Businesses who have a registered European Union trademark have been warned not to fall for a scam.Giles Chichester, the Conservative MEP for the South West, says renewal reminders, requesting payment, are illegal.The Community Trademark Office, based in Alicante, Spain, never sends out letters requesting direct payments, he told the Midweek Herald. These illegal invoices, which request payment of hundreds of Euros, appear to come from official EU Trademark departments. They use many official-looking titles, such as European Trademark Organisation, and originate from addresses in cities throughout Europe, the USA and even Hong Kong. Mr Chechester added: If you have concerns about the source of an invoice then contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 00-34-91-513-9100. But the simple rule to bear in mind is that the Community Trademark Office never sends out requests for direct renewal payment. It is the responsibility of the registered business to contact them to renew the trademark. The Community Trademark is valid for 10 years and provides protection throughout the 27 member states of the European Union. It is issued under the auspices of the EU Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.