Fraudulent invoices and scams
PRV has observed that customers are receiving an increasing amount of fake invoices or scam offers from companies requesting payment of fees for services relating to patent, trade mark, design and domain names.
In most cases these invoices or offers concern services such as registration of patent, trade mark and design, but also publication or entry in business directories.
Please be aware that this problem exists and contact us right away if you suspect the invoice being a scam.
An invoice from PRV always contains following specifications:
- PRV:s logotype.
- We write in Swedish.
- We never send out "invoices" or "offers" in our matters.
- PRV:s fees are always specified in SEK and are paid to a Swedish bank account.
If you are unsure whether the invoice you have received is from PRV, contact customer support, please call +46 8 782 28 00.
International publication of trade marks
To publish your trade mark in a so- called international magazine such as "European Gazette" is a waste of time and money. These publications do not carry any legal effect. Offers concerning publication often entail the use of a symbol resembling the European Union's flag, this is to give the letter an official touch. The publication fee usually starts around the region of 1000 euro or more and can even be made payable in GB £ or US $ DO NOT PAY if you receive such an offer or invoice.
If you are interested in applying for a trade mark outside of Sweden, please use the European trade mark authority EUIPO or the Madrid Protocol for international trade mark registration. You can also approach the national trade mark authority directly.
Europol, in collaboration with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), has introduced a new procedure manual designed to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) applicants and owners from fraudulent legal entities seeking to deceive them with misleading payment requests.
Invoices and offers concerning domains
There is an endless amount of top-level domains on the Internet, even the owners of global brands do not have the possibility to own all the domain names that contain something that is identical to their trade marks.
Sometimes trade mark owners are contacted by businesses that inform them about a third party interested of acquiring a domain name, more often than not the domain name is identical with their trade mark. The fraudster then offers the owner the possibility to purchase the domain address arguing that the owner of the trade mark should have first choice in securing the domain.
These offers are nearly always scam. If you receive such an offer – refrain from answering. If you later receive an invoice stating that you have purchased the domain, it is highly recommended that you officially reject the invoice, i.e. in writing.