Over recent months we have seen a troubling increase in
unsolicited correspondence seeking to take advantage of trade mark
owners. The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market even
recently released a warning concerning fraudulent invoices
targeting companies and individuals with European trade marks.
Whether requesting payment for trade mark registration, renewal
services, or offering listings in unofficial databases, this type
of correspondence will often suggest an existing relationship or
obligation along with a request for the payment of fees. It is
important to exercise caution when considering the validity of the
The Australian trade mark system relies on the details of a
trade mark, including the name and address of the owner, being
available to the public and accessible via IP Australia's
ATMOSS database. It is for this reason that trade mark owners must
be especially vigilant in scrutinising unsolicited correspondence,
as anyone with internet access is able to obtain pertinent
information regarding the status and details of any mark and
therefore such correspondence may at first glance appear legitimate
as a result of this familiarity.
The services offered by some of these organisations are often
not legitimate and have no official sanction or connection with any
government authority. In some instances, the services offered do
not affect official trade mark registration or trade mark rights in
Australia. Indeed, they sometimes relate to unofficial lists that
the sender has created, quite unrelated to the official
Unexpected letters from unknown organisations, especially those
requesting payment, should be treated with caution. 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,
IP Data s.r.o (Czech Republic)
IT & TAG (based in Switzerland)
Objective Concept (based in France)
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-Edition Ltd. (based in Hungary)
TM Worldwide (based in Hungary)
TMP, Trade Mark Publishers, Austria but with a street address
UPTS s.r.o (Czech Republic)
World Patents Trademarks WIPT s.r.o (Czech Republic)
ZDR-Datenregister GmbH (based in Germany).
If DibbsBarker has applied for trade mark protection in
Australia on your behalf, our firm would be recorded as your
official Australian Address for Service. This means that we should
receive all official correspondence from IP Australia in relation
to your trade mark application and/or registration and will alert
you to official correspondence including contacting you when it is
time to renew your trade mark.
This scenario holds true for each jurisdiction in which you own
trade marks. If DibbsBarker has assisted in seeking trade mark
protection in juridictions other than Australia, it is likely that
one of DibbsBarker's extensive network of international
associates is recorded as the local address for service and
official correspondence will be communicated through DibbsBarker.
Accordingly, any other private office writing to you about your
trade marks is not official and should be carefully considered.
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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