Recently, trade-mark owners have been experiencing an increased amount of “trade-mark trolls” in the form of mail or email scam notices. Scam notices closely resemble notices sent from a governmental organization, such as the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”), and describes the trade-mark, the owner, and the application or registration number accurately, which often leads the recipient to believe the correspondence is official. In fact, scammers can easily obtain the correct trade-mark application or registration information as such information is accessible online by searching CIPO’s Trade-marks Database which is available to the public.
A scam notice typically requires the recipient pay a small fee to avoid losing trade-mark rights. Specifically, the recipient is often urged to pay a fee by an upcoming deadline related to either the “publication” of the trade-mark or the renewal of a trade-mark registration that is indicated to be near expiry.
The correspondence is sent directly to the trade-mark owner and not to the trade-mark owner’s agent of record. However, correspondence from CIPO is always sent to the agent of record, not the trade-mark owner.
If you receive any correspondence or invoice related to your trade-marks, patents, or domain names, it is advisable that you consult your lawyer or trade-mark/patent agent before making any payment. If you want to set-up a trade-mark please contact Sandy Song.
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