Is the Commission aware of the practice by professional scammers of targeting applicants to the European Patent Office and issuing them with bogus invoices in an attempt to extract money from them, thereby putting innovators and entrepreneurs at risk of losing significant start-up capital?
Is the Commission satisfied with the steps being taken by the European Patent Office to combat this practice?
Does it believe that the publication by the European Patent Office of the full details of applicants is necessary?
The Commission has been informed by the European Patent Office about the fraudulent practices described in the question.
The Commission understands that the European Patent Office, in which it has an observer status within the Administrative Council, has put into practice a large range of initiatives (from regular publications in its Official Journal to information on social networks) with a view to inform patent applicants and holders about these activities. This prevention campaign also includes meeting with users and cooperation with other Intellectual Property Offices facing the same sort of practices.
The publication of applications including the details of the applicants as well as of the granted patent is key for informing third parties of the existence and the identity of the owner of the rights. This information is generally a requisite for the opposability of the right to third parties.