Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.
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Unsolicited trade mark renewals: warning
MARQUES members will already know about misleading invoices as warned about on the EUIPO website. They may also want to watch out for other recent activities that have caused confusion and concern for some brand owners. This is the receipt of unsolicited offers to renew trade marks at inflated prices, which are being sent by an unregulated entity that effectively implies it has an official capacity for sending it. A redacted example of such a notice is here.
The sender of these notices is Stern Young & Partners. Despite appearances, it is not a trade mark attorney or law firm and no registered attorneys or lawyers seem to work there. It is a recently formed UK company, set up by a Swedish individual with a £1 issued share capital.
The notice implies that the trade mark was in the sender’s record system, effectively suggesting it may be the official attorney on record or address for service when it is not.
It is an offer to renew but at a very high price (£1,320 to renew a UK mark in one class, where the official fee is £170) and on contractual terms highly favourable to the sender.
The UK’s Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys has complained about this behaviour to the UK IPO. There have also been reports of similar notices being sent out in Sweden and the New Zealand IP office has posted a warning about such notices received there.
Trade mark owners are encouraged to be vigilant, and to seek advice from a professional if in doubt.
The MARQUES Anti-Fraud Task Force monitors scam invoices, misleading requests for renewals and similar communications. Members who receive any suspicious letters can share them in confidence with the Task Force members.Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 08.20
Tags: Stern Young, unsolicited, UK IPO,
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