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Scam invoices – domain name renewal

DSC03616-BWe’ve previously written about the problem of scam invoices in which UK, European and other IP rights holders receive invoices inviting them to pay for the publication of their IP right in some official sounding register. Variations of the scam involve offers to renew IP rights or even apply for IP rights. Previous IPcopy articles can be found here and all the main IPOs have their own sections which keep tabs on the latest examples of such scams (UKIPO, EPO, EUIPO, WIPO).

A more recent example of such scams is one in which the target is invited to buy domain names. According to the UKIPO the initial contact is a telephone call from an organisation that says they are the “Trade Marks Intellectual Property Office”. (more…)

Common soft IP related mistakes made by SMEs

mistake

Photo by DTL at morguefile.com

IP value and risk

Risk is the chance of something going wrong, and the danger that damage or loss will occur. By its very nature, there are both rewards and risks associated with IP. For anyone involved in IP, then IP related risks are part of working life.

However many ignore the risks associated with IP or only react when the risk has materialised, which is most times too late. Also, many of the IP related risks that companies face are due to their own lack of awareness or proper understanding of IP, and/or their own actions or lack of actions.

Soft IP

There are multiple forms of IP such as patents, trademarks, copyright, etc. etc.

The term ‘soft IP’ is sometimes used to refer to trademarks, copyright, and domain names, in contrast to ‘hard IP’, which is sometimes used to refer to patents.

I accept that use of this phrase is controversial among some IP practitioners, and that the term soft IP may mean slightly different things from one IP practitioner to another

This paper focuses on soft IP and in particular on trademarks, domain names and social media handles, and some of the common mistakes made by SMEs as far as these forms of IP are concerned. (more…)