Misleading invoices have become a big problem in both Poland and the European Union. Some trademark owners now receive a deluge of unsolicited mail from companies requesting payment for trademark and design services they never received, such as publication, registration or entry into business directories. Usually these are issued by companies under their own names (a list of such companies can be found on the Polish Patent Office or EUIPO websites).
To counteract this wave of fraudulent activity, the Polish Patent Office has launched a new service that allows applicants to verify the authenticity of correspondence sent (supposedly) by the office. From 1 December 2021, application confirmations and decisions on the granting of exclusive rights (conditional decisions) will be provided with a QR code and information on how to verify the its authenticity.
It is crucial to remember that the Polish Patent Office does not correspond directly with applicants that have a professional representative, especially with regard to payment for a period of protection. Nevertheless, now if the applicant receives any correspondence regarding its IP rights, its authenticity may be verified online.
This is a strong move in the fight against scammers who try to take advantage of trademark owners. It is hoped that it will contribute to maintaining the IP landscape, which in turn is key to economic security.