It appears to be a lucky coincidence of circumstances that the IPKat has fantasized on last friday on fraud investigations initiated by a bank against scammy trademark- or patent registers sending out demands for payments with an "official" appearance to credulous applicants and that the OLG Köln has decided in the file 6 U 166/10 on such a case.
I think that every patent attorney has experience with clients coming up with this kind of letters and the WIPO holds an ipressive register with samples thereof. Until now, I have simply recommended to throw the letter into the bin.
The intersting point for me in the OLG Decision mentioned above is that the plaintiff was a patent and trademark law firm. Yes, indeed, we are competitors of these poeple and are - ourselves - entitled to fire of all the competition law guns we usually fire off in the name of our clients in our own name. Here we go!
Besides, it's the overall appearance giving the documents an "official touch" which is considered an avoidable deceit on the origin thereof and thus the same legal concept as the one discussed in my last post, which turns out to be impressingly versatile.