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Frequently asked questions

Here you'll find answers to some common questions about Envoy and our patent annuity and trade mark renewal services.

If you have any further queries, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

General Envoy

Q. Can Envoy be used with another IP renewals provider?

A. Yes.  We don't insist that you use Envoy for all your annuity and renewal requirements.


Q. Can Envoy be used with my case management system?

A. Yes. It is possible for the Envoy system to be compatible with external case management systems capable of Excel or CSV outputs.


Q. Why does Envoy use local suppliers?

A. We work with a network of global suppliers to assist in our day-to-day annuity and renewal operations. We use expert local suppliers because we believe in the principle of showing due care.


Q. How safe and secure is my case data in Envoy's system?

A. Customer data security is a key priority for Envoy. We utilize a highly reliable server architecture with multiple secure back-up facilities. Customer data is continuously backed up to our secure off-site data centre, as well as our primary servers. We constantly audit our security policies to ensure that we're working to current industry standards.


Q. Does Envoy offer an IP recordals service?

A. Yes.  Find out more about our IP recordals service.


Q. How long has Envoy been trading?

A. Envoy started trading on  1st July 2009 via envoyrenewals.com.


Q. Is Envoy insured?

A. Yes. Envoy is appropriately insured against claims made against it for professional negligence or malpractice. Envoy has acquired a first policy through the insurers Pamia, with an underlying limit of indemnity of £5,000,000 per claim. In addition, Envoy has acquired an excess layer of cover of an additional £5,000,000 through the insurers Catlin Insurance Company.



Pricing and fees

Q. How does Envoy's pricing work?

A. Envoy's prices comprise of a service charge and the official fee payable to the relevant registry. Typically, the service charge will consist of Envoy's fee and, where applicable, a local supplier fee.


Q. Are Envoy's prices estimates or actual prices?

A. The price quoted by Envoy for a renewal is the actual price that we will charge on that day. The price may change periodically if exchange rates change. We're able to quote actual prices because weʼve negotiated fixed price contracts with all of our suppliers.


Q. What exchange rate does Envoy use?

A. Envoy's prices are regularly updated using a mid-market exchange rate.


Q. Do Envoy's prices vary depending on the volume?

A. Envoy has standard pricing for customers across the board – whether they instruct 1 renewal or 100. However, for very large volumes we are able to offer discounts.


Q. Do Envoy's prices show the official fees?

A. Yes. The Envoy system will publish the official fee in the local currency and the total price in the currency of your choice.


Q. What currencies can I get prices in and instruct renewal payments?

A. British Pound, US Dollar, Euro, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Chinese Yuan Renminbi, Danish Krone, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar, Japanese Yen, Norwegian Krone, South African Rand, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc.


Q. Does Envoy charge urgency/late fees?

A. Envoy applies a standard one-off urgency charge on all cases that are instructed within 7 working days (calculated in GMT) prior to the due date, or in the grace period. If a case is considered late then additional fees may apply. The amount varies depending on how late the renewal is and which territory it is in. Our urgency charges are very low so please ask us for details. For more information on Urgency and Late Fees click here.


Q. What is Envoy's service fee per renewal?

A. Envoy's service fee varies depending on the type of service provided and the territory in which the renewal is being paid. The Envoy system will always show the local official fee for each quote requested.



Getting started / my account

Q. How do I open an Envoy account?

A. To register for a free trial account, simply complete the form on our Trial Envoy page. A trial account has all the functionality of a real account. You can check prices and use the system without incurring real costs or instructing real cases. Once you decide to progress to a real account, just let us know.


Q. How long does it take to set up an Envoy account?

A. We can set up an account for you in minutes. We just need to confirm some details with you about how you would like to work with us.


Q. Are there any set-up costs when you open an Envoy account?

A. No. You only pay for the cost of the patent annuities, trade mark renewals or design renewals that you instruct. 


Q. Are there any on-going costs with an Envoy account?

A. No. You only pay for the patent annuities or trade mark renewals you instruct. 


Q. Is there a minimum number of cases to open an Envoy account?

A. No. It takes just one patent annuity or trade mark renewal to open an Envoy account.


Q. Do I need to upload all our case data to the account at the start?

A. No. You don't have to upload all of your case data to the system at the outset. You can add data at a later date whenever you need to.


Q. How do I get case data into the Envoy system?

A. You can upload case data to your Envoy account in two ways:

1. Via the 'Individual' case function. This allows you to get quotes for individual cases.

2. Via the 'Batch upload' function. This lets you upload the details of multiple cases via a spreadsheet. Templates and guidelines on how to use the 'Batch upload' function are provided in your account.

If you have large volumes of case data (e.g. over 1000 cases), or if you don't want to rely on your own docketing records, Envoy can upload your cases for you. And for very large volumes of cases, Envoy has developed an API that can integrate a customer's docketing system with ours. This allows customers to instruct renewals through Envoy from within their current case management software.  Contact us to find out more about these additional upload options.


Q. Do I need to accept Envoy's Terms & Conditions?

A. Yes. Prior to placing instructions through Envoy, all customers are required to accept our Terms & Conditions. Once a trial account is converted to a real account, you will be prompted to accept our Terms & Conditions when you first log-in.



