Beware of Bogus Trade-mark Invoices


A Czech outfit calling itself the WDTP (Worldwide Database of Trademarks and Patents) regularly sends invoices to Canadian trade-mark owners, claiming to be owed a few thousand dollars as a “filing fee”. The WDTP is just one of many such operations, based in places such as Hungary, Slovak Republic or even within the United States. These outfits have made a business out of sending bogus unsolicited invoices to legitimate trade-mark owners. They base their letters on trade-mark registration data gleaned from the public US or Canadian trade-mark databases. They even appear to have trouble distinguishing between themselves, since one recent letter warned the reader that it was not associated with those other bogus outfits with similar-sounding names.

It’s small wonder that there is confusion since the names are chosen to be vaguely similar to legitimate government offices. Here is a sampling of a few names: Trademark Registration and Monitoring Office (Past Due Notice), Trademark Registration and Monitoring Office (Intellectual Property Rights Recordation Alert), United States Trademark Registration Office, Patent & Trademark Agency, United States Trademark Maintenance Service, U.S. Trademark Compliance Service, WDTP, CPTD, WIPT, RIPT, IOPR and so on.

Lessons for business:

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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