Warning around unsolicited IP services being offered to IP owners
Wednesday 3rd June 2020
We have seen a surge in the number of letters sent to New Zealand rights holders by United Kingdom company “Stern Young & Partners Intellectual Property”.
It is not unusual for trade mark owners to be sent notices to provide unsolicited services. However, the difference with these letters is that the sender “appears” to be a firm of IP “experts”. A cursory internet search suggests that Stern Young & Partners is not regulated by the United Kingdom IPReg (Intellectual Property Regulation Board). Rather, the company incorporated in December 2018, lists its offices at 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden – one of over 25,000 companies registered at this address.
In one letter, Stern Young & Partners quotes a fee to renew a New Zealand registration in two classes of approximately NZD3,400. The official fee to renew this mark (in both classes) is only NZD400. This could mean that Stern Young & Partners is intending to charge approximately NZD3,000 to file the renewal – 600% more than our cost to attend to an identical renewal.
We encourage trade mark owners to stay alert and vigilant to these notices. This will help to ensure that they do not pay over the odds for their renewals.
If there is ever any doubt about the legitimacy of an invoice or letter, please let us know immediately. We will help allay your concerns. If you would like any further information on this issue, please contact us for further assistance.