April 06, 2020 Dwar l-EUIPO
New misleading invoice alert - Fake EUIPO decisions
Users are warned to be especially alert due to a new misleading invoice in circulation, which takes the form of a fake EUIPO decision.
The misleading invoice, which can be viewed here, has been reported to the Office by users over the course of the past fortnight.
This latest misleading invoice uses the EUIPO’s logo, name, acronym and letterhead, and purports to be a decision signed by the Office. It is mailed to users from Madrid, Spain, and includes a demand for a “registration fee” to be transferred to a Polish bank account with a PL IBAN prefix.
The EUIPO has contacted the relevant Polish banks and has lodged a criminal complaint with the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Warsaw, Poland. A criminal investigation is now pending.
Nevertheless, many of these invoices may still be in circulation. Users can protect themselves against this, and other misleading invoices, by taking careful note of the following:
- The EUIPO never sends invoices or demands for payment of money to its users. If you receive a demand for money for anything to do with your trade mark by post or email, it does not come from us. Even if it uses our logo, and appears to be official, it does not come from us.
- Familiarise yourself with our fee structure (and make sure others in your firm or company are familiar with them too). All fees payable directly to the EUIPO in relation to EUTMs are laid down in the European Union Trade Mark Regulation (EU) No 2017/1001. A full list of these statutory fees can be found here. Also, be aware that we only use two Spanish bank accounts for payments relating to trade mark and design fees. Any invoice which contains a bank account other than those two is fake.
- Check everything you receive in relation to your trade mark application or registration very closely. If you have even the slightest doubt, contact us; we are committed to protecting our users against fraud, and we want you to let us know if you have received anything that looks suspicious. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also maintain a searchable database of all misleading invoices that our users send us, which you can consult here.
- If you haven’t already registered for our User Area to pay fees and receive communications from the Office, please consider doing so. It’s a completely secure channel through which you can pay by credit card, bank transfer or through your EUIPO current account, and through which you can receive notifications from us safely. You can sign up here, and it only takes a couple of minutes.
We are committed to protecting our users, especially at this time, when phishing emails and other fraud attempts are on the rise. We take legal action whenever necessary to fight this issue, but the most important defence is awareness. Please check everything you receive in relation to your trade mark, and if you have any doubts, contact us.