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Registering a trade mark or patent? Read this

I have struggled to think of how to phrase this one but it is something I needed to say.Increasingly, we have seen clients who have applied for U.
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Written by ZDNet Staff on

I have struggled to think of how to phrase this one but it is something I needed to say.

Increasingly, we have seen clients who have applied for U.S. or international intellectual property applications receive letters and e-mail offering them "international protection". These communications are received typically upon publication, where the registration details are made public.

I can understand the attraction--when you are charged with protecting your intellectual property, anything that seems reasonable and includes specific details of your intellectual property seems legitimate and hence should be obtained. However, things are seldom what they seem.

The thing to remember about intellectual property is that it is legislation-driven and so any entity charged with international protection of intellectual property in unlikely to have any bite unless authorised by law.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped various parties from sending such notices asking for sums of monies around a few hundred dollars for services with official sounding names. The World Intellectual Property Organization (a United Nations organization established by international convention) carries a warning identifying the various such notices here.

I am sure that this list is not exhaustive, so if you receive something like this, please contact your trademark or patent attorney.

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