This morning's Tuesday Tiddlywinks post included an example of a renewal scam letter
of the kind which savvy applicants and their advisors are all too
aware, but which are targeted at smaller and less experienced applicants
who may only have one or a few IP rights.
The letter, purporting to come from OHIM, and carrying a pretty authentic-looking logo, prompted Andrew Johnson, Formalities Director with Marks & Clerk LLP, to send the IPKat a patent equivalent, purporting to come from the European Patent Organization (yes, the American spelling), which again bears a logo very similar to the real organisation's "fingerprint" trademark. The two examples are shown below.
|XKCD "Ten Thousand" by Randall Munroe|
The IPKat knows that many readers are wearily familiar with this practice, but as the XKCD cartoon illustrates, each piece of information that supposedly "everyone knows" is entirely fresh news to a great many people every day.
The advice, as ever is the same: if you receive correspondence seeking the direct payment of money to an IP organisation, and if you aren't wholly au fait with making payments of that kind to that exact recipient, run it past an attorney who does this every day.