Action against ghost invoices

A well-known phenomenon in our business are the so called ghost invoices. Unfortunately they are all too common, even these days. Invoices are sent to trademark owners after they filed their application. In return for a large sum of money the trademark is filed in a database by the ghost invoice sender, a database that is completely useless. All the while the owner believes that he received an invoice from an official organization.

The letters contain the official registration date (name of the owner, filing number and date, logo) in order to increase the chances of fooling the trademark owner. To increase their chances of fooling the trademark owners names and logos that are surprisingly similar to those of the official authorities are used, such as: “European Patent and Trademark Register” or “European Trademark Publication”.
Following Belgium, the Netherlands will now introduce a procedure that allows such false acquisition to be dealt with. The initiative has been approved unanimously by parliament. Until it becomes a final law our advice remains: do not pay and never respond to any suspicious emails or invoices. The rates that are being charged are often a multitude of the normal costs and the amount cannot be reclaimed.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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