Intellectual Property Law - Trade Marks - IP Scams - Trade Mark Lawyer Auckland - Dukesons Business Law

April 2016

This update isn't legal advice - if you want legal advice on any business law or commercial law issue, please contact me. part of what I do is to act as an intellectual property law, especially in relation to name protection and trade marks.

In my guise as an intellectual property lawyer, I’ve received occasional inquiries before about IP scams. Mostly, the fact that they are scams has been obvious to me, but I'm a business lawyer or commercial lawyer, and the scams aren't so obvious to others. You should be very cautious if you receive an email or letter from an unfamiliar party inviting you to use their IP services or requesting payment for unsolicited IP services.

The Commerce Commission recently issued a warning to New Zealand trade mark owners about invoices sent by a named publisher.

In relation to trade marks, scams can take various forms, such as:

  • a very common scam relates to China – China has a "first to file" trade mark registration system, and scaremongers encourage trade mark owners to register in China before others do;
  • unsolicited trade mark renewal reminders, which are drafted to give the impression that they have been sent by official organisations, and which offer renewal services at inflated prices.

There are other scams. The two noted above are the ones that my clients seem to have encountered mostly.

If you are contacted by anyone other than the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) or by anyone other than your IP agent, it’s likely that you will have been targeted by a scammer. You should contact your agent before doing anything else (including before responding to the communication that you have received). IPONZ and the Commerce Commission may also be able to give you some information. (There is some information on IPONZ’s website.)

Feel free to send a link to this Update to anyone who would be genuinely interested.

Please contact me if I can help you with any trade mark issue or with any business law or commercial law issues.

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Telephone: (64) 09 379 4556

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