Be alert to 'scam' trademark renewal letters

The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) recently issued a warning to members about scam trademark renewal letters.

The organisation, which represents more than 1,600 trademark and design professionals, says it is “increasingly concerned by the recent actions of ‘Stern Young & Partners’ (SYP) [which is] sending letters directly to rights holders”

Like many such right holders, it had received a ‘renewal reminder’ letter from SYP offering to renew its ‘ITMA’ trademark: “Our ‘ITMA’ UK trademark is not due for renewal until May 2020, so the SYP letter is well before any official UK IPO reminder. The fee being proposed is disproportionately high and inappropriately inflated above the official fees for a UK trademark renewal.” 

Be vigilant 

As we wrote in our April article on ‘Brexit scam letters’, such companies have been targeting UK companies with EU trademark and design registrations, hoping to trick their unsuspected recipients into paying for unnecessary UK registrations. If you receive such a letter, please do not respond and please do not, under any circumstances, make a payment.

CITMA has written to SYP following the most recent round of letters and informed the UKIPO. It advises rights holders to be vigilant, and asks that if any rights holders do receive such letters, they forward a copy to their representative or directly to CITMA, and if possible the envelope as well.

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