A couple of weeks ago I filed a trademark application for my company name, Quernus. This was filed with the official UK body for this, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The cost for this process is £200.
Today I received a letter in the post from the ‘World Organisation for Trademarks’ with an invoice for £896 for a filing of the trademark. The beneficiary is WOTRA Kft in Budapest, Hungary.
It is a scam.
It is a private company who operate a private registration database of trademarks. It has no connection with anyone else.
But it is a pretty damn good scam. They obviously scan the official trademark notification bulletins and use the public data from that to make a very convincing looking invoice with enough information in it to make it seem legitimate.
However, at the bottom in the small print they even say:
Please note that this private registration hasn’t any connection with the publication of official registrations, and is not a registration by a government organisation, and we haven’t any business relation yet. This offer for registration is not an invoice but a solicitation without obligation to pay, unless our offer is accepted.