Intellectual property protection – identify frauds

The protection of intellectual property is a very complex and wide argument. In this article we will not discuss how to register a trademark or a patent, but I would like to warn you about some scams that often follow those registrations.

Preamble

As a Business Engineer I only had theoretical knowledges about the registration of trademarks and patents. In the past, when my customers expressed me the need to protect their brand or their ideas, I always take advantage of services provided by different law firms.

Following the end of my own consulting business, I started dedicating most of my free time to some personal initiatives. One among many: Snowscoot World . Starting from this initiative, I ventured personally into the world of intellectual property protection.

The fraud

About a year after the date of registration of the first trademark, some letters requesting money arrived at the residence address indicated on the trademark certificate.

These letters contain all the publicly available details of my brand and a list of services with terms such as:

  • Debit of the trademark monitoring service
  • Registration fee

How to identify the fraud?

I recommend using two main approaches to understand if the money request is legal or not.

1 – Use the global knowledge

The Internet offers many examples of fraudulent letters. Compare your letter with the many available on the web. Simply search for keywords like:

  • trademark fraud letter
  • trademark registration fake invoice

The European Community has prepared a special page to spread awareness of this type of scams: EUIPO – Misleading invoices

If you are not yet sure that your letter is a scam, start with the analysis of the contents.

2 – Check the contents of the letter

The letter I received was easily identifiable as a scam. It reported all the public details of my brand, but I found some errors and discrepancies in the contents that revealed its non-authenticity.

Check the institution

In my case, the provider of the sanction is WIPOT , a distortion of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). So it is clearly fake.

Check the contacts

The wipot.eu website shown on the letter everywhere doesn’t exists. I didn’t tried to send email and I do not recommend doing it, a quick search about the institution is often sufficient.

Be suspicious about discrepancies

In my case the beneficiary of the payment is:

WIPOT d.o.o.
PO BOX 0661
1210 Vienna
Austria

While the bank account to which we should send payment is:

WIPOT d.o.o.
Crédit Agricole Banka Srbija , AD
IBAN: RS35330007010012457012
Address: Brae Ribnikar 4-6, RS-21000 Novi Sad

The discrepancy between Austria and Serbia should therefore make you suspicious.

Conclusion

If you should therefore receive a request for money concerning your fresh deposit brand, keep calm, inform yourself, check the letter and if necessary contact me in case of doubt.