Matthias Rößler - 25. March 2019

Misleading requests for payment and fee notices

The patent and trademark offices, including the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) warn against misleading offers, requests for payment and invoices that do not originate from them. These letters originate from private companies and relate to IP applications and renewals (esp. trademark applications and renewals, PCT applications).

Detailed testing is recommended

Since the public registers of the above-mentioned offices, in which a trademark application or registration, including the name and address of the trademark owner, is published, can be inspected by anyone, the utmost caution is advised when receiving letters with requests for payment.

Following the publication or registration of a trademark, it happens time and again that owners of property rights receive invoices that look very similar to official forms. You must not make the requests for payment contained therein for services such as publication, registration or inclusion in business directories, because such services are not required for the protection of trademarks and designs!

In such cases, be sure to contact the office responsible for your IP right or your attorney if he is registered as a representative in the trademark register. In the latter case, as the owner of an IP right, you will usually not receive an invoice from the Office requesting you to pay an invoice directly.

Further information can be found on the websites of the DPMA, EUIPO, WIPO, EPO as well as on the website of the German Protection Association against Economic Crime (DSW).

Regarding Matthias Rößler:

Matthias Rößler, German and European Patent Attorney since 2003, studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen. He is co-founding partner of karo IP. A main focus of his practice is the management of large patent portfolios and the enforcement of bilateral litigation proceedings before patent offices and patent courts. His additional qualification as Master of Laws (LL.M.) qualifies him especially for multinational infringement matters in Europe.

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