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 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:
- Third party trademark agency receives warning
- Commission recoups money for New Zealand trade mark holders
Sample misleading invoices
Copies of the following misleading invoices have previously been received and reported by IP owners in New Zealand.
[145 KB PDF]
[162 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.