We have noticed an increasing amount of unsolicited or fraudulent IP protection, promotion or advertising services being offered to IP holders.
If you receive any communication about your IP case from anyone other than:
- Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ),
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
- your appointed IP professional,
you should treat them with caution. Particularly if they are preparing to charge you a fee for the service.
The Commerce Commission has investigated previous misleading invoice incidents, resulting in determinations against their originators. For more information, please visit the articles below:
- Third party trademark agency receives warning
- Commission recoups money for New Zealand trade mark holders
Types of requests
If you have applied in New Zealand for - or own - a registered trade mark, patent, design or PVR, you may receive letters inviting you to pay fees to publish your IP registration in publications which appear to be of an official nature. You may also find yourself the target of offers to protect your rights overseas.
Letters from unfamiliar organisations, especially letters requesting payment for unsolicited services, should be treated with caution.
These companies may try to create the false impression that they represent an official organisation.
- offers and invoices to renew your 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
- offers of patent or trade mark monitoring services
A list of unsolicited or fraudulent IP related schemes and information from around the world including other IP offices can be found on the World Intellectual Property Organization website:
Get professional advice
If you have any doubts about a communication you have received, you should contact IPONZ or your IP professional to verify its authenticity.
Do you think you have been scammed?
The Consumer Protection website provides information to consumers and businesses on their website to help you recognise, avoid and report scams.