- Twenty-first Century Patent Charlatans
- June 26, 2012 | Author: Paul E. Rossler
- Law Firm: GableGotwals - Tulsa Office
Patent applicants who file “Patent Cooperation Treaty” applications can expect to receive a “Registration of International Patent” notice from the “Worldwide Database of Patents and Trademarks” or WDTP. At first glance, the notice looks official. The notice has a barcode at the top, lists the type of information normally included on published patent applications and patents, references a legitimate organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization or WIPO, and notes that the application was published in WIPO’s Official Gazette. So far, so good.
However, things quickly get dicey. First, there is no such thing as an “International Patent.” There are Brazilian patents, Canadian patents, and U.S. patents, to name a few, but no international patents. Registering something that does not exist does not make any sense. Second, the notice goes on to share the following indecipherable gobbledygook with unsuspecting applicants:
"This publishing forms the basis of our offer. This form is solely the offer for the concluding of the contract, being the year registration of your international patent application in our internet database. Applicant in the sense of the provision § 275 para 4 law no. 513/1991 Coll., Commercial Code, accepts this motion of Provider to the concluding of the contractual relationship by the execution of the non-cash settlement of the annual registration price to the account of Provider. To access the database, identify the offer number. By the settlement of the price Applicant agrees that the contractual relationship shall be governed by the company general terms of business, specified on the second page of this application; the issues not modified by these terms shall be governed by the law no. 513/1991 Coll. Commercial Code. By the acceptance of this motion Applicant hereby declares to familiarize himself with the General Terms of Business and to read them; furthermore he declares to agree to their wording."
And I thought regular lawyereze was generally indecipherable! The example above takes it to a whole new level. As my father might say after reading something like this, “Oh, brother!” But wait. There’s more. The notice concludes with information about a “Total Filing Fee” of $2,329 USD, payable within 14 days by wire transfer to the Slovak Republic or by check to the Czech Republic.
This is a scam, pure and simple. Here’s the real story. A Patent Cooperation Treaty application publishes within 18 months of its filing date or the filing date of any previously filed patent application to which the Treaty application claims priority, whichever date leads to an earlier publication date. The published application is then available through WIPO’s website at www.wipo.int. End of story. There is no need to register the patent application in something called the Worldwide Database of Trademarks and Patents which, by the way, also has an official-looking website, www.wdtp.biz. Or, more correctly stated, “official looking” at first glance. The day I visited the site to “familiarize” myself with the “General Terms of Business” cited above, the link to those terms was broken. Perhaps the posting of this blog article will help break these patent charlatans’ business model or at least save a few applicants from being scammed. One can hope.