Friday, May 20, 2016

Patent - International Patent Application Registration Services Scams

     One of our clients recently contacted us about two "invoices" that they received allegedly related to its PCT application, which was recently published.

     The invoices were from IP Save s.r.o., based in the Slovak Republic, and IPTO (International Patent & Trademark Organization) s.r.o., based in the Czech Republic.

     Given the legion of businesses that scam intellectual property owners, I figured these would be scams.  First, in our client's case, any fees related to the PCT application would come from WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).  Second, the documents looked like invoices and unless you read the fine print, you would miss the disclaimer that "This is not an invoice" and "This is solicitation."  Third, the "invoices" had basic spelling, grammatical and mathematical errors.  In both documents, they spelled "APPROVED" as "APPROOVED".  Additionally, the IPSave "invoice" wasn't even for the correct amount.

     We confirmed the nature of these documents for our client, and in the process saved our client a considerable amount of money.

     A number of legitimate organizations keep lists of such nefarious businesses, such as WIPO at this link and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office at this link.

     If you receive such documents, read them with care.

- Henry Park

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