Are You A Victim Of A Patent Or Trademark Scam?
The trademark law has been very influential for Canada, as it has helped many businesses protect their trademarks and has allowed for new businesses to register their trademarks. Trademarks are very important as they help companies and organisations create a unique image for their business. But, various scam mails or emails are being sent to holders of patent and trademark registrations. These notices are designed to closely resemble the original CIPO notices.
What is the CIPO doing?
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is in touch with ground reality and is well aware of the various scam mails and emails that are being circulated to patent holders and trademark registration owners. These notices are designed to closely resemble CIPO notices.
Some facts related to the scam notices:
- The scammers generally send you the fake mail telling you that your patent or trademark protection is nearing expiration. Then, they ask you to renew by paying fees for registration. One typical thing about this scam is that the fees "due" are more than CIPO fees.
- In order to appear legitimate, these scam mails incorporate information that is available from public records, which is available in the databases at CIPO.
- These notices usually include use of cautionary language, like "patent cancellation notice", "important notification regarding your federal trademark."
- Some of the fake notices will also include "Canada" or "Canadian". This is done by the scammers to make the company name appear legitimate and official.
- They might also offer you to add you to directories which might appear official, or offer similar services, that are provided by CIPO.
An important point to keep in mind is that any legitimate notices related to patent expiry will only be from CIPO.
How to identify legitimacy
- The address is of prime importance. <ail notices that come from CIPO will always come from this particular address: 50 Victoria St., Gatineau, QC, K1A 0C9.
- Any email that claims itself to be from CIPO will have the "@ic.gc.ca" domain name.
- Another point to remember is that notices related to international applications, will come under the Madrid Protocol, and would be from the World Intellectual Property Office address or from the "@wipo.int" domain.
Companies and individuals literally invest thousands of dollars on a particular invention. Such scams can add more cost to this and can lead to huge monetary losses. The organisations that run such operations thrive because of lack of awareness in the market place. In case you are suspicious of receiving something like a late payment notice from the patent office, or any similar request, then get in touch with the Competition Bureau and report the fraud to them. You can also mail CIPO at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach a copy of the suspicious document in the mail. If you are looking for more information regarding the matter, or you want a better understanding of patent and copyright laws in Canada, then get in touch with Prowse Chowne. Our panel of legal experts will provide you with all the help you need.