This time, customers have received unsolicited invitations from companies to instruct them to give guidance and assistance to protect their intellectual property for a fee.
These offers have been for a number of services including the renewal of IP rights, which is officially only operated by the UK IPO with no involvement from third parties.
In addition, some customers have received offers to register their marks in official sounding publications or registers for a fee. Again this is done automatically by the UK IPO when you submit an official application. No fee should be paid.
Also, some businesses are offering to file Community Trade Marks based on UK applications on behalf of the mark owners. Nobody is obliged to submit a CTM application, but it is an option. If this is something you have considered, be aware of the legitimacy of the offer you have received by comparing the fees asked for as well as their power in relation to the OHIM.
If you believe you have received any invitation of this nature, do not pay any fees until you can be sure of their intentions. The UK IPO ask you get in contact with them so they can help you as well as build a bigger picture of the problem.
They also ask you contact Action Fraud to allow the problem to be handled properly.
Follow this link for more information regarding Action fraud and more detail in relation to invitations already received by other IP owners: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/warning-misleading-invoices-dont-be-fooled
If you need the advice of IP experts, get in contact with Lawdit.