Warning - Misleading invoices

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Warning - Misleading invoices

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:

  1. Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ),
  2. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
  3. your appointed IP professional,

you should treat them with caution, particularly if they are notifying you regarding a fee for a service. This correspondence may come in the form of an invoice, and may mislead you into paying for a service that you have not previously authorised.

These communications may include:

  • 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
  • threats of legal action if the invoice for an unsolicited service is not paid.

The sources of these communications may try to create the false impression that they represent an official organisation, or that their registers or publications are of an official nature.

The Commerce Commission has investigated previous misleading invoice incidents, resulting in determinations against their originators. For more information, please visit the pages below:

Sample misleading invoices

Copies of the following misleading invoices have previously been received and reported by IP owners in New Zealand.

[image] Example of misleading invoice.

[38 KB PDF]

[image] Example of misleading invoice.

[627 KB PDF]

[image] Example of misleading invoice.

[263 KB PDF]

[145 KB PDF]
Invoices from this organisation may also be received under the names “TM Publisher” or “Trademark Publisher".

[image] Example of misleading invoice 5.

[168 KB PDF]

[image] Example of misleading invoice 6.

[162 KB PDF]
This template may be used by multiple organisations or sources.

[image] Example of misleading invoice 7.

[126 KB PDF]

[image] Example of misleading invoice 8.

[82 KB PDF]

Example of misleading invoice 9.

[200 KB PDF]
Please visit the Industrial Property Office of Czechia website for more information.

Example of misleading invoice 10.

[468 KB PDF]

A list of unsolicited or fraudulent IP related schemes and information from around the world including other IP offices can also 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.