Targeting trademark holders with fake invoices is a well-known scam, which, unfortunately, is difficult to prevent. The fact of the matter is that the BOIP Trademarks Register, like a business register, is a public database. As such, scammers can find trademark holders’ addresses in the Register and use them to make an approach. BOIP regularly issues warnings about this, including on its website (permanent news item), on social media, in its letters and e-mails.
From time to time, scammers are successfully prosecuted for their crimes. The BMM (Benelux Association for Trademark and Design Law) has reported on a recent case, in which the District Court in Brussels imposed a hefty four-year prison sentence. The scammer in question has thus been shut down for the time being and, of course, we hope that the verdict will have a deterrent effect and so curb these practices.