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MARQUES attends Anti-Scam Network meeting in Alicante

The 3rd Anti-Scam Network meeting was held at EUIPO in Alicante on 19 April. It was attended by representatives of EUIPO, EPO and WIPO, most IP offices in Europe and user associations. MARQUES was represented by Willem Leppink, Chair of the Anti-Fraud Task Force (pictured).

The Network discusses how to deal with fraudulent and misleading invoices as well as other attempts to scam IP rights owners.

There was a lot of interest in the recent decision by the Court of Appeal in Uppsala, Sweden, in which MARQUES was a party, and Willem presented some information on this. EUIPO thanked MARQUES for its work. To find out more about this case, see the blog post “Scammers jailed over misleading invoices”.

EUIPO’s team provided information on their latest activities in this area, including IT measures, interaction with users and cooperation. EUIPO is publicising the issue via the press and social media.

EUIPO has also put in place tools such as web application firewalls to avoid webscraping, whilst ensuring that law firms that use a lot of data are not being wrongly blocked. The Office is now publishing examples of misleading invoices on its website. It has about 1,000 customer interactions each year regarding this issue. Those concerned about misleading invoices can contact EUIPO by email: information@euipo.europa.eu

Beyond EUIPO, the TM5 network is also looking at this issue, and a rise in fraudulent invoices has been seen in the US.

Among the other issues discussed were:

  • IT measures
  • Can a warning be included on trade mark application forms, as many of victims are self-filers?
  • EUROPOL’s possibilities to work directly with EUIPO.
  • How user associations such as MARQUES can send it misleading invoices to the central repository
  • The Czech IP Office gave a presentation on its experiences and best practices (readers may recall that the President of the Czech IP Office, Josef Kratochvil, discussed misleading invoices at the MARQUES Annual Conference in Prague last year).

Finally, the Network discussed plans for the next two years. There are a number of developments to monitor, including new legal cases and new laws concerning gross invoice fraud in Sweden. MARQUES has asked for English translations of the Swedish provisions so that user associations can investigate whether similar laws could become in place in other countries.

For more information on this topic, see the Anti-Fraud Task Force page.

Posted by: Blog Administrator @ 08.34
Tags: Anti-Scam Network, EUIPO, Europol, Anti-Fraud Task Force,
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MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

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