We frequently hear of IP scams that are doing the rounds – attempts to fleece the owners and users of IP by unscrupulous individuals and organisations. But this week, for the first time, we met a trademark scam “in the flesh” when one of our customers received a letter demanding money to publicise the recent transfer of ownership of a trademark.

Of course, such transfers are publicised in the official gazettes of the intellectual property offices concerned and this is included in any fees that are paid to them. So there is no need to further publicise it in any third-party publications, particularly as these publications have no official status.

The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has a useful webpage showing some of the scam letters that are currently doing the rounds. If you receive a letter that you think might be a scam, it would be worth checking against this list. Click here to visit the WIPO page.

I can report that our customer was savvy to the scam and wasn’t taken in, particularly after they checked back with us to see what we knew about it.