Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Got a Bill from PatentOnline.org? Beware Trademark Fraud

Our company, Innovationedge, has pursued a couple of trademark registrations. This week we received two bills apparently for European trademark registration. Each bill showed our recently published trademark and requested over $2000 for registration, payable to an office in Switzerland. It looked official, but a careful examination revealed several problems. First, there was no telephone number to call to verify details. There was also no evidence that this was in response to a request we had made. Most telling, there was fine print at the bottom in bad English indicating that this was for registration in their private database and not on behalf of any government organization.

Ah, right! Pay a couple thousand dollars and they'll list you in a private, unofficial database,. Hey, I can do the same on my laptop - and I'll only charge $1000.

The envelope it came in indicated that it was mailed from the Slovak Republic.

My recommendation if you get any strange trademark registration invoices from the Slovak Republic that are associated with patentonline.org, don't pay! It's a fraud, A scam. A con. Theft. Sickening!

5 comments:

Glen said...

We just received an invoice from the same company - and our CEO actually considered paying it before I showed him your post. The other red flag for us was that the billing company had simply copied our details from the national company database rather than our patent attorney. However our CEO did consider paying as we have registered patents internationally recently (we are based in New Zealand).

The scary thing is that had the billing amount been smaller he possibly would have simply paid it!

Martin said...

Thank you for you post. I also received a letter posted in the Slovak Republic with a bill for 1494,50€, stating the bill is a registration of International Patents. I guess they are trying it on in the hope some people will pay. It's a nasty trick!

patient patient said...

Yep! Me too today. Glad we caught it!
Searching online to find your post makes it even more fun!
how scammy....

ITTF said...

Unbelievable! More than one year after your article and I received yesterday a similar invoice from the same company. How can they still continue working with such impunity? Thanks for your advice.

Jure said...

Hi!
The Patentonline.org is still active.
We also recieved their invoice for1678EUR that we will be signed in in their priveate Patent Database. Lucky I found this post.
Thanks!
Jure, Slovenia