During the past few years, we have frequently published warnings in this newsletter about fraudulent invoices and this phenomenon continues to crop up from time to time.
Unsuspecting companies are sent an invoice from an IP body that appears official, but usually doesn’t exist, for services such as the continuation of a registration in some imprecisely defined register or database. The recipient takes the view that it is cheaper to go ahead and pay the invoice, rather than to spend time and effort investigating what the invoice actually relates to and that is precisely what the other party is hoping they will do. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has a reporting centre for misleading practices of this type and its website contains examples of false invoices that have been received.
See http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/fees/invoices_2016.html. A business owner forewarned is worth two who are not.