I.P. Scams

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Warning: Beware of Scams Implying Association with the Irish Patents Office or requests for payment of fees

It has come to the attention of the Patents Office that applicants and proprietors are receiving requests for payment of fees from unofficial sources.  Such entities claim that your patent or trade mark has been accepted for registration and that payment of a sizeable fee is now due.  Such requests usually take the form of an official looking invoice or letter which is sent out after publication of the application and can, therefore, contain details of a genuine application.  Other entities claim that your patent or trade mark will be renewed on receipt of payment of a specified amount.  However, these requests are not issued from the Patents Office and may be the subject of a scam.

There are an ever increasing number of promotion companies in operation at the moment.  While many of these companies are genuine other such companies prey on new inventors who are unfamiliar with the process of patenting and protection of Intellectual Property.  Some firms will try and extract large fees from individuals with false promises of valuable patents and great success in the marketplace.  Please be diligent in researching these companies before accepting any offers of assistance from them.

Should you be approached with such an offer of registration or a request for payment of a fee, please verify the authenticity of the request before acting.  You can contact the Patents Office, who will be happy to advise on the bona fides or otherwise of any requests.

The only offices which have authority to provide legal protection for patents, designs and trade marks in Ireland are the Irish Patents Office, the European Patent Office and Community Trade Mark Office (formally known as the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market).

Examples of bogus requests have been published on the websites of:

The World Intellectual Property Organisation

http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/warning/pct_warning.htmlLinks to external website

The Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market

http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/CTM/feespayment/warning.en.doLinks to external website