The fine print of the fake invoices mentions that the message is only an offer, but not an invoice. This means that the recipient of the message has no obligation to pay. This information is, however, hardly legible or even noticable. The overall appearance of the invoices resembles the standard communications sent out by the OHIM. Also the reference numbers mentioned in the invoices are identical to the reference numbers mentioned in the official register.
It is quite amazing that at least some applicants for European community trademarks still fall prey to this kind of fraud. If an applicant is legally represented before the OHIM by an appointed OHIM professional representative he will never receive any official communications directly from the office. The OHIM will alway contact the applicant’s representative who is acting on behalf of his client.
Moreover, the OHIM will never send out any “invoices” asking to pay official fees.
Update 1 (August 2, 2014): According to our information, at least the following two different bank accounts are currently used by “OMIH”:
- Account No. SE34 6000 000 0001 1080 7588, BIC: HANDSESS (SVENSKA HANDELSBANKEN, Stockholm)
- Account No. SE83 8000 0832 7990 3910 4279, BIC: SWEDSESS (Swedbank AB, Stockholm)