So, you’ve just applied to register your trademark, and all of a sudden you’re approached by all kinds of dubious parties with misleading offers. You may also be contacted even as an entrepreneur who does not yet have a registered trademark. Our advice is to exercise caution regarding the content and always check whether it comes from an official source.
Why am I receiving these letters, e-mails or calls?
The registers for trade names, domain names or brand names are public registers. This can lead to various service providers contacting you directly. Unfortunately, some of those providers engage in misleading practices. We receive questions about this on a regular basis because the correspondence appears to originate from BOIP, the EUIPO or the WIPO, but that is not the case. The same is true for the calls: the person on the end of the line might, for example, give the impression they are a BOIP employee.
Do I have to pay this invoice or should I take up this offer?
Of course you will be asking yourself whether you should take up an offer like this, or whether you have to pay the bill. The answer is: no. We strongly advise you not to! Our advice is to exercise caution regarding the content and always check whether it comes from an official source.
Are you doubting whether an offer is real? Contact our Information Centre.
List of senders of confusing letters
Below is a list of companies that have contacted entrepreneurs with misleading offers. This correspondence does not come from BOIP and is not related to BOIP or to any other official body.
We update this list on a regular basis.
Similar examples can be found on the websites of the EUIPO and the WIPO.
What is BOIP doing to counter these practices?
The public nature of our register is a statutory requirement that we must comply with. However, we can of course make it difficult for providers to access your contact details. This is something we are working hard on at the moment.
In addition, we issue warnings about misleading practices as much as possible in all of our correspondence.
Furthermore we participate in all kinds of international discussions to counter these practices, together with governments and other organisations involved in intellectual property (see below: Anti-Scam Network). This has already resulted, for instance, in some senders of false invoices being successfully taken to court. See also, for example: decisions of the Court of Appeal of Arnhem-Leeuwarden, the Court of Appeal of Stockholm and the District Court in Brussels.
Measures against misleading invoices are also being taken on an international level within the framework of the Anti-Scam Network, which is an initiative of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). This network brings together representatives of, amongst others, the EUIPO, some national IP offices (which also includes BOIP), the WIPO, the European Patent Office, EUROPOL and various user organisations. The aim is to work together in an effort to combat misleading invoices and to protect all users of these offices. The framework for the cooperation is laid down in a 'Joint Statement on an Expert Cooperation Charter in the area of Anti-Scam’.