First time trademark registers
We all know that a trademark is used by an individual, legal entity or business organisation to clearly identify products or services of a particular source from those of the competition using a recognizable design, sign or expression.
Although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity.
A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are being displayed on company buildings.
When you try to register your trademark in the UK you need to fill a form, online or by post and pay accordingly if you use the right start or if you pay the full fee.
What happens when you file and application with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to register a trademark and you receive an invoice by post to pay the rest of your fee once you used their right star service?
- Probably you will pay for it.
- You will think that is part of the administration process
- You will be shock about the amount that you NOW have to pay
- You will believe that it is true because:
- Is the first response between 10 to 20 days after you submitted your application (even before the official IPO answer)
- They have your details
- You recognise your logo or trademark
- You are unaware of the payment process and how the IPO will follow up communications with you
What to pay attention to
This lack of information about the application process and correct information from the impostors about your application, leads you to being a scam victim. You can see some examples below.
These bills are triple the UK price indicated in the initial online application process with the (IPO) trademark registration.
The impostors provide you with an international bank account. They explain to you the following:
- That you are not obligated to pay
- That you have between 15-20 days to pay the full amount (this is on top of the previous fee that you already paid using the official right start service).
- The fee is to be renewed yearly and automatically. Once you make a first payment they will take payments regularly because you agreed to that allowing them to invoice you the first time
Steps to follow
Because you know even if you aren’t obligated to pay, according to the letter, you MUST because the official IPO fees are not refundables. You already acknowledge from the application submission that you have to pay before the deadline. My advice to you, to those who doesn’t know these rules or to first time trademarks registers with IPO are:
- Contact IPO using the phone number provided when the IPO emailed to you regarding the invoice concerning your first half or full payment.
- Make sure that they are aware of your account and payments made by you and ask for the remaining balance if there is any.
- Under no circumstances pay the amount in the invoice received by mail.
- Ask them questions about how they will communicate with you in the future regarding your application
- IPO will always email to you using the contact details provided by yourself during your application with them. Inside the responsed email, IPO will include a direct link to them to provide you with private or sensitive information regarding the process of your application or/and remaining payments.
I was lucky that I searched and found a number in my previous email received from IPO and I followed these steps to avoid being scammed.
These letters are NOT from any UK official trademark registered office and they are NOT in England or UK. They are based in China, Bulgaria etc. Even some of them they give you a website that you can check online, but there is no way to access your “supposed” online application.
At least now after more people who called to check because the information wasn’t right the followed application that I made had a warning about these unofficial correspondence; but it wasn’t explained to me the first time.
I hope that this post help you. Please leave a comment if you experienced something similar while registering your trademark.