Annuities, renewals and instructions

Q. Does Envoy handle other IP rights beside patents?

A. Yes. We can help with your trade mark renewals and design renewals as well as your patent annuities/renewals. This includes supplementary protection certificates and short-term patents.


Q. Can Envoy be used for intellectual property that has not been granted?

A. Yes. Envoy accepts instructions for pending annuity and renewal applications.


Q. How does Envoy handle IP renewals in Canada?

A. For pending cases, Envoy instructs the Canadian agent on record to make the annuity or renewal payment. For granted cases, renewal payments can be made by Envoy’s agent.


Q. Does Envoy handle licences of right and small entity provisions?

A. Yes. Customers can specify a licence of right and entity type when entering/supplying their case details.


Q. Does Envoy handle annuities and renewals in the grace period?

A. Yes. When an annuity or renewal is in the grace period, our system automatically adjusts the price to cover any additional official fees and/or supplier fees. If necessary, Envoy can also provide case restoration services.


Q. How far in advance of the due date do I need to instruct Envoy?

A. We prefer to receive instructions at least 3 working days before the due date. Cases instructed less than 3 working days before the due date are subject to urgency fees.


Q. Does Envoy verify that the details of a case are accurate?

A. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy of the details provided to us. However, whilst we can provide no warranty or guarantee, both we and our suppliers check the details of the cases supplied to us. In addition, our system uses both internal and external checks to verify the accuracy of the details provided.


Q. Who is liable if the case details provided to Envoy are incorrect?

A. We will notify you of any discrepancies regarding your case details. However, liability for the information provided to Envoy ultimately lies with you (the customer).


Q. Does Envoy provide Powers of Attorney (POA)?

A. Yes. All the forms you need for an annuity or renewal are provided on the Envoy system as soon as you obtain a price.


Q. What happens if I want to use a particular agent in certain territories?

A. Although we've contracted with a specific network of suppliers, we're still really flexible. If you have a preferred supplier we can place instructions through them. However please note that this may involve a price difference from our published fees.


Q. Can Envoy pay on default/auto-renew?

A. Yes. You can mark cases as 'Auto Instruct’ in your account. For more information on our Auto Instruct function please click here.


Q. Will I receive official receipts when a trade mark, design or patent renewal is completed?

A. Yes. We will email official receipts to you as soon as they become available from the relevant IP office. You will also be able to download receipts from your account once they have been supplied to us.


Q. Does Envoy send reminders?

A. Yes. You can choose to receive email reminders for cases previously renewed by Envoy. We can customize reminders according to your specific needs.


Q. Does Envoy keep a record of all renewals paid?

A. Yes. A full record of all paid patent annuities/renewals, trade mark and design renewals is shown in the system. It is also possible to integrate with your case management system or docketing software for automatic access. Please contact us for more information.



Payment and invoicing

Q. How do I pay for Envoy's patent annuity and trade mark renewal services?

A. Envoy customers are required to deposit money into their account before they can place instructions. Accounts may be topped up at any time via bank transfer or credit card. Law firms may have the option to pay by invoice – please contact us for more information.


Q. Does Envoy offer refunds if I want to cancel an instruction?

A. Yes. A full refund is provided when we have not yet instructed our supplier or made payment to the official IP office. A partial refund may be possible even after we've instructed our supplier. No refund is possible if our supplier has already made payment to the official IP office.


Q. Does Envoy charge VAT?

A. Yes. Adhering to advice from HMRC, VAT is added to Envoy's prices when billing a UK domiciled customer. This amount may be claimed back if a company is VAT registered.


Q. How does Envoy send invoices?

A. Invoices are instantly generated and emailed to you following the instruction of one or more patent annuities or trade mark renewals. Invoices are also available to download from your Envoy acount. 



General IP

Q. What is a patent?
Q. What is a trademark?
Q. What is a registered design?

A.  A registered design protects the external shape and look of a product to stop people copying it. Things that are taken into consideration are materials, manufacturing methods, aesthetics and functionality.


Q. When are patent annuities/renewals due?
Q. When are trademark renewals due?
Q. What are official fees?

A. Official fees are the charges applied by global patent and trademark offices when you apply for intellectual property protection. The fee owed differs depending on the jurisdiction.


Q. What are IP recordals?

A. IP recordals are when IP rights need to be reassigned and recorded. For example, this may be required following a merger, acquisition or restructure. A recordal could be a change in ownership, name, address or entry of licenses. Any changes must be recorded and reassigned in order to maintain your IP protection and to avoid infringement.


Q. What does the term 'patent pending' mean?

A. This describes when an inventor is pursuing protection of their invention. Generally the applicant will have filed an application with the relevant IP office, and is awaiting confirmation that their patent has been granted.


Q. Do trademarks have to be registered?
Q. How long does a trade mark last?
Q. Is there such a thing as an international trade mark?

A. There is no such thing as an international trade mark. However, the Madrid Protocol is a system that performs a similar function. An individual is able to register a trade mark in a number of countries or territories that are members of the Madrid Protocol through a single registration.


Q. Can you transfer the ownership of your trade mark to someone else?

A. Yes. The ownership of a trademark can be transferred from one legal entity to another via an assignment. The assignment must be recorded at the IP office where protection was granted in order for it to be given legal effect.


Copyright © Envoy International Limited. All rights reserved. Licensed under US Pat numbers 5895468, 6182078 and 6049801.