Unsolicited letters regarding trade mark renewals

Article  \  31 May 2017

An organisation calling itself ‘PTMO – Patent and Trademark Organisation’ is sending notices to owners of trade mark registrations in New Zealand offering to renew their trade marks at a highly inflated cost.

The letters do look authentic, and the website given in the letter leads to what appears to be a genuine trade mark renewal service. However, this Gibraltar-based company has already received a warning from the Commerce Commission for its misleading conduct.

The Commerce Commission in a ruling on 13 December 2016 stated that PTMO misled consumers by giving them the impression that they were affiliated with IPONZ, that the fee in the letter was required to renew the trade marks, and that the trade mark holder was under an obligation to pay PTMO for their services.

It appears that despite this warning, PTMO are continuing to send these unsolicited letters to trade mark owners.

What should you do?

If you have registered a trade mark in New Zealand through us, you will only receive genuine information about your registration from AJ Park.

Any other notices, particularly notices requesting payment, should be treated with caution.

If you are unsure about the authenticity of the notice you have received, take a moment to look up the name of the correct authority. Feel free to ask us if you are still in doubt.

Do not pay any invoice you receive from PTMO unless you are satisfied it is genuine.