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Unscrupulous entities and individuals in various countries continue attempting to deceive intellectual property owners and practitioners who use the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) services into paying alleged fees related to the processing of their patent applications or trademark registrations by sending fake invoices allegedly issued by WIPO.
These invoices are designed to be as identical as possible to legitimate WIPO invoices by extensively replicating their layouts, using the WIPO name and logo, and including publicly available bibliographic data about the application or registration. The following is a particularly egregious example of a scam invoice recently reported to WIPO:
WIPO has been continually addressing this troublesome fraud scheme for over a decade and raising awareness of the scam among intellectual property owners and practitioners. WIPO has appealed to the public to carefully review any WIPO invoices they receive from third parties. It highly recommends that intellectual property owners compare those WIPO invoices with the collection of sample fraudulent invoices it uploads to its website so they can better assess the legitimacy of the invoices. WIPO also strongly recommends that those intellectual property owners who cannot be sure about the legitimacy of a given WIPO invoice to contact their legal representative or WIPO’s International Property Bureau directly before making any payment.
If you have any questions regarding this alert or wish to discuss these matters in more detail, please contact any of the following Winterfeldt IP Group team members: