Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for third parties to try and trick others into paying a hefty sum for specific services.
Even in the Intellectual Property (IP) field, third parties do not shy away from using documents and logos similar to those of Official IP authorities. In such documents, payment of fees is requested for maintenance or enforcement of IP rights. Do not be fooled when your IP details are mentioned in those documents, as such information is in fact publicly available. If you take a closer look, you will note that the fees are well above the usual rates in the industry, a foreign bank account number is mentioned, as well as General Terms and Conditions that are entirely contrary to the interests of IP holders. Insofar as GEVERS is your representative, all fees and costs will be directly invoiced by GEVERS, meaning that you may typically disregard any other invoices or payment reminders received by third parties.
Aside from this, third parties also try to sell “domain name registrations” under false conditions. Be wary when you receive e-mails or letters directly addressed to the management or legal department of your company. Especially when “domain name agents,” ask your management’s permission to register a domain name for one of their own clients. In principle, a domain name agent does not need to have a written mandate to register a domain name for his client. Moreover, for domain names the “First come, first served” principle applies, so that any request from an unknown party to register a domain name in your name – sometimes even under the pretense that another party shows interest in the domain name – should trigger you and make you realize that it is a scam.
If you receive a letter or invoice from an unknown party, please carefully check what is being offered and whether the source is trustworthy. In case of doubts, please contact your contact person at GEVERS or send a message.
Hanne Geldhof – Intellectual Property Paralegal