July 4, 2018

Fraudulent invoices

In recent years, international intellectual property offices (the European Intellectual Property Office, the World Intellectual Property Office and the European Association of Trademark Owners (MARQUES)) have joined forces to combat different types of fraudulent practices performed by third parties and aimed at claiming payments to holders for the maintenance of their rights or renewals without any official value.

The first judicial victory has taken place in Sweden, where on December 20, the Stockholm Court of Appeal sentenced to imprisonment for penalties between two and four years and eight months more than 20 people involved in the sending and collection of funds of hundreds of false invoices to applicants of European Union trademarks in several countries of the European Union. The Court took into consideration not only the organization, volume and planning of the fraud but also the fact that the fraudulent invoices appeared to have been sent out by the European Intellectual Property Office.

EUIPO and user association MARQUES actively supported the Swedish prosecutor during the investigation.