Owners of Australian trade marks should carefully review any
unsolicited correspondence received from unfamiliar companies
regarding their trade marks, given the significant increase in
unsolicited mail offering trade mark registration or renewal
services in a manner that often suggests an existing relationship
In order for the proper operation of the Australian trade marks
regime, details of a trade mark application including the name and
address of the applicant are made available to the public and are
accessible via IP Australia's ATMOSS database.
However, an unfortunate side-effect of making this information
publicly accessible is that anyone with internet access is able to
obtain applicant contact details and send unsolicited
correspondence offering to renew or register trade marks, often in
jurisdictions other than Australia.
If DibbsBarker applied for trade mark protection in Australia on
your behalf, our firm is recorded as your official Address for
Service. This means that we will receive all official
correspondence from IP Australia in relation to your trade mark
application and/or registration and will contact you when it is
time to renew your trade mark.
Accordingly, trade mark owners should be wary and view with
suspicion any correspondence related to trade marks which is not
sent by their trade mark attorney or lawyer. This is especially the
case if such correspondence requests payment. You should also check
whether these fees represent good value for money. Sometimes this
unsolicited correspondence implies that you have an obligation to
pay the sender's fees.
The organisations and individuals behind such schemes sometimes
use names that suggest that they have official sanction or
connection with government authorities. In some instances, the
services offered do not affect official trade mark registration or
trade mark rights in Australia. Indeed, they sometimes relate to
inclusion in unofficial lists of marks the sender has created,
quite unrelated to the official registers.
IP Australia has issued
warnings in relation to a number of these companies that have
identified themselves as:
Commercial Centre for Industry and Trade (based in
Company for Economic Publications Ltd (based in Austria)
Company for Publications and Information Anstalt (based in
Edition The Marks KFT
European Institute for Economy and Commerce - EIEC (based in
Federated Institute for Patent and Trademark Registry (based in
Gaia Almanach LTD
Globus Edition SL (based in Spain)
I.B.F.T.P.R - International Bureau for Federated Trademark
& Patent Register
INFOCOM (based in Switzerland)
Institute of Commerce, Trade and Commerce (based in
International Patent and Trademark Register (based in Nurnberg,
IT & TAG (based in Switzerland)
Patent & Trademark Organisation LLC (based in USA with a
street address in Melbourne)
RIPT - Register of International Patents and Trademarks
TM Collection (based in Hungary)
TM Worldwide (based in Hungary)
TMP, Trade Mark Publishers (Austria but with a street address
ZDR-Datenregister GmbH (based in Germany)
Registration of a trade mark in Australia grants the owner of a
trade mark a monopoly to use that trade mark in relation to the
goods and services listed in the trade mark specification
in Australia. If goods are manufactured or sold,
or services provided, under a trade mark in jurisdictions other
than Australia, trade mark owners should consider seeking trade
mark protection in those specific jurisdictions.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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