasing amount of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotion or advertising services being offered to IP holders.
IPONZ says anyone who receives any communication about their IP case from anyone other than IPONZ, WIPO or an appointed IP professional should treat them with caution "particularly if they are preparing to charge you a fee for the service".
"If you have applied in New Zealand for or own a registered trade mark, patent, design or PVR, you may also find yourself the target of letters offering to protect your rights overseas," IPONZ says.
"Letters from unfamiliar organisations, especially letters requesting payment for unsolicited services, should be treated with caution."
IPONZ says often the companies try to create the false impression that they represent an official organisation.
Examples include offers and invoices to revnew a patent or trade mark, offers to register patents or trade marks in international registers or catalogues, invoices for registration of patents or trade marks in registers, and offers of patent or trade mark monitoring services.
A list of unsolicited or fraudulent IP-related schemes and information from around the work can be found on the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) website.
"If you have any doubts about a communication you have received, you should contact IPONZ or your IP professional to verify its authenticity," IPONZ says.