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08 February 2021
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for third parties to try and trick others into paying a large sum for specific services, even in the IP field.
Some third parties deliberately use documents and logos that look similar to those of official IP authorities, only to request payment for maintenance or enforcement of IP rights. Even if their IP details are mentioned in those documents, IP owners should remember that this information is publicly available. On closer look, it may be evident that:
Third parties may also try to sell domain name registrations under false conditions. IP owners should be wary of emails or letters addressed directly to their management or legal department, especially where supposed domain name agents ask management's permission to register a domain name for one of their clients. A domain name agent need not have a written mandate to register a domain name for their client. Also, the 'first come, first served' principle applies to domain names, so any request from an unknown party to register a domain name in the requestee's name – even under the pretence that another party is interested in the domain name – should indicate that it is a scam.
If an IP owner receives a letter or invoice from an unknown party, it should check exactly what is being offered and whether the source is trustworthy.
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