BEWARE OF THE TRADEMARK RENEWAL REMINDERS
In recent months, relevant authorities have been alerted to the fact that unsolicited organisations are sending out reminders about the renewal of IP rights. What this ultimately means is that patent, designs and trade mark owners are all being sent these reminders a long time in advance of the renewal deadline and are being quoted extremely inflated prices. One example which has been given is that one reminder recently quoted £963 for the renewal of a UK patent when in fact the official fee for the same renewal is only £70.
This is clearly an issue which is rife within the world of intellectual property and one which had to be halted immediately. To try and counteract this, the Trading Standards have agreed to become the legal force behind the ASA resulting in the ASA’s ability to now refer those advertisers who persist to send such invoices directly to the Trading Standards. Once this has been done, the Trading Standards have the power to issue legal sanctions against the advertisers under consumer and business protection laws.
This has to be noted as a positive step against misleading correspondence as the agreement between the ASA and Trading Standards, and the consequences of legal sanctions, should now act as a deterrent for those who insist to embark upon such deceptive activity.
We are all aware of how important the processes of renewals are to ensure that your IP rights are not lost however it is essential IP owners are cautious as to who they are contacted by. There has been the creation of pages on websites in order to help IP owners to research whether certain advertisers are known for this kind of issue. An example of this is on the UKIPO website which offers a warning page outlining what IP owners should be wary of. Similar pages have been developed on websites such as WIPO and OHIM in respect of trade marks and designs.
If any Trademarkroom client receives an unsolicited reminder we ask you to get in contact with us. The general procedure is that all renewal reminders should either come directly from our offices or from the UK or Community Trade Mark offices.
Harry Jeffries (Law Student)