January 16, 2008

Although this particular warning was first issued in June, 2006, the European Patent Office re-issued an updated warning to patent applications regarding solicitations from patent registration organizations. The reissued warning (from January 8, 2008, noting the original June 29, 2006, warning date – link below) notes that “[n]umerous applicants and patent proprietors have informed the European Patent Office that firms and individuals using names, abbreviations or emblems that appear to be official have been inviting them to register patents in unofficial registers or publications.” These registration (and publication) organizations may actually do as they say, i.e. they may add a particular application to a “registry” or a “publication” that they either control or have access to, but such “registries” or “publications” have no official legal effect, and as such, no actual legal value to an applicant. A client of my firm recently contacted me regarding correspondence he had received from one of these organizations (actual organization name withheld, but starting with the initials “I.B.F.”), whereby the organization offered to list his PCT application in an international “registry” for a $1,633.50 fee. Although this organization notes that it is not affiliated with the USPTO and that the documentation is a solicitation, the organization uses the words “Bureau” and “International” it its name, and regardless of the registered attorney or agent who filed the application on behalf of the inventor, the organization sends the “service” documentation directly to the inventor. For additional information these warning provided by various patent offices, please see the links below.

EPO Warning: LINK
German Patent Office Warning (in German): LINK
UK Patent Office Warning: LINK
WIPO Warning: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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