Despite the seemingly official appearance of such invoices, the services offered by such entities are not related to the processing of patent applications by the EPO. There is therefore no obligation to pay any invoice issued by firms or individuals offering such services. Moreover, any payment made to these firms will have no legal effect in proceedings before the EPO and any funds paid are most likely not refundable.
More information and examples of such fraudulent invoices can be found on the EPO website at epo.org/warning.
This IP Alert is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.